key_small  Talking about the zero article is useful when we’re describing how to use articles‏‎.  But essentially when we talk about the zero article we mean that we do not use any article in front of a noun. In other words, we do not use a/an or the. 


There are a lot of rules about when we don't use articles. Here are some of them:    


With names of countries : (if singular)

India is now an important economic power.

He's just returned from Spain. (But: he's visiting the United States next week.)


With the names of languages :

French is spoken in Tahiti.

English uses many words of Latin origin.

Indonesian is a relatively new language.


With the names of meals:

Lunch is at midday.

Dinner is in the evening.

Breakfast is the first meal of the day.


With people's names : (if singular):

Gareth's coming to my birthday party.

John Steed is my hero.   (But: We're having lunch with the Dawsons tomorrow.)


With titles and names :

Prince Charles is Queen Elizabeth's son.

President Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas.

Dr. Watson was Sherlock Holmes' friend.  (But: the Queen of England, the Pope.)


After the 's possessive case :

His brother's wife.

Peter's house.


With professions :

Engineering is a useful career.

He'll probably go into medicine.


With names of shops :

I buy all my Christmas cards at Smith's.

Can you go to Boots for me?


With years :

1948 was a wonderful year.

Do you remember 1995?


With name of sports :

Golf is a very pleasant game.

I like playing football at the weekend.


With academic subjects:

My friend Bob is good at history.

I am really interested in Mathematics.


With uncountable nouns :

Rice is the main food in Asia.

British people often drink Milk added to their tea.

War is destructive.


With the names of individual mountains, lakes and islands :

Mount Everest is the highest mountain in the world.

She lives near Lake Windermere.

Have you visited Long Island?


With most names of towns, streets, stations and airports :

Victoria Station is in the centre of London.

Can you tell me the way to Bond Street?

She lives in Florence.

They're flying from Heathrow.


In some fixed expressions:

by car

by train

by air

on foot

on holiday

on air (in broadcasting)

at school

at work

at University

in church

in prison

in bed