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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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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14 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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2answers
125 views

“Technology” vs. “a technology”

(Company) develops transactional data technology that aggregates information for payment service providers and merchants. or (Company) develops a transactional data technology that ...
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0answers
23 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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53 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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1answer
721 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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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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5answers
2k views

Why is it “an yearly”?

In the book The Wealth of Nations, (Adam Smith, 1776), the words an yearly are used. Why was this an exception to the indefinite article rules? Chapter VI, Book I: At the rate of ten per cent ...
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1answer
68 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
46 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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2answers
965 views

Are there specific rules to build expressions with or without articles?

In English, there are lots of expressions built using articles like: at the station to the cinema play the piano have breakfast (no article) take a bath take a shower Are there specific rules or ...
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1answer
81 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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3answers
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on the bus, in the car etc. vs. on a bus, in a car etc

I realize a lot of questions have been asked about buses here. While the thing with the preposition usage was resolved for me a long time ago, the usage of the articles is still confusing me. For ...
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0answers
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
57 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
77 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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1answer
3k views

What article do we use before a symbol? Is it “an @” or “a @”?

I got a doubt when reading this text: The name of the decorator should be prepended with an @ symbol. Should we write "a @ symbol" or "an @ symbol"? As "@" is in fact "at", I would think "an" ...
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1answer
57 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
113 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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3answers
576 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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1answer
42 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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0answers
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
211 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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0answers
27 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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7answers
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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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3answers
363 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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1answer
153 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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13answers
24k views

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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2answers
78 views

known as (a, the) - which article to pick?

A quote from the Economist: Part of this naturalistic approach is that the transistors in his systems often operate in what is known technically as the “sub-threshold domain”. May we use a ...
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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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3answers
165 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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1answer
70 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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2answers
85 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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1answer
127 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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2answers
89 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
33 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
332 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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23 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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1answer
191 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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5answers
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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
234 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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8answers
4k views

Why is there no plural indefinite article?

The takes either a singular or a plural subject. A/an only takes the singular. When we pluralize a noun preceded by an indefinite article, we simply drop the article (sometimes replacing it with ...
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1answer
44 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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2answers
95 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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2answers
4k views

Is pronouncing “The” as in “Thee” still correct in titles?

When saying the title of JRR Tolkien's masterpiece, which is the correct pronunciation (Yes, I know that they're spelled wrong, but I'm trying to emphasize the pronunciation): Thuh Lord of thuh ...
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1answer
595 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
112 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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2answers
977 views

Indefinite article in the “An [adjective] [number] [plural noun]” construction

I wasn't sure how best to phrase the title of this question. I'm interested in constructions of the following form: An estimated 50 people died in the bombing. 'An estimated' could be ...
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1answer
381 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.