English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

When will we use 'a same', instead of 'the same'? Is it grammatical to say:

  1. We wore a same hat yesterday.
  2. We talked to a same teacher everyday.
share|improve this question
a similar or the same hat - definitely the same teacher so no it is not grammatical – mplungjan Nov 20 '12 at 8:35
If the hats really are the same, you can say "identical hats". But you can't say "identical teachers", at least, not unless they're clones. – Mr Lister Nov 20 '12 at 9:00

Hardly ever, and your two examples are ungrammatical. Just about the only way same can be preceded by a is in a phrase such as a same day service, where the indefinite article relates to service, and same day is adjectival.

share|improve this answer
One might even aver that same day service could be hyphenated (i.e., a same-day service). (I'm not saying it needs to be, mind you, I'm just pointing out how unique such usages of "a same" happen to be.) – J.R. Nov 20 '12 at 9:21

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.