I'm writing a technical document with some coworkers, and none of us is a native English speaker. I'm writing about images (pictures) of mechanical parts with or without defects, and I want to refer to the subset of images which contain at least a defect (possibly more than one). What's the correct form? "Images with at least one defect" or "images with at least a defect"?

  • 1
    At least one would be idiomatic in this context. Commented Oct 3, 2020 at 10:56

1 Answer 1


"At least one defect" would suggest that you're referring to images with a minimum of one defect, but that might have multiple defects. That is, you're primarily interested in the number of defects.

"At least a defect" might be used in a context like "images with at least a defect, and possibly other quality issues" in which you're referring to many possible attributes of an image, one of which is the presence of a defect.

It sounds like you're looking for the former.

  • Perfect. The questioner should accept it.
    – Anton
    Commented Oct 3, 2020 at 12:33
  • It sounds like you're looking for the former. Indeed I am. Accepted. And thanks!
    – DeltaIV
    Commented Oct 3, 2020 at 21:07

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