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I would be happy to get some confirmation whether I understand the use of the articles correctly in my sentences:

  1. Case:

    • sentence: I heard you've got a beautiful house.
    • context: I haven't seen the house yet.
  2. Case:

    • sentence: You've got beautiful house. (no article at all)
    • context: I am now inside the house in question.
  3. Case:

    • sentence: I heard you have sold the beautiful house.
    • context: I've seen the house and the receiver of this sentence is the owner.

I am pretty sure about 1 and 3 but what about Case 2? Can I omit the article when I talk about a specific thing which is just in front of me?

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I heard you've got a beautiful house.

This says that your house belongs to the set of houses that are beautiful. It is one of the members of that set, therefore indefinite article.

You've got a beautiful house.

This also says that your house belongs to the set of house that are beautiful.

The fact that you are standing in it at the time, rather than reporting what you heard, does not change what you are saying about the house. You are still saying that it is one of the set of houses that are beautiful, and thus "a beautiful house".

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In short - nope, you can't leave out the 'a' in case No. 2, unless you are talking about multiple houses, e.g., "You've got beautiful houses."

I think this link will explain the articles 'a' and 'an' better than I can (that is to say, when to use the articles at all)

"Can I omit the article when I talk about a specific thing which is just in front of me?"

It still can't be omitted, but when the thing is in front of you (or is within a certain distance of you), it is usually referred to by 'the', 'this', 'that' instead of 'a', the 'a' suggesting that you have not yet seen, felt, heard or experienced the thing.

  • "I still can't be omitted" should be corrected. Please refrain from making unnecessary comments in your answer. The question is not about the difference between a and an. – user140086 Feb 25 '16 at 14:15
  • I have edited your post and you can see what has been edited by clicking on "edited X minutes ago" above my user name. You can change it if you want by clicking on edit button. Also, you can see how a hyperlink was created by clicking on edit. Good luck. – user140086 Feb 25 '16 at 14:35
  • An article is left out when there is an adjective though, with slight paraphrasing: "Your house is beautiful". – Eugene A Feb 25 '16 at 14:46
  • Commenting here almost seems like a tennis match, where any noise is met with a 'Sssstt!' from the audience :P Thanks for the corrections though, I appreciate it and will do my best to get in line with the established ELU users when it comes to how my answers and comments are phrased and presented. – Terah Feb 25 '16 at 14:50

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