CAT Calling: Part I

This post is for all my friends preparing for the CAT 2012 window for which is to start from 11th Oct 2012. In this and subsequent posts I ll be sharing important study material for all serious takers.
1. Articles
a, an and the are the three articles
  • a is used with singular nouns when noun is general. a rat
  • when general noun is plural some is used. some rats
  • an is used with singular noun beginning with a vowel. an elephant
  • the is used with more specific nouns.THE CAR in the garage. that particular car.
Rules for the :
Do not use the before :
  • names of countries except the Netherlands, the US, the United Kingdom etc
  • names of cities, towns, states and streets (the Hague being an exception)
  • names of lakes and bays(Lake Chilika, Lake Mahakam) except with a group of lakes like the Great Lakes
  • names of mountains(Mount Everest, Mount Fuji) except the Andes, the Rockies, the Wular
  • names of continents
  • names of islands except the Andamans
Use the before
  • names of rivers, oceans, and seas(the Nile, the Pacific)
  • points on Globe(the Equator, the North Pole)
  • geographical areas(the Middle East, the East)
  • deserts, forests, gulfs, and peninsulas (the Sahara, the Persian Gulf, the Black Forest)
  • names of countries that include republic or kingdom. the UK, the US, the Irish Republic, 
  • names of great books and epics. the Ramayana, the Illiad
  • names of things unique of their kind. the sun, the moon etc
  • As an adverb with comparatives. the bigger, the better

Indefinite article is used in the vague sense of a certain.

    A Sushil Kumar was declared the winner of the fight(Not the boxer Sushil Kumar)
    Omission of Articles :
    • before names of substance and abstract nouns used in general sense. Sugar is bad for teeth, Honesty is the best virtue.
    • before plural countable nouns used in general sense. Girls like chocolates.
    • before names of meals used in general sense. lunch, dinner
    • words like schools, colleges, universities, prisons, etc, places that are used for primary purposes, such as ; People go to church on Sundays.
    • names of relations, like father, mother, brother etc

    Difference between a little and little, a few and few

    A little means some but little means negligible 
    Similarly for few

    2. Demonstratives Used to tell location (spatial, temporal or discourse)
    these, those, this, that
    Used to modify nouns. This cake is excellent, Those paintings look beautiful

    3. Quantifiers Include cardinals, ordinals, and fraction numbers
    In formal academic writing it is better to use many and much rather than phrases such as a lot of, lots of and plenty of
    Most of must include definite article the when it modifies a specific noun whether it is a count or a non count
    Most of the students at this college have a car

    First v/s Subsequent Mention

    When the noun is not specific a/an is used, and thereafter the is used.

    A boy was out on a ramble in Chicago. While he was going around in his rhythm, a speeding car hit THE BOY but he was miraculously saved.  

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