One of the most common confusions when it comes to OET aspirants is on the topic “articles”. And, it isn’t just about OET students, but also with native speakers at times, because articles can be confusing if you don’t have a crystal clear idea about the particular topic.
The article “the” is used when we are talking about something, which is one of a kind, or when the reader and the writer are sure about which one is being discussed.
Let’s take an example to clear the confusion.
The low-calorie diet was recommended.
In the above example, we mentioned about one type of diet and there are so many wide varieties of diets available: low-fat, high-protein, fruit, pureed and so on.
In such situations, it is important to strictly avoid the use of “the”. So if we avoid the use of “the”, then we are left out with just two options: “a & an”. Since the word “low-calorie” doesn’t start with a vowel sound we can’t use the article “an”.
A low-calorie diet was recommended.
So, hope this small example has cleared the big queries you've been having regarding the usage of articles.
Good luck and keep practising.