How can I choose the correct article

Here is a flow chart which may aid you in correctly choosing the proper article. The following example will help you to use the flow chart (the analysed nouns are in italics):

One form of listening to (music) (1) is by using CDs. The CD is (digital system) (2). The player's laser reads a series of (on/off pulses) (3), without physically touching the disc's surface. Not every pulse must be read accurately - as long as the number of reading errors remains below a certain limit, (reconstruction) of (music) (4) is complete. But if the number of errors rises above that level, the player loses the sound for a moment. (CD players) (5) contain (electronics) (6) which perform 'error correction', filling or bridging gaps when pulses are missing or mis-read.

Enter noun phrase

Enter noun phrase

1 music : this is uncountable, general (there are many kinds of music). Therefore use no article

2 digital system: the noun is countable, singular and general (there are many different systems). Therefore use a: a digital system

3 on /off pulses: the noun is countable, plural, general. So use no article.

4 (reconstruction) of (music) : reconstruction is countable, singular and specific (defined by the of phrase): so use the. Music is uncountable, but here specific, referring back to the music mentioned earlier: so use the.

5 CD players: the noun is countable, plural and general (since there can be many players): so use no article

6 electronics: this noun is uncountable and general, referring to the whole range of electronic systems that might be applicable. So use no article.

The complete text would be:

One form of listening to music is by using CDs. The CD is a digital system. The player's laser reads a series of on/off pulses, without physically touching the disc's surface. Not every pulse must be read accurately - as long as the number of reading errors remains below a certain limit, the reconstruction of the music is complete. But if the number of errors rises above that level, the player loses the sound for a moment. CD players contain electronics which perform 'error correction', filling or bridging gaps when pulses are missing or mis-read.

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