Questions tagged [indefinite-articles]

An article is a word that combines with a noun to indicate the type of reference being made by the noun.

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14 views

Is an indefinite article necessary in this context: “A group of […] (a) group which […]”?

Exact context is: "... a number of people had been demanding [...], (a) group which became more vocal as [...]" Alternatively: "... a group of people had been demanding [...], (a) group ...
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Using definite article with “total”

Should I use definite article before "total"? Prior context: rehabilitation, describing patients' used physical therapy hours Sentence in the middle of this work: In contrast, total ...
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Why is the indefinite article used here? A novel called “Norwegian Forest”

According to a textbook I read, we use "the" in front of nouns that indicate unique existences, e.g sun, Eiffel tower. However, today I came across this sentence: "I would like to ...
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Under what circumstances may the noun 'ambush' not be preceded by any article?

In particular, I wish to know if they were attacked from ambush and they were attacked from an ambush are equally in fashion. The articled form is is definitely more familiar, but look at the first ...
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Why was “a world” used in this sentence of Melville?

I cannot make much sense of a world in the following passage from Moby-Dick: There’s your law of precedents; there’s your utility of traditions; there’s the story of your obstinate survival of old ...
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33 views

Using the definite article for generalizations

I'm wondering about the usage of the definite article in cases where the thing being referred to is an abstraction or generalization of some kind. I'm aware of the most important rules for using the ...
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30 views

Usage of Indefinite Article “a”

I am wondering whether the article "a" is correctly used in this sentence. The context is the following: Line 1: mystringexample = "Hello, world" How to read line 1: it has a left ...
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34 views

Which article a/the should be used in API documentation?

For example: some_field - an/the description of smth In what cases articles should be/should not be used?
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Using the indefinite article or zero article with “20/20 vision” when referring to sight measurements

While looking at the search results for "a 20/20 vision" in a question on ELL asking whether there should be an article before 20/20 vision, I noticed that many of the results that were the ...
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2answers
47 views

Appointed to a chair vs to the chair

I stumbled upon this line in a book (Singer's Practical Ethics): Less violent protests took place at Princeton University when I was appointed to a chair of bioethics. It struck me as odd as the way ...
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grab a lunch or grab lunch? [duplicate]

So I was writing an essay and want to know which sentence is correct- I'll grab a lunch with Prof. Unknown and discuss his research on wearable computational fabrics. Or I'll grab lunch with Prof. ...
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90 views

Why do we put an indefinite article “a” before Merry Christmas? [duplicate]

I am wondering why there is an article -a- before Merry Christmas Is it because it's a day or Christmas is countable? I couldn't explain it to my students in a transparent way.
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Indefinite articles [duplicate]

Could you please clarify this? I have made searches but in vain. In the following passage why has indefinite article been used twice? I have learned that whenever we mention something for the second ...
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50 views

“Such-and-such (a)” + singular noun

I've found both versions, She lives in such-and-such a street AND She lives in such-and-such street Are both uses of the determiner? Which is the right one? OED entry for such
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How can you explain this articles rule?

In an English test book I found the exercise That is a book. The book is thick. That book isn't thin. This is an interesting thick book. Another one example This is a compuer. The computer isn't ...
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1answer
24 views

Do you use a or an before acronyms / initialisms [duplicate]

Whether to use ‘a’ or ‘an’ before acronyms/initialisms Do you use "a" or "an" before acronyms / initialisms? I think I understand the issues and principles as expressed by various ...
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Is there any difference between these two constructions?

In the following two constructions, the first is used with an indefinite article, while the other is used without. The woman speaks a good Arabic. The woman speaks good Arabic. I am wondering if ...
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41 views

Do I need an article with a job title?

which form is correct in the following paragraph? ...his training as an industrial engineer... ...his training as industrial engineer... The Scholarship in Petroleum’s program is certainly the best ...
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51 views

What do you make of the quoted paragraph below?

I pulled this paragraph from an English textbook written for beginner's level (A1 according to CEFR) English learners in my country (Vietnam). The question I want to ask is: Can you understand what ...
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“images with at least one defect” or “images with at least a defect”?

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 ...
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41 views

Guideline for use of definite and indefinite articles in source code documentation

I have a doubt about proper use of definite and indefinite articles is source code documentation. For example: /** * Opens the door. * * @param speed The opening speed in cm/s. * @param alarm The ...
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32 views

Using article “THE” in writing scientific papers [duplicate]

I have a question on the use of article "the" in scientific paper. The following is my paragraph that includes my question. ... This process is given by x+ y + z = 1. ...
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33 views

Why is 'the' usage is incorrect in the sentence below?

We enjoy the life on this planet because of diversity. why article 'the' is incorrect when used with 'life' ?
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“generally good practice” - Where to place an article?

Sometimes we need to say that something is a good practice. I don't understand where to place an article. I checked multiple sources and it seems they use it differently: before "generally", ...
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1answer
45 views

how to use indefinite articles with written and spoken initialism [duplicate]

I know we are to use “a” before words that start with a consonant sound and “an” before words that start with a vowel sound, but in the case of an initialism that have a vowel sound for first letter, ...
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3answers
95 views

“replaced with an empty string” vs “replaced with the empty string” - which is correct?

I would think that the latter is correct because there can be only one empty string, that is "", or equivalent ''. Yet the former reads somewhat more natural to me. I came to think about ...
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From…to - how to use articles?

Is this part of a sentence correct? ...the flow of electrons from atom to atom and from molecule to molecule... Or I should use articles? from an atom to another one and from a molecule to another ...
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Using indefinite (“a”) instead of definite (“the”) article with “key to success”

I have almost exclusively heard this phrase with a definite article, such as; The key to success (in TARGET) is to do ACTION. Is it valid to use it with a indefinite article, to emphasize that ...
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133 views

Which is more natural “a wife” or “the wife”

It is a part of a short bio, and it goes more or less as follows: "He lives in London with his wife, his son, and three cats" If I wanted to use articles instead of "his", which ...
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61 views

What does the construction “indefinite article + adjective” mean?

I came accross sentences like these: "blablabla" says a breathless Mrs Johnson. "Dinosaur Jr. set to release new album mid-2016, says a nervous Lou Barlow" Are breathless and ...
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110 views

The comma, the full stop, but an asterisk, and an ellipsis?

For what reason Wikipedia lists comma as the comma, full stop as the full stop, ampersand as the ampersand, but asterisk as an asterisk, and ellipsis as an ellipsis? For what reason Wikipedia use ...
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46 views

How to understand which nouns are specific and which ones aren't

This is how most people would explain it: I want to buy a new car. You want to buy some car. You don't know which one exactly, Toyota or BMW, which color, and so on. The car parked near the baker's ...
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Definite/indefinite article when we talk about something that is known to some people only

We use the definite article for things that were already introduced to a reader or the ones already familiar to everyone. A have a car. The car is red. The Sun is yellow. But what about things that ...
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94 views

Does the structure “an example of” take a plural or a singular noun or both?

For instance, are the following sentences grammatical, and do they mean the same thing or have different meanings? Cheese is an example of protien-rich food. Cheese is an example of a protein-rich ...
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Improper usage of Indefinite article [duplicate]

"Grammarly" tells me that sentence: I am a bad table. is correct, but the following sentence: I am a bad trash. is not correct. Can you explain me why?
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Using an article plus an adjective without a noun and another article plus a singular noun [duplicate]

Please consider the following, guys. I met a good and a bad mother on the way here What I am trying to say: There were two mothers, one bad and one good. Is it okay to use that construction? Or need I ...
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1answer
50 views

Indefinite article question

I am going through a lesson on articles. I've learned that a definite article is used to identify a particular person or thing. If you are speaking about someone or something you are already familiar ...
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When “a” before plural form can be used?

On BBC website I have read the article "Coronavirus: How to open a hairdressers after lockdown". Why is "a" particle used before plural form of a noun? Isn't that incorrect?
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Phone, a phone, or the phone [closed]

Which option is correct and why? I want to talk about smartphones in general. Phone is a distraction. A phone is a distraction. The phone is a distraction. Thanks!
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59 views

Indefinite article with fuel and pleasure

Is food fuel or pleasure for you? Do we need indefinite article in the question? Can we really count pleasure/pleasures or fuel/fuels? Your considerations please!
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151 views

Usage of articles with phrases

No article is used before a noun used in phrases as: to leave home, to send word, to catch fire, etc etc. Examples: He sent me word to see him. He left home. Here is my question: why do not these ...
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550 views

“There is good reason” vs “there is a good reason”

There was a similar question about the sentence without reason compared to without reasons. However here I want to ask you, is it idiomatic (and in which particular parts of the world) to omit the ...
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1answer
34 views

Articles when describing commercial logos [closed]

I shoot stock photography and sometimes I post pictures showing logos of business corporations. Usually I use a phrase like "The logo of Orange S.A., a French telecommunications company" etc. Is this ...
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1answer
56 views

Why do some people write the indefinite article “a” before vowels? [duplicate]

According to the rule, the article "a" is for consonants and the article "an" is for vowels. Nevertheless, I have seen it frequently that many use the article "a" with both vowels and consonants. For ...
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“A low LDL level” vs “low LDL level”

Which is grammatically accurate : "Mrs.Anna has a low LDL level" Or "Mrs.Anna has low LDL level" I want to go with the first sentence.
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An adjective brings an article with it. What's the general rule?

I often notice that the presence of an adjective causes an article to appear where, in the absence of the adjective, there would not be an article. For example: here's a quote from William Dunham's ...
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107 views

the/a right person and the tallest person

Why is it 'tallest person' always only takes 'the,' and that 'right person' may sometimes take 'a' depending on what you mean? I don't know how I should put it, but the 'comparative superlative + ...
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When considering titles of scientific papers, why are definite and indefinite articles omitted sometimes? [duplicate]

Is it a rule or is it a sign of bad English among foreign researchers and scientists? Example: Observation of Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen Entanglement on Supraquantum Structures by Induction Through ...
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33 views

a or the - in the sentence: or maybe i'm just copy pasting from the website i've just came across

I'm having trouble understanding what will sound more correct in the sentence when i'm describing some software functionality to a user and i'm what i could be doing with it. Would it be "A website ...
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40 views

what is the difference between two sentence? why we use introductory subject [duplicate]

There is a man of the roof A man is on the roof both sentence are giving information. my questions is why we use introductory subject?

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