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

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45 views

Is the English correct? What's the best translation or interpretation? [duplicate]

I'm reading a technical IT document that can be found here. So, the question is, in the phrasebelow: A challenge password is it correct write "a" instead of "an"? Why? What is its' best ...
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1answer
1k views

use of articles with personal names modified by adjectives

Suddenly, to everybody's surprise, the silent Mr.Smith swung around and addressed Barbara. The dinner was served by a silent Mrs. Keats. I saw an infuriated Jennifer, who started shouting at ...
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1answer
74 views

articles when not to use [duplicate]

Which of the following sentences are correct? Although it lives in all oceans and most seas, it prefers temperate and polar regions. Although it lives in all oceans and most seas, it prefers the ...
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2answers
607 views

Must a non-proper noun that starts a sentence be preceded with an article?

I'm doing some research in NLP, and thought you guys would be the best to ask this. When looking at an English sentence, it is sometimes hard for a computer to distinguish between proper nouns, such ...
1
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1answer
110 views

Using stressed “the” to emphasize outstanding noun

I'm not a native English speaker and sometimes I encounter article "the" used in stressed form before some noun or name, mostly in movies, like "That's not the gun, that's THE gun" or "He is THE ...
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1answer
332 views

Zero article in a concessive adverbial clause

Which of the following two expressions is better? A doctor by training as he is, he has proved himself to be a successful writer. Doctor by training as he is, he has proved himself to be a ...
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2answers
132 views

Usage of the article 'a' before bait in this particular instance

Is it acceptable to use the article 'a' before 'bait' in this sentence? Is there a difference in meaning here when you use 'a' or drop it? "You would not have sent it to me for no reason. It was a ...
2
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2answers
147 views

“He feared a U.S. invasion” vs. “He feared U.S. invasion”

It it accurate to say this? He feared a U.S. invasion. Or should I say, He feared U.S. invasion. I'm trying to figure out when to place "a" in front of the U.S. when U.S. comes with a noun ...
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3answers
2k views

Difference between “an” and “one”

Forgive me if I miss something very obvious; English is not my native language. I am currently taking an online (sort of) Math class that aims to teach creating/writing unambiguous Mathematical ...
2
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1answer
128 views

Article usage on word 'default' when the context is known

This question excludes 'default' used in court or 'a default' for an indefinite future (e.g. setting a default option). My question pertains to circumstances where the context behind the question or ...
-2
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1answer
327 views

An Ozibox user OR a Ozibox user is correct? [duplicate]

Which one is better and why? 1) Are you an Ozibox user? 2) Are you a Ozibox user? Ozibox is the name of a web application
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4answers
260 views

Why “the ipad” and not simply ipad [duplicate]

From what I've learned, special names don't get definite articles. (I should admit that the use of articles in English is very tricky) For example, we say Apple but not the Apple to refer to the ...
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2answers
707 views

Usage of “to” and “from” in my sentence

Is my sentence grammatically correct? I asked from the friend who took this picture, had you ever seen anything like this before? or should it be: I asked a friend who took this picture, ...
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1answer
463 views

Under which cases should an article (a/an/the) not be used? [duplicate]

The current machine has been repaired. Current machine has been repaired. Which is more natural? What are the subtle differences between them? Under which cases should an article ...
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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.
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2answers
83 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 ...
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2answers
277 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 ...
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2answers
18k 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" .
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1answer
504 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
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0answers
406 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
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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) ...
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2answers
170 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?
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4answers
688 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 ...
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3answers
205 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? ...
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2answers
389 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
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4answers
470 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 ...
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5answers
198 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? ...
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1answer
105 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?
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4answers
1k 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 ...
2
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1answer
1k 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
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1answer
570 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?
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2answers
130 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.
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1answer
197 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 ...
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4answers
239 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 ...
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2answers
290 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 ...
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1answer
334 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 ...
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1answer
250 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
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1answer
299 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 ...
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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
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1answer
404 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".
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0answers
97 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
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1answer
91 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?
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3answers
204 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 ...
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0answers
42 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
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4answers
750 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
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1answer
393 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 ...
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3answers
698 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
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1answer
233 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
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3answers
197 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'?
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2answers
129 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?