The last aspect of using the article in the English language is the null article. Often written as “Ø” when explanations are given (but never written in actual script), null article simply means that no article is needed before the noun phrase it introduces. Unlike definite and indefinite articles, there is very little general guidance for describing how the null article is used in English. However, there are still a number of quick rules that can be applied to help you, although it`s worth remembering that there are exceptions to these rules – such as the use of idioms mentioned in Chapter 1. In the above examples, it is not that a null article has been used, but that some kind of determinant such as the demonstrative “that”, the number “one”, the possessive adjective “my” or the quantifier “arbitrary” is used in its place. Remember that the articles themselves are a kind of determinant and that there are no two determinants that can exist together in the same place. The rule that generalizations take the article null explains its use with plural nouns. The following sentence examples take all plural nouns and are all generalizations about the objects or concepts to which these nouns refer: First of all, it is important to note that in some contexts and situations it is possible to use zero articles with plural and uncountable nouns, as shown in the following examples: Although we have already explained, that null articles are not used with singular names, sometimes it seems that this is simply not the case. However, as the following examples show, such a situation can usually be explained using a different determinant instead of an article: However, it would be quite ungrammatical to use the null article for singular nouns, as in the sentences “Give me Ø book” or “Do you have Ø spare chair?”.
The fourth rule is that null articles are also used with many temporal expressions that take prepositions, such as “See you next weekend” or “Let`s meet on Monday”. Finally, there are some topics that occupy the null article but seem to have little reason to do so. These topics are: certain institutions, meals and everything related to work, home and bed: People and places are two groups of proper nouns that also require the use of null items, as in the following two examples.