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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Request for a scholarly reference for the correct usage of the English indefinite article (a/an).

This is NOT a request for a recommendation of a "best" book. I'm looking for a definitive authoritative source to address a specific question... I recently had a discussion with a friend of mine who ...
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1answer
49 views

Why is there an indefinite article before “London”? [duplicate]

Two years after his reported Reichenbach Fall demise, Sherlock, who has been cleared of all fraud charges against him, returns with Mycroft's help to a London under threat of terrorist attack. I ...
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2answers
53 views

Omissions of indefinite articles

I've noticed that today lots of publications, such as textbook, newspapers, magazines, etc, often don't use the indefinite articles "a", "an" with indefinite singular and countable nouns especially in ...
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1answer
42 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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1answer
24 views

Which preposition should I use? [duplicate]

Dop I use a or an in the following sentence. You are invited to attend a European Festival or You are invited to attend an European festival
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14answers
39k 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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1answer
44 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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3answers
322 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
26 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
158 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
213 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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2answers
138 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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3answers
284 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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0answers
45 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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1answer
115 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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1answer
33 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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1answer
235 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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1answer
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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4answers
2k views

“What a beautiful day” or “What the beautiful day”? And “why”?

Although we know that day which we are talking about, why don't we say "What the beautiful day!" instead of "What a beautiful day!" ? In addition, a friend of mine explained the following, but in my ...
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3answers
157 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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1answer
73 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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3answers
178 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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0answers
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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1answer
878 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
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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
643 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
83 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
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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
295 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
5k views

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
63 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
102 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 ...
17
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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
87 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
181 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
1k 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
51 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
219 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
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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7answers
12k 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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3answers
382 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 ...
2
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1answer
237 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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2answers
86 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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0answers
25 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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1answer
106 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 ...