Should I use 'a' before the word 'one'? Is it grammatically correct?

For example:

There are many intelligent people, tell me if you are one.

There are many intelligent people, tell me if you are a one.

Which one is correct?

Also same question arises when I try to say something like "I am (a) one"

  • 1
    The first is correct. ‘You are a one’ is a friendly and teasing expression which indicates that the person addressed had just done or, more often, said something a bit naughty or saucy.
    – Tuffy
    Commented Nov 27, 2019 at 8:57

1 Answer 1


"You are one [of them]" - of a type of person previously mentioned. This is standard English.

"You are a one!" (without any previous mention of a type of person) is a rather old-fashioned British expression of amused reproach. See https://www.ldoceonline.com/dictionary/you-are-he-is-a-one

  • Also, someone could be an eight or a ten on a scale of intelligence.
    – Lawrence
    Commented Nov 27, 2019 at 23:10

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