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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Oversight or the oversight

Totally confused on the need for an article in front of "oversight". Google gives examples of all the different variations. Would appreciate help choosing the right one from the below. A. Operated ...
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2answers
103 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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62 views

He is a little more sophisticated man.<<Complete sentence

It is ungrammatical to say "He is a little more sophisticated man" OR "He is a little more smart and sophisticated man". My reasoning as to why is as follows: The problem is that 'a little' is a ...
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3answers
75 views

This book is the property of

I have hard time understanding why in this phrase, property is preceded with a definite article. As this book is one of many properties, the indefinite article sounds more natural, to me. Of course, ...
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1answer
27 views

Definite Article with Prepositional Phrases

I am trying to learn how to correctly use articles in English. It is a bit hard for me since I do not have this concept in my native language. I am confused by two rules: the first rule is to use "a"...
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15answers
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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 ...
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3answers
81 views

Which is correct: Muhammad Ali died in hospital VS died in a hospital?

Muhammad Ali died in hospital in Arizona, Watching NHK World News, I found the above sentence lacking "a" (article) before "hospital". Is this correct or should the indefinite article, "a", be ...
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2answers
1k 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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Indefinite article in a parallel (?) structure

I'm confused as whether to use an article with the second noun in structures like this (this is just an example, it's a person describing their profession): "As a journalist and (a???) traveller...."...
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“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 ...
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3answers
335 views

“I would like to express a big congratulations…” Why ‘a’ before the plural form?

At school I was taught that before the plural form we don't use the articles a and an. So why do people use a before big congratulations? Examples: A Big Congratulations to Dr. Wei Cheng on His ...
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1answer
35 views

The indefinite article – does local pronunciation change when I should use a/an [closed]

I have a question about how different pronunciation of words and how this affects the use of indefinite articles. My example is the technical abbreviation URL, meaning "uniform resource location". A ...
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4k views

Do you “have a particular interest” or do you “have particular interest”?

Maybe it's particular (!) to the "particular" adjective. Without it, it's fairly obvious that I "have an interest" is more correct than "I have interest". But when my interest is particular, I'm not ...
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1answer
41 views

Definite/Indefinite articles: “first mention” vs “specific object”

Rules say Use A(AN) when talking about a thing which is new, unknown, or introduced to a listener for the first time. At the same time, they say The definite article is used when the speaker ...
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1answer
34 views

Is it okay to use the indefinite article before “week” in the phrase “Friday is a day of A week”?

I mean, does some context exist, where the indefinite article can be used? I know that we say "a day of the week" and "a month of the year", because we talk about an item of the set, but still, can it ...
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2k views

“the average person” vs “an average person”

There's a question in a forum I frequent, and I'm trying to decide whether "the average" or "an average" is appropriate in its title. Let's say the question is: "Why is the average Canadian ...
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2answers
112 views

Omitting articles in nouns - prepositions; after; to; before; from

Why is the indefinite article omitted here? Could it be the definite article, but omitted? Like in the following case in an instruction: Grasp drumstick. Place knife between thigh and body; cut ...
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2answers
749 views

I'm a teacher and I teach at/in school OR at/in a school

There are a lot of posts on this topic, but I can't find any answers to my question. I came across the following two definitions of 'school': [uncountable] (used without the or a) the process ...
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6answers
384 views

“As I am wo/man” in Twelfth Night, II, 2 (Shakespeare): a case of indefinite article omission or no?

Are "As I am man" and "As I am woman" in Shakespeare's Twelfth Night, II, 2 examples of indefinite article omission or not? This question is (e)specially directed towards those familiar with ...
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1answer
2k 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.
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36 views

What is the purpose of emphasizing indefine article 'a'? [duplicate]

I often see and hear native speakers emphasizing word a, using intonation and /ei/ pronunciation. I understand what they say and I am able to properly (I guess) use it in my speech. But I wonder why ...
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4answers
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“What a weather” vs. “What weather” [closed]

Which of the following is correct: What a Weather! or What weather! This grammar app I have (for SATs) says that the right answer is the first one, but I've never heard it used in regular ...
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1answer
40 views

Indefinite article and preposition 'as'

Why is it unnecessary to put an indefinite article before the word manager in the following sentence: She took over as manager when Mr Hunt retired. Why is it different from the case like this: ...
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12answers
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When should I use “a” versus “an” in front of a word beginning with the letter h?

A basic grammar rule is to use an instead of a before a vowel sound. Given that historic is not pronounced with a silent h, I use “a historic”. Is this correct? What about heroic? Should be “It was a ...
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2answers
134 views

A tendency to use “a” in place of “an” in American English

I have noticed that a lot of native American speakers use the indefinite article "a" in front of words beginning with vowels, such as interesting, old, apple , etc. Is there any reasonable ...
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245 views

Omission of the indefinite article to eliminate ambiguity

love between husband and wife What is the reason that there is no article (e.g. "love between a husband and a wife") in the above? Has some kind of a rule been identified grammatically when it comes ...
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Rules for using an [duplicate]

What is more appropriate to use in the sentence below, a or an I had _________ one eyed parrot as my pet
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58 views

Why is the indefinite article used in: “like a challenge”

source: 60-Second Adventures in Thought (Open University) How could a humble tortoise beat the legendary Greek hero Achilles in a race? The Greek philosopher Zeno liked a challenge and came up ...
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1answer
41 views

Articles: “a” or “the” with “second assumption”?

I wonder if I have to use a, or the when I introduce two assumptions in an academic paper. For example, in an introduction section of an article it tells us that there are two assumptions that the ...
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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: “...
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1answer
63 views

What is the grammatical basis for using “a” before a present participle (-ing)?

Example: When I called, he came a running. My first inclination was that it's an article and the participle is being used as a gerund, but that doesn't make sense structurally. My second is I ...
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2answers
283 views

Can predicative complements not be bare noun phrases in English? That is, are clauses such as “I am student” incorrect?

In Chapter 4 of the book A Student’s Introduction to English Grammar, written by Rodney Huddleston of the University of Queensland and Geoffrey K. Pullum of the University of Edinburgh and published ...
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89 views

Using “the” or “a” for an item already mentioned

I was reading a topic article in a English grammar book. In an explanation, the following guideline was mentioned: Use the to refer something that has already been mentioned. While I was ...
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Why no determiner before either 'lunatic' or 'knight' in “He's more lunatic than he is knight”

In the Norton Critical Edition of Don Quijote, ably translated by Burton Raffel, there is a passage in which Sancho Panza is talking about the titular character and he says ...while I am thinking ...
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Use of the indefinite article before a day of the week

Can we use the indefinite article before the name of a day of the week? I was born on a Sunday. Or I was born on Sunday. Which one is more suitable and correct?
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Article in “A George Lukas film” and its absence in “John's brother” [duplicate]

I'm sure about the 1st sentence, since I always see it at the opening credits of almost every film (a somebody's film). But I'm not sure about the 2nd one, just it doesn't even look correct if I ...
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2answers
53 views

When is dropping the definite (or indefinite) article permissible and why?

I seem to be obsessed with those today. Okay, here goes: From The Ballad of Reading Gaol, by Oscar Wilde: And I and all the souls in pain, Who tramped the other ring, Forgot if we ourselves ...
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2answers
124 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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334 views

My favourite animal is a dog, the dog or dog [duplicate]

I consider myself a pretty advanced English teacher and user. Nonetheless, I've recently found myself in a pretty difficult spot trying to explain which of the following sentences is correct: My ...
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3answers
96 views

Using “a/an” twice describing “one person”

Is it grammatically correct to use an indefinite article "a" twice in the following sentence: Sean is a coward and a psychopath. There is a previous question about a definite article the, "Is it ...
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2answers
43 views

What article should be used at the beginning of the sentence about an object unknown to others?

I've started to write some story and at the beginning of that I'm faced with an issue. I'm not clear understanding what the article (the definite article or indefinite one) should be used when my ...
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2answers
340 views

Lack of vs A lack of

Are there any differences between the uses/meanings of "lack of" and "a lack of" for example in the following? There is a lack of interest in the topic There is lack of research on the subject ...
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question about definite article “the”

my sentence is "Getting an A in this class gave me the confidence in taking graduate-level classes." here do i need to use "the" in front of confidence or do i need to omit it? Thank you for your ...
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3answers
101 views

You have “the right” to remain silent vs “a right”

When you google "Miranda warning", the first thing you see is a clip of Wikipedia explaining what it is briefly: The "Miranda warning", which can also be referred to as the "Miranda rights", is "...
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1answer
39 views

AN additional $30,000 in income [duplicate]

I've found a phrase "an additional $30,000 in income" in a government document. Is the article an correct there and why?
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1answer
43 views

Definite or indefinite articles in this case?

If someone asks me what I am studying, what article should I use? Would it be: I am studying an MSc/a masters in Statistical Research Methods or I am studying the MSc/the masters ...
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Definite article with proper nouns, titles followed by a common noun

Over time I developed this rule where if a title or a proper name is followed by a common noun that represents the class of the entity I am referring to, then I use the definite article. In Example 1, ...
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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? Sorry if this ...
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1answer
69 views

Should I use “a” or “an” in this case? [duplicate]

I get confused about how to use "a" and "an" correctly. The question of "a" vs "an" should be decided by the pronunciation of the word that follows the article, right? But I've seen the following ...