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

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74
votes
10answers
7k views

“A/An” preceding a parenthetical statement

When a/an precedes a parenthetical aside (sometimes seen in informal/conversational writing), should the vowel rule depend on the first word in parentheses, or the next word in the "regular" flow of ...
3
votes
2answers
131 views

“Ate cheeseburger” or “ate a cheeseburger”?

Which of the following is correct? Ate a cheese burger last night. Ate cheese burger last night.
2
votes
0answers
192 views

an SQA or a SQA? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Do you use “a” or “an” before acronyms? Although I am clear about the usage of 'an' and 'a' on most cases, but I am not sure how they are applied ...
43
votes
8answers
16k views

Are there any simple rules for choosing the definite vs. indefinite (vs. none) article?

I can’t for the life of me figure out where to use a and where to use the — and where there is no article at all. Is there a simple rule of thumb to memorize? The standard rule you always hear: ...
6
votes
5answers
345 views

“The” for superlative referring to more than one object

Which one of these sentences is correct? The best countries to live in are ... Best countries to live in are ... EDIT: The reason this question is being asked is that this Wiktionary ...
9
votes
2answers
8k views

Using “the” before ordinal numbers

When learning English I was told that ordinal numbers should always be used with "the" before them. But I often see that this is not always so strict, for example I heard the phrase "April first" ...
11
votes
1answer
591 views

Does absence of articles in computer-related sentences look natural?

I'm a non-native speaker (actually from Russia) and for us the articles (a, an, the) came as a thing that we just have to adopt. We do not have not similar constructions in Russian. Menus I see in ...
162
votes
7answers
92k views

Do you use “a” or “an” before acronyms?

99% of the time, I'm clear on when I should use "a" versus "an." There's one case, though, where people & references I respect disagree. Which of the following would you precede with "a" or "an," ...
13
votes
4answers
3k views

New Oxford American Dictionary describes “the” as an adjective

When I look at the definition given from the Mac OS X Dictionary (I have set American English as interface language, and the dictionary used is then the New Oxford American Dictionary), I read: ...
5
votes
2answers
9k views

Definite article with plural nouns

Are there cases where the definite article is used with a plural noun, or is it a rule that the definite article is never used with the plural of a word?
104
votes
14answers
89k views

When should I use “a” vs “an”?

In the following example, is it appropriate to use a or an as the indefinite article, and why? He ate __ green apple. I know that in the case of just "apple", it would be "an apple," but I've ...