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Aug 18, 2018 03:04
I am really intimidated by the articles in English. There is no even such a convoluted concept in Russian and we are fine without them. Despite I learned all the rules on how to use articles, I constantly encounter unobvious cases. Just, for instance, an author of the web page explaining how to master the articles used as an example a/the barking dog. Even there I found few places where I don’t understand why he used the definite or indefinite article. Have a look at the following text; places that are not clear to me are in uppercase:

" Compare the following sentences:
1. The dog is barking at the cat.
2. A dog is barking at the cat.

Because of this, we know that THE (IT IS THE FIRST TIME WHEN WE ENCOUNTER THE SPEAKER, BUT IT IS STILL THE) speaker is referring to A (HE SAID THAT THE DOG IS SPECIFIC, BUT IT IS STILL A) specific, unique dog, and that the speaker is assuming that the (IT IS THE FIRST TIME WHEN WE ENCOUNTER THE listener, BUT IT IS STILL THE) listener is also aware of which particular dog is doing THE barking. Both speaker and listener know the exact dog being spoken of, so the definite article is THE natural choice here. "

I agree when you can put more emphasis on how define the subject is makes a language more flexible and informative. Though, very often I have an impression that the articles are the redundancy invented to make us, people with no articles in a native langue miserable.