Sometimes it is possible to have a noun phrase with NO article—the so-called "ZERO article".
I need a bowl of rice. ← indefinite article
I like the rice in this restaurant. ← definite article
I eat rice every day. ← ZERO article
The ZERO article usually occurs in the following cases:
ZERO Article with Plural and Uncountable Nouns
- cars, people
- life, water
- education, happiness, music
ZERO Article with Singular Countable Nouns
People: Mary, Bill, Josef
Places: Jupiter, Russia, Bangkok, Heathrow Airport, Cambridge University, Waterloo Station
Streets: Oxford Street, Wall Street, Picadilly Circus
Languages: English, Russian
Academic subjects: History, Law, Physics
Days, months: Monday, November
Games and Sports
- football, chess
- breakfast, lunch, dinner
Noun + Number
- platform 3, room 7, page 44
- in bed, at home, to school, to work
Movement or Transport
- on foot, by car, by bus, by air
Newspaper Headlines, Notices, User Guides
- Plane Crashes On House, Keep Area Clean, Insert battery
Here are some example sentences showing the ZERO article in context.
- Cars can be dangerous.
- We seldom see courage like that.
- I could see clouds in the sky.
- There was milk on the doorstep.
- I gave it to Mary.
- She arrived in Bangkok yesterday.
- Do you speak French?
- He is good at tennis.
- People will travel to Mars soon.
- He is in room 45.
- Please turn to page 67.
- She's in bed.
- Are you at home?
- They took her to hospital.
- I'm leaving town tomorrow by car.
- I go to school by bus.
- We usually meet on Monday.
- November is quite cold.
More about determiners