Use this tag for questions about the usage of articles (e.g. a, an, and the).

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3
votes
3answers
327 views

“I have got a Playstation” versus “I have got Playstation”

Is it possible to avoid using the article in the following sentence: I have got a Playstation.
2
votes
1answer
916 views

When Should I use 'the' with months, seasons?

Should I say: There are four seasons of (the) year? Today we will talk about names of (the) months.
5
votes
2answers
799 views

Can anyone explain the use of determiners in this passage?

Can someone explain the use of determiners (words like some or the) for the word beans in the following dialogue: Aki: Lisa, here're some beans. Lisa: Why are you giving me beans? Aki: ...
5
votes
2answers
435 views

Preceding article in foreign words [closed]

For articles on GL&U it is usual to use German words in English texts. While writing an answer, I was unsure how to use articles in a right way. Finally, after I had read my answer again, I became ...
10
votes
1answer
1k views

Omission of “the” in “elected him president” and “made captain”

Why is there no the before president and captain? They elected him president. She was made captain of the team.
3
votes
2answers
689 views

Articles with general concepts

I have the following sentence in the beginning of a chapter: This chapter lays down the fundamentals of distributed processing. It provides the basics for data processing... I would like to ask ...
-2
votes
1answer
470 views

“An age” vs. “the age” [closed]

Which one to use with "age", should it be simply "age" or "the age" instead of simply "at age 13" as shown in below sentence: He became a very rebellious boy, but grew up to be an incredible man. ...
0
votes
1answer
100 views

“The messenger” vs “A messenger” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Are there any simple rules for article usage (“a” vs “the” vs none) Can someone explain the difference between 'the messenger' and 'a messenger'? ...
6
votes
2answers
336 views

Should there be an article before “mayor” in “the role of mayor”?

SimCity, for example, casts youth in the role of mayor. I'm not sure if I understand the usage of zero article correctly. There is no article before 'mayor' as this is the instance where we refer ...
-1
votes
1answer
182 views

Which article fits better in this sentence? [closed]

Please read the instruction(s) in exercise 1. or Please read an instruction in exercise 1.
3
votes
3answers
262 views

Is an article acceptable in those sentences?

Can I say : We are not in a kindergarden. Should I say : We are not in kindergarden. Does usage of 'a' refer to a bulding?
20
votes
6answers
4k views

Why do we say ‘I have “a” husband (wife)?

Though it may sound a very primitive question to native English speakers, the use of ‘article’ is always the greatest headache to me because we don’t have this part of speech in our language system (I ...
6
votes
1answer
226 views

“An” average of vs. “The” average of

When nouns such as average, total, sum, etc., are modified by a prepositional phrase, how do you choose between the definite and indefinite articles? I cited sentences 1, 3, and 5 below from various ...
-3
votes
2answers
194 views

“Is this genuine?” versus “Is that genuine?” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Using “that” and “this” interchangeably “How did I do this” or “how did I do that”? Since I'm French-Canadian, I have a ...
-1
votes
2answers
2k views

Is this considered grammar? [closed]

If I say "today was good day," and add an a in the right spot like, "today was a good day," from a broad view, is what I just did considered a grammatical change or something else?
11
votes
5answers
1k views

Do idioms pose an exception to normal definite and indefinite article usage?

I found this phrase in my biology textbook (emphasis added): ...in relation to Earth's history, 100,000 years or even a million years is the blink of an eye. The part of the phrase in question ...
0
votes
2answers
113 views

Why “an FT op-ed” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: “A” vs. “An” in writing vs. pronunciation In an article in The Economist, it is written "That was raised in an FT op-ed...". Why is it "an FT op-ed" ...
4
votes
2answers
198 views

“To market, to market, to buy a fresh pig” vs “To the markets” valid English?

Is the phrase "to market" as in "going to the markets" valid use of the English language? I can think of two examples in local Australian vernacular: The Nursery Rhyme: "To market, to market, to ...
-2
votes
1answer
4k views

The <noun> of <noun>

I wonder about the the <noun> of <noun> template. For example, the customers of a movie theater or the possessor of a car. The question is "Is it a stable rule in English to put "the" ...
1
vote
0answers
66 views

How to properly use brackets and articles when the article is changed by the bracketed word? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: “A/An” preceding a parenthetical statement I was just posting a question on another Stack Exchange website. And I ran into the following sentence: How do I ...
3
votes
2answers
221 views

Indefinite article doubt preceding “one-to-one” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: When should I use “a” vs “an”? While I was reading a book, I faced the following sentence: There is a one-to-one correspondence between the two ...
3
votes
3answers
139 views

“Currently, sales report … ” vs. “Currently, THE sales report …”

I read and compared with this question: Are there any simple rules for article usage ("a" vs "the" vs none) However, either I am missing something here ... or the first ...
5
votes
3answers
724 views

Indefinite Article Preceding Noun “Wind”

It's common to say "a gentle wind", but is it OK to say "a wind"? I just noticed that there's a novel named "A Wind in the Door", in which case I guess "A" could be used here due to the modifying "in ...
8
votes
3answers
195 views

“Welcome to Q&A for …” or “Welcome to a Q&A site for …”?

There's a question on Meta Stack Overflow about whether the current text for the welcome banner is grammatically correct. It currently reads: Welcome to Q&A for [site description] ...
5
votes
1answer
849 views

Article usage in compound predicate nouns

When using a compound predicate noun where both parts would normally be preceded by an article, is it correct to leave one article off? Is it correct to use both? Is it a matter of preference? If so, ...
1
vote
0answers
80 views

Should I use “a” or “an”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: When should I use “a” vs “an”? Which one of the the following is correct? a F-test an F-test The F-test is pronounced as "ef test".
11
votes
4answers
6k views

Is it correct to say “via a”?

Is it considered proper English to say something like this? I called her via a telephone. Or should the indefinite article be omitted entirely? I called her via telephone. If the ...
1
vote
4answers
305 views

“In the year 1769” or “in 1769” in this sentence?

Which is better in the following sentence, "in the year 1769" or "in 1769"? While he was sailing in Polynesia in the year 1769, the British explorer, Captain James Cook discovered a mysterious ...
0
votes
2answers
5k views

What is correct: “I am an account manager” or “I am the account manager”?

While introducing oneself, which should one say, "I am an account manager, or "I am the account manager"?
9
votes
2answers
1k views

Why is “a” used here: “When a Mr. Andrews, the butler…”?

I posted a question several days ago about the significance of using “a,” in the sentence of Jeffery Archer’s novel, “False Impression” - “General Harry Wentworth was commanding his left flank when a ...
0
votes
0answers
80 views

Should I use `a SSTP` or `an SSTP`? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Do you use “a” or “an” before acronyms? First of all let me clarify that SSTP is an abbreviation of a technical term. I want to know, when using in ...
4
votes
4answers
57k views

Is saying “I had a fever” correct?

I'm sure this might have been asked, but couldn't find it, so forgive me if it is a duplicate. Is saying "I had a fever" correct ? I've also heard people saying "I had fever", but don't ...
2
votes
4answers
5k views

The article “a/an” with uncountable nouns

Sometimes I read in books sentences where uncountable nouns are used with the article "a/an". For example She fades like a dew before the sun. Is it out of the common rules? Sorry if this ...
9
votes
4answers
2k views

Why does English have an indefinite article? [closed]

I've seen many non-native speakers of English not making use of indefinite articles, presumably since their first language did not contain them. Thinking about this, and about the fact that even in ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

“A wrong answer” vs “the wrong answer”

In English, when presented with a list (real or imagined) or answers that could be given to a question, and the correct one is not given, we will say that somebody has given "the wrong answer". ...
0
votes
1answer
1k views

How to use articles? When to use “a”, “an”, “the”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Are there any simple rules for article usage (“a” vs “the” vs none) When should I use “a” vs “an”? Can anyone explain to me when and where to use ...
5
votes
3answers
16k views

“At the time” versus “at that time”

If I want to say that during the accident there were no passengers, how do I phrase it? There were no passengers at the time. There were no passengers at that time.
0
votes
0answers
166 views

Why shouldn't we say “an user”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: When should I use “a” vs “an”? Does one use 'a' or 'an' before the word X-Ray? As far as I understood, you prefix "an" instead of "...
4
votes
2answers
19k views

“On grounds of” vs. “on the grounds of”

Here's the sentence from Wall Street Journal: ...eight individuals have been deported on grounds of national security. Instead of this, if one says, ...eight individuals have been deported ...
0
votes
2answers
333 views

finding proper article for a sentence [closed]

I want to write the introduction of a story It goes like this , A guy... some bitterness, some talks, some love ... and a break up or the break up what should I write here ?
8
votes
3answers
11k views

Dropping articles in the title (of an article or a section) or in the caption (of a figure or a table)? What's the general rule?

It is said that "To give added punch, articles are often dropped in the titles" Source: http://www.davidappleyard.com/english/articles.htm Is there any general rule or reference about dropping ...
3
votes
2answers
6k views

When does “nature” require an article and why?

I was wondering about a sentence like this: If nature were to design a bicycle, how would it look? Is nature missing an article? Should it be "a nature" or "the nature", or is it correct as is? ...
20
votes
5answers
1k views

In “Are you staff?” does “staff” need to be preceded with an article?

Is it appropriate to say "Are you staff?" when asking someone if they are a staff member, or do you need to say "a staff"? This is regardless of any slang possibly incurred through either spoken, or ...
8
votes
2answers
24k views

“During summer” vs. “during the summer”

What is the difference between saying "during summer" and "during the summer"? As in: I work during the summer. I work during summer. Are both common? Is my feeling correct that the ...
1
vote
3answers
137 views

“Had entries” or “had an entry”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: "Only those who qualify will be awarded a certificate" or "Only those who qualify will be awarded certificates"? In this question, there is a part that ...
6
votes
1answer
457 views

Use of definite article in “the more” and “the less”

Why is the definite article used in expressions like the more and the less? For example, The more you study, the more you know. The less you study, the less you know.
-2
votes
2answers
756 views

“Win the lottery”, “win a lottery”, “win lottery” [closed]

Should it be win the lottery or win a lottery or just win lottery? The sentences below sound the same to me. Are they? I lost $5000 to lottery. I lost $5000 for lottery.
3
votes
3answers
26k views

“Simple is best” vs “Simple is the best”

As a foreigner, using articles is one of the most difficult part. What is the difference between "Simple is best" and "Simple is the best"? When I googled it, both appeared with many results, so it ...
1
vote
1answer
219 views

Is “the” required in “Welcome to [the] premier issue of”?

In the premier issue of a new magazine I saw today, the first line reads "Welcome to premier issue of Vegas/Rated." I was thrown by the lack of some other word preceding "premier". It could have an ...
1
vote
1answer
210 views

Is “in an utter attempt” correct?

I think I have heard, and I think to understand, the phrase "in an utter attempt". I want to say something like "In an utter attempt for brevity, I will summarize each chapter in one sentence". Is ...