An article is a word that combines with a noun to indicate the type of reference being made by the noun.

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When to use 'a' and when to not use use 'a'?

English is my second language. one thing that confuses me is the use of the letter a. I've learnt that the letter 'a' can be used when describing something or someone e.g. he is a man, drink a beer, ...
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23 views

When to use indefinite article before “independence”?

I got this confusion with a particular English grammar: when to say an independence. Like: as children mature, they develop an independence. (Actually...I don't think "an" is even necessary for ...
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29 views

How do I know which article to use before a noun specified by a relative clause?

How can I explain the usage of the indefinite article in the following sentences? Thanksgiving is a day when we celebrate the harvest. New Year' Eve is a night when I have fun with my ...
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20 views

Should an article be used when enumerating items?

Which form is correct?: This technique improves a speed and a performance or: This technique improves speed and performance If there are two and more items, should each one be preceded by ...
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2answers
142 views

what article should go before specific games?

I came across an article in the below link about general and specific nouns General and specific Nouns My question is which article (grammar article) should go before these general, more specific, ...
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1answer
87 views

Is it “a honor” or “an honor”? is h silent in this word in American English? [closed]

I read a tweet of President Obama: An honor to address the Coast Guard class of 2015. Confident they'll help us meet big challenges like climate change. Is h a silent letter in this word in ...
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3answers
240 views

Why there is no article before words like queen and king? [duplicate]

Why in the following sentences we omit articles (I'm basing on what I've heard in Game of Thrones - episode 1, season 5): You will be queen! You will be king one day! I would say "a king" and "a ...
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43 views

“A History of Britain”: Why the indefinite article? [duplicate]

There is a movie called A History of Britain. Why is the indefinite article used? I have always thought in such cases the article must be definite because a country's history (or that of anything ...
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90 views

What's the rule behind the use of the articles to refer to something in general? [closed]

I'm very confused about the use of English articles in generalisations with singular countable nouns. I read in a grammar book that in case of the word 'man' - the rule is that, if you want to say ...
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32 views

Article usage in “with + (a/an) + adjective + noun” [closed]

What is the best formulation, and eventually what are the differences, between: This task can be done without a human annotation. This task can be done without    human annotation.
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230 views

When did the a/an distinction happen?

Why do we have two versions of the indefinite article? When did this happen? Are there any texts where only one is used?
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28 views

Which indefinite article goes before “UDP”? [duplicate]

It's a simple question really, is it: A UDP An UDP UDP being an acronym for User Datagram Protocol. It sounds horrible either way, the internet is filled with both forms and the rules covering ...
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3answers
122 views

Indefinite article before 'god' [closed]

Here's a phrase from a song: There's nothing a god can give to me that I can't give to myself I put my beliefs in the things I believe and a god can take care of himself It might seem kind ...
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15 views

Articles: an email or a email in written English? [duplicate]

Different sources provide different information. E.g.: it should be an email for after e there's a consonant sound. And it should be a email for the general rule to use "an" instead of "a", is bound ...
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27 views

Using an indefinite article with ability

Which is correct? His artwork is outstanding. He has a natural ability. or His artwork is outstanding. He has natural ability.
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850 views

Why not “on a street”? [closed]

Why do people say "I met him on the street" instead of "on a street", even though they're talking about a street for the first time and another person doesn't know what exact street they mean?
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3answers
177 views

Why is it “a President” when it's clear to anybody that it's refering to the present President? [closed]

The New York Times (January 20, 2015) carries an editorial board article under the headline, “At the State of the Union, a President outgunned in Congress is still combative.” It begins with the ...
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1answer
469 views

A/An Historian Debate [duplicate]

My teacher and I are having a debate over a/an historian. I have brought numerous proofs of why it should be a, but she keeps quoting William Safire who uses the argument that because historian has ...
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1answer
79 views

Question on indefinite article (Part 2)

when it comes to an English, article really trips me up so I ask another question regarding article(definite/indefinite). I was studying English grammar and ran into below sentence: "Make sure the ...
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237 views

Question on indefinite article (in couple weeks or in a couple weeks)

I have a question on indefinite articles. I thought a is only used with singular nouns, by definition. Why is "in a couple weeks" the right way? Isn't a couple weeks more than one? I thought it would ...
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72 views

indefinite article plus proper name in organizational (i.e. business or bureaucracy) contexts

The use of the indefinite article with a proper name occurs often in business or organizational speech-contexts: We're lucky to have a Bill Jones to get the job done. The article plus proper ...
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11 views

“a” or “an” for words beginning with “eu” [duplicate]

Is there a preference for using "a" or "an" as the indefinite article for words beginning with "eu"? (In particular I'd like to know about "euglycaemic", meaning normal blood glucose levels, but the ...
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3answers
62 views

Do I use “the” or “a”? [closed]

Example: "Time for the/a big one (referring to a big (important) rugby match)! Do I use the indefinite article a or the definite article the? Thank you!
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1answer
95 views

Why is there an 'A' in phrase 'Times are a changing'? [duplicate]

I am not sure if the phrase Times are a changing is used exclusively within or related to the Bob Dylan song but the A is bugging the hell out of me every time I see it. Why is there an indefinite ...
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81 views

“At minimum number of simulations”

In the fragment "...to obtain optimum VTs at minimum number of simulations", should it be "a minimum", "the minimum", or is it fine as written? Is this similar to the case of "a number" vs. simply ...
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1answer
160 views

I love pictures on my phone. The pictures are nice

There is a set of sentences: "I love pictures on my phone. The pictures are nice." In a thread I love pictures on my phone - what does zero article imply? I was told that the meaning of the first ...
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956 views

I love pictures on my phone - what does zero article imply?

Please, look at the sentence: "I love pictures on my phone" What can it mean? 1) I love all the pictures that are now on my phone with no exceptions? 2) I love most of the pictures that are now ...
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50 views

“Four times greater chance” vs. “four times greater of a chance”

Researchers from Finland's National Research and Development Center for Welfare and Health discovered that women who participate in an abortion have four times greater chance of dying in the ...
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19 views

'A' or 'an' against optional (bracketed) part? [duplicate]

If I have a statement : "She provides a (easy) path to information," should I use a or an ? I know I could re-write the optional adjective to be something that starts with a consonant sound, i.e.? ...
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4answers
218 views

Articles for filename extensions [closed]

When writing file extentions, (mainly on Ask Ubuntu) I write .txt or .avi. Should I write an .avi file or a .avi file? Because if I was to say it outloud, I would say a dot avi - but I am not sure ...
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31 views

“A” or “an” before abbreviation [duplicate]

Scenario: You're going to buy a/an SSD. Do you use "a" or "an" before an abbreviation that is pronounced with a vowel first, but written with a consonant first? When spoken, you would say "an ...
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24 views

Use of articles “the”/“a” [duplicate]

I went to the market and then I went to the Cafe. I went to a market and then I went a cafe In the above sentences, what is the difference in nuance between them a market/a Cafe, and ...
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310 views

How on Earth can we say 'a' moon?

This question refers to Earth's moon only. This is really two questions: Our Earth has only one moon. So why and even how can we say 'a' moon? 1b. Restated: What other moon than 'the' moon ...
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226 views

Why the zero article in “in daily life” and “became pointless talking”?

A Japanese friend sent this: IDOBATAKAIGI - いどばたかいぎ - 井戸端会議 - Have you ever heard of "IDOBATAKAIGI"? Initially, it meant a short chat among house wives in a daily life. And now it became a ...
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99 views

“A” or “an” with adjective in parenthesis [duplicate]

Which of the following two forms is correct? (And if there's no agreement about that, which one is more common?) a (optional) parameter an (optional) parameter The problem is that the choice ...
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3answers
381 views

“a house” or “the house”?

"Do we send her home to a house that hasn't been disinfected - because disinfecting teams aren't functioning." In the sentence above, does "a house" mean any house or her house? I find it ...
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2answers
160 views

Is it correct to have 'a' before a proper noun? [duplicate]

According to my knowledge, the indefinite article 'a' must never be used before a proper noun. But I recently heard the English sentence: "Every civilian should be a Mahatma Gandhi to his society". ...
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127 views

Is it “a hemisphere” or “an hemisphere”? [duplicate]

Hemisphere begins with a silent h, like honest for example. The case of honest feels natural; a honest man simply sounds wrong. But hemisphere? I don't know if it is because I rarely use this word, ...
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1answer
153 views

When (if ever) is is acceptable to use an indefinite article immediately in front of an adjective? [duplicate]

What's the rule for using a/an before an adjective? I am asking this question because my high school professor is teaching us that we shouldn't use a/an before an adjective. With some 'exceptions' ...
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42 views

“An X or a Y” vs. “An X or Y”

You can create a web site or an application with your bare hands. or You can create a web site or application with your bare hands. ? Also, same for the definite article?
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5answers
762 views

“I attend drawing class on Saturdays” vs. “I attend a drawing class on Saturdays”

I have recently been confronted with four statements about a child who has regularly (over more than a year) attended a drawing class (only one class) on Saturdays. I attend drawing class on ...
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24 views

“Jesus is a coming” - what's the exact grammatical role of the “a” before the gerund? [duplicate]

I've noticed that in the common use of English, namely in songs, there is also an extra redundant(?) "a" before a gerund, such as in a gospel song I heard Jesus is a coming (this particular ...
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5answers
11k views

Why can we say 'an American' but not 'a British'?

I am confused with the use of an indefinite article in front of British or Chinese. To my understanding, we can place an indefinite article in front of any “countable noun”. So, we can say a cup and ...
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1answer
435 views

It has a meaning vs. it has meaning [duplicate]

Sometimes I'm really confused with articles. I'd say 'everything has a meaning' but it seems that for some reason most people tend to say 'everything has meaning' instead. However, I've come across ...
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1answer
61 views

Using the article twice or once in “a more practical and a useful approach”? [closed]

In this regard, heating seems to be a more practical and useful approach. In this regard, heating seems to be a more practical and a useful approach. What is the general rule for use of ...
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1answer
306 views

when do we omit the article in an OF-phrase? [duplicate]

When do we omit the definite article THE at the beginning of a phrase and for what reason? Removal of skin or the removal of skin. Could someone give some examples?
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117 views

“In this paper, we describe the/an environment…” — should I use “the” or “an”? [closed]

I am trying to decide which should be more correct grammatically in the abstract of my paper. In this paper, we describe an environment. . . . or In this paper, we describe the environment. ...
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903 views

“Minutes later” vs. “a few minutes later”

Can I say this: I forgot about it minutes later. Or do I have to say it this way instead: I forgot about it a few minutes later.
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2answers
120 views

Why use an indefinite article in “It’s a hot and uncomfortable 33 degrees”? [duplicate]

I heard this sentence on the radio: It’s a hot and uncomfortable 33 degrees. Does the indefinite article in that sentence suggest “this certain type of day”? Is it just a variation on “It’s a ...
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660 views

“A person” versus “some person”

What is the difference between: There is a person in the room. There is some person in the room.