Questions tagged [articles]

Use this tag for questions about the usage of articles (e.g. a, an, and the).

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4
votes
3answers
1k views

Is “if winning isn't everything then why do they keep score” a correct sentence?

We wanted to use this as a T-shirt quote, but I feel that "if winning isn't everything then why do they keep score" is wrong. The correct sentence should be "if winning isn't everything then why do ...
4
votes
2answers
7k views

Why are words such as “that” and “those” not considered articles?

According to Wikipedia (disclaimer: of course I realize that Wikipedia should not be regarded as an absolute authority, but I generally consider it to be a fairly accurate and reliable resource): ...
16
votes
1answer
8k views

“An SQL Server database schema” or “a SQL Server database schema”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Do you use “a” or “an” before acronyms? I got the following sentence from the book I'm reading: You can take a database-first approach by first ...
0
votes
0answers
193 views

A becomes an before a word beginning with a vowel, does this apply to u? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Use of “a” versus “an” Is it “a uniform” or “an uniform” In spoken English we do say: He is an unhappy person But I never ...
2
votes
2answers
7k views

Missing articles?

Aren't some articles missing in the following sentence? ... when traditional pattern of landscape became established. Or is it something else that is wrong with this sentence? Context.
8
votes
2answers
610 views

Why Should One Capitalize Titles When Publishing?

What is the motivation behind capitalizing the first letter of each word except prepositions in news, articles and blog post titles?
14
votes
1answer
2k views

“A” vs. “An” in writing vs. pronunciation

When starting a word with a vowel, the preceding "a" becomes an "an". I often find that when writing words that start with letter "N" or "M", I will pronounce them "EN", "EM", etc. (This is because in ...
20
votes
4answers
27k views

Difference between 'all' and 'all the'

I came across people using all the in sentences instead of all. Select the type of user to view all the users of that type. All the users of the selected role are displayed. I usually strike out ...
37
votes
4answers
217k views

Is it “a uniform” or “an uniform”? [duplicate]

On a Physics specification, it says: 6.7 Know how to use two permanent magnets to produce a uniform magnetic field pattern. Isn't it "produce an uniform magnetic field", or is the existing "...
1
vote
2answers
373 views

Articles when talking about something certain, yet unmentioned before

The same sentence as in question Articles in conjuctions: As a result, hosting in IIS 5/6 is notorious for instability and the frequent need to reset the server or IIS 5/6. As far as I understood ...
4
votes
1answer
305 views

Articles in conjuctions

The following is taken from a book: As a result, hosting in IIS 5/6 is notorious for instability and the frequent need to reset the server or IIS 5/6. In the context above, why doesn't "...
94
votes
10answers
15k views

“A/An” preceding a parenthetical statement

When a/an precedes a parenthetical aside (sometimes seen in informal/conversational writing), should the vowel rule depend on the first word in parentheses, or the next word in the "regular" flow of ...
3
votes
2answers
145 views

“Ate cheeseburger” or “ate a cheeseburger”?

Which of the following is correct? Ate a cheese burger last night. Ate cheese burger last night.
1
vote
0answers
218 views

an SQA or a SQA? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Do you use “a” or “an” before acronyms? Although I am clear about the usage of 'an' and 'a' on most cases, but I am not sure how they are applied in ...
61
votes
7answers
32k 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: “...
6
votes
5answers
408 views

“The” for superlative referring to more than one object

Which one of these sentences is correct? The best countries to live in are ... Best countries to live in are ... EDIT: The reason this question is being asked is that this Wiktionary ...
14
votes
3answers
28k views

Using “the” before ordinal numbers

When learning English I was told that ordinal numbers should always be used with "the" before them. But I often see that this is not always so strict, for example I heard the phrase "April first" ...
12
votes
1answer
676 views

Does absence of articles in computer-related sentences look natural?

I'm a non-native speaker (actually from Russia) and for us the articles (a, an, the) came as a thing that we just have to adopt. We do not have not similar constructions in Russian. Menus I see in ...
220
votes
9answers
191k views

Do you use “a” or “an” before acronyms / initialisms?

99% of the time, I'm clear on when I should use "a" versus "an." There's one case, though, where people & references I respect disagree. Which of the following would you precede with "a" or "an," ...
13
votes
4answers
5k views

New Oxford American Dictionary describes “the” as an adjective

When I look at the definition given from the Mac OS X Dictionary (I have set American English as interface language, and the dictionary used is then the New Oxford American Dictionary), I read: the ...
6
votes
2answers
12k views

Definite article with plural nouns

Are there cases where the definite article is used with a plural noun, or is it a rule that the definite article is never used with the plural of a word?
129
votes
16answers
176k 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 ...