Use this tag for questions about the usage of articles.

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4
votes
2answers
130 views

“The development” or simply “development”?

Here is a sentence similar to the one in the text I'm proofreading right now: Groundwork for (the) development and implementation of my cunning plan. The text is very formal and there're multiple ...
7
votes
5answers
2k views

Pronunciation of “a” in “make a difference” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: pronunciation of “a” I would like to know the pronunciation of a in the expression make a difference. Is it like a in ate or like a in about?
4
votes
3answers
752 views

Origin and usage of “a shambles”

"Shambles" is one of the few singular nouns in English that blatantly resembles a plural noun. What is the origin of "a shambles"? Why do we really need to prefix an "a" in front of "shambles"? Which ...
6
votes
0answers
39 views

“an estimated 75 000 lives” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: 'A[n] * [number] [plural]' Construction Since the Crash Test Dummies, Vince and Larry, were introduced to the American public in 1985, safely belt usage has ...
3
votes
1answer
128 views

“Professor of entomology” or “a professor of entomology”

Which is correct? This is Dr. Yang Jeng-Tze, professor of entomology. This is Dr. Yang Jeng-Tze, a professor of entomology.
6
votes
3answers
3k views

“What kind of a person” vs. “what kind of person”

I often hear people saying what kind of [singular noun] rather than what kind of a [singular noun]. Are we not supposed to use an article (a) before noun?
-2
votes
1answer
3k views

Is an article an adjective? [closed]

I have always believed that articles (a/an, the) are a special type of adjective.. In watching a TV show recently (Smarter than 5th Grader) - A question was - "How many adjectives are in the ...
7
votes
5answers
33k views

“In recent years” vs “in the recent years”

Do we write in the recent years or in recent years? For example, In the recent years, the influence of blablabla on blablabla has grown rapidly. In recent years, the influence of blablabla ...
10
votes
3answers
3k views

Why is Ukraine often called “the Ukraine”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Using the definite article before a country/state name Hearing the Ukraine used to make me unsure whether Ukraine was really a country. Now though I have realized ...
0
votes
2answers
141 views

Do a/an have to match up when using multiple indefinite subjects?

Here's my quandary: Is the following sentence acceptable? He waited to get an apple, orange or pear. Or would it need to read as the following? He waited to get an apple, an orange or a ...
1
vote
1answer
114 views

What articles are needed in document titles?

There seems to be a general consensus that some articles can be omitted from movie, book or newspaper titles. Can this be generalised and applied to any document titles such as titles of technical ...
1
vote
1answer
823 views

“Against traffic” or “Against the traffic”

The following first sentence comes from Wikipedia, which 'the' is not used before 'traffic', while the second one comes from BBC, which has 'the' before 'traffic'. I wonder if both usages are correct ...
0
votes
1answer
151 views

Article or no article: “at the price of a higher workload”?

The finer points (the infamous 10%?) of when to use indefinite articles still manage to elude me sometimes. Does the article "a" belong in the following sentence or not? However, [foo] yields ...
6
votes
2answers
911 views

ABC, NBC vs. the BBC and the ABC

I am writing a style guide at my company, and for the life of me, I can't explain why U.S. broadcasters "ABC" and "NBC" seem to need no article as a noun, while the U.K. broadcaster "BBC" always gets ...
3
votes
3answers
270 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.
1
vote
1answer
555 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
480 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
281 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
691 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
392 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
310 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
80 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
284 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 ...
-1
votes
1answer
162 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
246 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?
16
votes
6answers
2k 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
166 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
121 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 ...
-2
votes
2answers
573 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?
9
votes
5answers
706 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
108 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
163 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 ...
-3
votes
1answer
2k 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
64 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
159 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
114 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
2answers
424 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
179 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
484 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
77 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".
9
votes
2answers
2k 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
201 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
2k 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"?
10
votes
2answers
553 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
74 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 ...
2
votes
4answers
21k 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 ...
1
vote
4answers
1k 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? P.S.: Sorry if this ...
8
votes
4answers
983 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
730 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
776 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.