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

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7
votes
3answers
2k views

Usage of “a” and “the” in titles

Which one should I use for page title? Apple — Tasty Fruit Apple — A Tasty Fruit Apple — The Tasty Fruit The article is only about tasty apple.
-2
votes
2answers
82 views

“the 1st” or “1st”

I'm wondering which is the right usage between "the 1st" and "1st" in these sentences: a) The United States ranked 1st in Bloomberg's Global Innovation Index. b) The United States ranked the 1st in ...
3
votes
2answers
242 views

Correct placement of articles

My supervisor corrected the draft of my thesis, inserting a lot of articles here and there. I have doubts if he was correct. Could someone comment on the following sentences? Over the last decade ...
11
votes
2answers
9k views

Is it “a user” or “an user” [duplicate]

Since user starts with a vowel shouldn't we use "an" ? I've seen many cases of using "a" .
0
votes
1answer
405 views

Zero article after “of” in “a change of place”

Given the sentence The use of apples instead of pears is unexpected in the dish. I don't think we can use apple instead of apples. (Correct me if I'm wrong.) But then, how come we can say the ...
4
votes
0answers
332 views

Guide to English Articles [closed]

I'm looking for a full and complete guide to English articles like THE, A, AN, (none). Can anyone recommend me something like that? I'd like to finally learn this and never make a mistake again. ...
4
votes
1answer
3k views

Use (or non-use) of articles before abstract nouns

I know I have asked a similar question before but this time I have examples taken from COCA and they do puzzle me. I would love to hear explanations from native speakers. The following (incomplete) ...
1
vote
2answers
156 views

Why do prehistoric animals seem to lack articles?

Why do we say "this is a cat" or "this is a forty spotted pardalote" but "this is velociraptor" with no the or a?
4
votes
4answers
553 views

“Most” vs. “most of”

During most of history, humans were too busy to think about thought. Why is "most of history" correct in the above sentence? I could understand the difference between "Most of the people" and ...
2
votes
3answers
189 views

Choice of articles: the reduction/ a reduction /reduction

I am often confused about the use of articles before abstract nouns. Are the following three sentences all grammatically correct? If so, what differences are there, if any, in their meaning or nuance? ...
3
votes
2answers
305 views

Using articles before titles beginning with articles

What are the rules for the use of articles before titles beginning with articles? Which of the following sentences is correct? I went to the The New York Times office this morning. I went to The New ...
2
votes
3answers
324 views

“a” and “the” before time markers

For my linguistics course I was asked to explain the difference in meaning of the following: 1. I would like to have lunch with you on Friday 2. I would like to have lunch with you on a Friday ...
4
votes
5answers
156 views

Room Temperature: Article “A” or Not?

Below, “room temperature” takes the article “a” in one case but not the other. “Temperature” seems like a countable noun, so why no article in the first case? What is the grammar that is working here? ...
0
votes
1answer
97 views

“Is there a best X?” — why “a” if it's the superlative degree?

Which of the following is grammatical? Is there a best school? Is there the best school? I'm sure that the first one is right. But why?
10
votes
4answers
936 views

Why did Obama use “a” in “… to hear a King proclaim that …”

From Obama's second inaugural speech: We, the people, declare today that the most evident of truths – that all of us are created equal – is the star that guides us still; just as it guided our ...
1
vote
1answer
924 views

Is “make no mistake” a mistake?

Is "make no mistake" proper grammar? Isn't "no" being used as a quantifier? Aren't quantified nouns supposed to be plural when the quantity is none? For example, I was taught to say, "one egg" and ...
1
vote
1answer
422 views

“Seems like an overkill” vs. “seems like overkill” [closed]

I’m wondering if an article is used with the word overkill: Something seems like an overkill (to me). Something seems like overkill (to me). Which is grammatical?
0
votes
2answers
128 views

“This is a song by Lady Gaga” or “this is the song by Lady Gaga”? [closed]

Which article is appropriate in the blank below, a or the? — What are you singing? I've heard the song many times. — This is __ song by Lady Gaga.
0
votes
1answer
174 views

What kind of noun is 'splurge'?

I was reading a grammar book the other day, it was mentioned to omit articles "before names of substances and abstract nouns (i.e uncountable nouns)." The nouns splurge and howler are abstract nouns ...
0
votes
4answers
217 views

Why is there no article in “The Child is father of the man”?

The Rainbow by William Wordsworth: My heart leaps up when I behold A Rainbow in the sky: So was it when my life began; So is it now I am a man; So be it when I shall grow old, Or let me ...
3
votes
2answers
249 views

Sometimes the article precedes the noun and not the adjective

I have a question that baffled me for a while now, and I'd be a happier person for an answer. Why in sentences such as It's not that big a deal. And He was as nice a friend as you were. Or ...
5
votes
1answer
308 views

How do I refer to two things together that have different adjectives?

I want to express these two facts: there is a front view; and there is a side view. Which of the following are valid ways of referring to the two views together? a front and side view; a ...
1
vote
1answer
220 views

“In a book store near my school” vs. “in the book store near my school” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Are there any simple rules for article usage (“a” vs “the” vs none) Which article should I use in the following situations? There is only one book store near my ...
2
votes
1answer
274 views

Why do we need an indefinite article in the sentence “The price is **an incredible 50,000 dollars**”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: ‘A[n] * [number] [plural]’ Construction Why do we need an indefinite article in the sentence "The price is an incredible 50,000 dollars"? "An" is singular, "dollars" is ...
0
votes
3answers
2k views

is article “an” before the noun “hour” acceptable? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: When should I use “a” versus “an” in front of a word beginning with the letter h? I have seen many authors uses "an" before "hour" like "an hour" some times. Please ...
4
votes
1answer
350 views

Using “a” in the title of a scientific paper

Is it OK, to use indefinite article in the title of a paper? Should it be omitted? Or even replaced by the definite article? Here is the title: "A Fuzzy Event for a Set of Events".
2
votes
0answers
89 views

Semantic question about the definite article [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Is there a usage of “the” that indicates one out of a group of many? The definite article is used when the referent is “uniquely identifiable” to the hearer, as many ...
0
votes
1answer
87 views

Should I refer to North Koreans and South Koreans “same people” or “the same people”?

Are North Koreans and South Koreans "same people" or "the same people"? Which is correct: the same or just same, and why?
-1
votes
3answers
151 views

“Is called” + article?

What is the best way to define a new object by using "Something is called [name]"? I have seen all three posibilities, that is: Fruit of this tree is called apple. Fruit of this tree is ...
0
votes
0answers
40 views

“a” vs. “an” when the following word is in a bracket [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: “A/An” preceding a parenthetical statement Let's say I send a text to someone saying: Can you get me a coffee? Over here, I use a as the following word doesn't ...
4
votes
4answers
611 views

Why “the” in “Three Men in a Boat (To Say Nothing of the Dog)”? [closed]

When reading the title of the book, we don't know what three men it is talking about so there is no/indefinite article (the same with "a boat"). But why is there "the Dog" instead of "a Dog"? We don't ...
0
votes
1answer
349 views

Use of the article “the” with proper nouns

I'm writing a leaflet for children from primary schools who will visit our school. Is it correct to write: the "amerigo vespucci" school is waiting for you!!!! Is the use of the definite ...
-1
votes
3answers
545 views

What article should be used in such sentences?

What article should be used in the following sentence? He was English by [a/the/] blood. I feel there should be a zero article here, but I was taught that the zero article is impossible in ...
0
votes
1answer
212 views

The reasoning behind omitting “the” in “I'm (the) president of the United States.”

I understand you can say either I'm president of the United States. or I'm the president of the United States. I also know of a rule that you may omit "the" in front of a title, position, ...
2
votes
3answers
180 views

Use of article 'the' before author's name

Is is correct to write: 'Author Martin Amis describes...', or should we use the article 'the' in front of 'author'? Thank you very much in advance
1
vote
2answers
116 views

Is “a” mandatory in “I'm a whole new (Name)”?

Let's say, your name is Kate and you say "I'm a whole new Kate!" Now, can you drop "a" and say "I'm whole new Kate!"? Or is it mandatory to keep it?
-1
votes
3answers
1k views

Do we say “I'm going to meet my friends in a park” or “I'm going to meet my friends in the park”? [closed]

I've had an argument recently whether one should say "I'm going to meet my friends in a park" or "I'm going to meet my friends in the park"? Assume that the other speaker doesn't know what park is ...
0
votes
2answers
274 views

Why do we use an article for “the mind,” “the heart,” or “the soul”? [closed]

A student of mine came across a website titled "Music for the Mind" and asked why we use a definite article. We are not talking about a specific mind. We also use definite articles to talk about "The ...
2
votes
4answers
1k views

“Planning for next year” vs. “planning for the next year”

I would like to start planning for next year. In the above sentence, there is no definite article before the words next year. Should it be present, as in the following sentence which sounds far ...
0
votes
1answer
251 views

Can you use an article in front of the word “software”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Why don’t we use the indefinite article with ‘software’? Can you say "a software" or "the software"? E.g. That is how you use the software.
1
vote
2answers
479 views

“The” before acronyms and abbreviations

I saw several posts about usage of "the" before acronyms, but I still haven't found any answer on my question. Let's say I developed a System for Definitions' Retrieval (SDR). So, should I refer to it ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

When can you use 'a same'?

When will we use 'a same', instead of 'the same'? Is it grammatical to say: We wore a same hat yesterday. We talked to a same teacher everyday.
-1
votes
2answers
218 views

Do I need to add an article before the weekend?

When I’m going to have a weekend, do I have to say “It’s weekend.” Or do I need to add ‘a’ or ‘the’ in front of the weekend?
0
votes
5answers
2k views

“Is of the view that” vs. “is of a view that” [closed]

Is there any significant difference in the meanings of sentence 1 and sentence 2 below? Mr. Jones is of a view that the project is unnecessary. Mr. Jones is of the view that the project is ...
2
votes
2answers
215 views

Charles Dickens: “It was the best of times…” [closed]

It was the best of times… How to understanding this usage without using "the" (i.e. instead of "the best of the times")? How can we apply the same usage in everyday conversation? E.g. should we ...
2
votes
4answers
371 views

“has a wrong format” or “has the wrong format”

If I want to say that the content of a file is not right, should I say: The file has a wrong format or The file has the wrong format I am not referring to file extensions. I am referring ...
2
votes
4answers
306 views

Nouns and determiners

Are singular non-proper countable nouns always preceded by a determiner (a, the, some, any, this, that)? ORIGINAL QUESTION: "Dose singular no-proper [Are singular common] nouns always preceded by ...
4
votes
4answers
193 views

“king of” or “the king of”

Which is correct? I am king of the world. I am the king of the world. Additionally, which would be the better choice, if I wanted to use the expression "king" to signify dominance in a ...
1
vote
2answers
113 views

“Follow evolution” vs. “follow the evolution”

Is the article the needed in the following sentence and why? Want to follow [the] evolution of the project?
0
votes
0answers
36 views

Indefinite article for words starting with “E” An/A Ensemble [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: When should I use “a” vs “an”? which article should be used with the words which start with the letter "E" such as "Ensemble" ?