Ø We often use “zero article” with the names of holidays, special times of the year, or with the names of months and days of the week: Easter, Ramadan, New Year’s Day, September, Monday…


- I’ll see you on Saturday. (= next Saturday)

- They arrived on the Saturday as far as I can remember. (= we are only interested in the day of the week, not which particular Saturday)

- They arrived on the Saturday after my birthday party. (= a particular Saturday, specifying which one)

NOTE: With winter, summer, spring, autumn, and New Year (meaning the holiday period), we can often use either “the” or “zero article.”


- In (the) summer I try to spend as much time in the garden as I can.

- In Scotland, they really know how to celebrate (the) New Year.

Ø We use “the” when we understood which summer, spring, etc.


- ‘When did you meet Beth?’ ‘In the summer.’(= last summer)

- ‘When are you going to university?’ ‘In the autumn.’ (= next autumn)

- I first went skiing in the spring of 2008.

NOTE1: We say ‘in the New Year’ to mean at or near the beginning of next year.

Example: I’ll see you again in the New Year.

NOTE2: When we want to describe the features of a particular holiday, season, etc., we use “a/an.”

Example: That was a winter I’ll never forget.

Ø We use “the” and “a/an” in the usual way when we talk about the morning/afternoon/evening of a particular day.


- I woke up with a sore throat, and by the evening my voice had disappeared.

- We’re going in the afternoon.

- ‘You look upset.’ ‘Yes, I’ve had a terrible morning.’

NOTE: We use “zero article” with “at night” and “by night”


- She kept us awake all through the night.

- I don’t like driving at night.

Ø We use “zero article” when we talk about meals.


- What have we got for dinner?

- I don’t like drinking coffee at breakfast.

NOTE1: We wouldn’t say, for example, ‘I had a/the breakfast before I went out’. However, if we want to describe a particular meal, then we can use an article.


- We didn’t get up until 10 o’clock and had a late breakfast.

- The dinner we had at Webster’s restaurant was marvelous.

NOTE2: When we talk about a formal dinner or lunch for a special occasion, we use ‘a dinner’ or ‘a lunch.’

Example: We’re having a dinner to welcome the new manager.