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English Pronunciation News: Extreme Weather for 2011

Watch the video and read the news for 9/1/2011. Learn current news and study American English pronunciation.
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The year 2011 has brought extreme weather. There were record-setting snowstorms in the  midwest and northeast last winter. Tornadoes devasted parts of the central plains during the spring.  In August, there was a 5.9 magnitude earthquake centered in Virginia. There has not been an earthquake of that magnitude in Virginia since 1897. On top of this, Hurricane Irene struck the east coast from North Carolina to New England and shut down the New York subway system. Will this harsh weather continue into the fall? Long range weather forecasts indicate that early-season snowfall is expected in the midwest and there could be particularly severe weather in the central part of the country, from Kansas to Texas, during the second half of September.


Study Uses of A, An and The

the year
always use "the" with a phrase that involves the year's number, i.e. the year 2011, the year 2009, the year 2020
the midwest, the central plains, the east coast
use "the" before a region of the country
during the spring, into the fall or during spring, into fall
with seasons, many people use "the," but not all the time; using "the" is optional with seasons
a 5.9 magnitude earthquake
"a" comes before "five," so we do not use "an;" use "a" or "an" to refer to a single object for the first time or to a single unknown object
an earthquake
use "an" before a vowel sound; in this case, "an" indicates "any" or "any single earthquake"
the New York subway system, the central part, the country, the second half of September
use "the" to refer to a single known object--all of these phrases represent things that most people know about

Get more practice:

A, An, The Basics

A, An, The: When to Use

A, An, The: When NOT to Use

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