I have been trying to find a rule or set of rules to explain how 'a' and 'an' are used with uncountable nouns, mainly to understand the many exceptions that I have been thinking of recently. Consider the following sentences, for example -

  1. I would be happy if you showed me a little respect.
  2. A coffee everyday is not really bad for your health.
  3. He left the room in a hurry yesterday and has been missing since.
  4. There was a strange aroma in the air.
  5. There is a curiosity in you which can not be quenched.
  6. I have an unusual demand for you.

These are just a few of the many, to be honest. And unfortunately, internet is filled with websites and tutorials that conveniently overlook these examples while talking about articles and uncountable nouns. Can someone tell me if there is/are any particular rule/rules to explain the usages here?

marked as duplicate by Andrew Leach Jun 18 '18 at 17:37

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The article precedes the noun telling you it is generic and not a specific or recognized coffee, hurry, aroma, curiosity or demand. If it were The, or This coffee is not bad for your health, then it is specific.

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