Skip to main content

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.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
-1 votes
0 answers
33 views

a apartment or an apartment [closed]

On airbnb I saw "a apartment" in there description. It should have been generated by the system. Is it a mistake or am I missing anything?
Code42's user avatar
  • 117
2 votes
0 answers
59 views

"a shirt in (a) (size) small"

To me, these versions sound natural and idiomatic: I'd like this/a shirt in a small. I'd like this/a shirt in a size small. I'd like this/a shirt in a size 7. Do you have this dress in a 9? She wears ...
desmo's user avatar
  • 649
0 votes
0 answers
10 views

Definite or Indefinite Article [migrated]

I am writing to an exchange student, who is my partner in this exchange program. I am writing for the first time – but he already knows he has an exchange partner. Which of the following would it be ...
Damián Ferraresi's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
52 views

Which indefinite article should be used before a period followed by a vowel: "a(n) .ir domain"?

I am writing an email and I just realized I am a bit baffled. I do not think there is a proper convention to this, unless there is and I have not heard of it. This is in regards to registering ...
Keltari's user avatar
  • 314
0 votes
0 answers
15 views

Simple Article usage question implied or not? [duplicate]

It doesn't matter if you are a nurse or a doctor, you still need a pass. In this sentence, can I skip article a just before doctor? It doesn't matter if you are a nurse or doctor, you still need a ...
Kelly's user avatar
  • 1
-2 votes
1 answer
68 views

Indefinite article before an underscore [duplicate]

I have some words in my [technical] text that begin with an underscore. Should I use "a" or "an" in front of them? For example, should it be a _TextIOWrapper or an _TextIOWrapper? ...
DYZ's user avatar
  • 99
0 votes
2 answers
59 views

Do I need an indefinite article, talking about exposition in literature? [closed]

For example: It's only (an) exposition, but I already love the story.
venor's user avatar
  • 11
0 votes
1 answer
105 views

What's the difference between "I believe in God" and "I believe in a God"?

I've recently heard these two examples where I don't understand what "a" is supposed to emphasize: Somebody asks: "Do you believe in God?" Then gets this reply: "I believe in ...
Damocle Damoclev's user avatar
1 vote
6 answers
549 views

A man of many talents/ the man of many talents

Can I use the article the with the idiom “man of many talents” if I want to emphasise that it refers to just a specific person and not speaking generally? For instance: “You’re the man of many talents”...
Tiziano De Masi's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
27 views

When should I NOT use an article in front of a noun? Easy to remember tips? [duplicate]

THE title says all. Although I've been living in the US for many years at this point, this still confuses me time to time.
curiouswalnut's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
19 views

"A" and "an" with interjections [duplicate]

Basically I know how "a" and "an" are used: a member an adult member but how is the same handled when the middle word is inserted parenthetically or even in brackets: I met a ...
bakunin's user avatar
  • 426
1 vote
0 answers
54 views

A confusion caused by a grammar checker regarding "a" or "an" [duplicate]

I wrote it this way in my manuscript: We construct a 25-order planar graph with minimum degree 4. My grammar checker (languagetool.jar) is reminding me to use "an" instead of "a.&...
licheng's user avatar
  • 319
0 votes
0 answers
62 views

*an unitary operator* or *a unitary operator* [duplicate]

The rule that I usually use in such cases is that *an* precedes a vowel sound, while *a* is used before a consonant sound. I understand sound as different from letter - conventionally u would be ...
Roger V.'s user avatar
  • 231
0 votes
2 answers
138 views

A or an hexadecimal number? [duplicate]

From what I know, in English, the rule is that before a word starting with h, we use the article "a". So I would imagine that the correct way is: "a hexadecimal number" Searching ...
Alexis Wilke's user avatar
5 votes
4 answers
921 views

Indefinite article before noun starting with "the"

How should I write if I want to buy a DVD of the movie "The Exorcist". I want to buy a The Exorcist DVD. I want to buy a "The Exorcist" DVD. So what to do when there should be ...
macc's user avatar
  • 53
4 votes
1 answer
119 views

Context Defined Nouns (the use of the definite article)

I've been doing a research on articles, trying to create a set of reliable rules for my students and I've completed the major part of it, however, there still remain some inconsistencies with bare ...
Mr. Past Progressive's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
16 views

Which indefinite article are we supposed to use before a known abbreviated noun starting with "H"? [duplicate]

I'm asking this because I couldn't find any answer on whether I should use "a" or "an" before an abbreviated word starting with "H" like "H.B.H", People seem to ...
Bayqus's user avatar
  • 11
1 vote
1 answer
41 views

Choose between a and the article in a question without context [closed]

Why we say How to cross the road? meanwhile, we also say How to read a book? As far as I know, we use "the" when there's some context. For example, I have a car, and I want to paint it, ...
nouvist's user avatar
  • 113
1 vote
2 answers
39 views

Using singular language to discuss generality [duplicate]

I am somewhat confused by the use of singular langauge to discuss generally true statements, for example: A cat is smarter than a dog. The intention of this statement is to say that in general any ...
user avatar
1 vote
7 answers
317 views

What is 'there is a God' supposed to mean?

There's no denying that the phrase there is a God is in use, as shown in these examples. The New York Times, 2020: When the nefarious Cardinal Richelieu died in 1642, Pope Urban VIII is said to have ...
listeneva's user avatar
  • 1,447
0 votes
0 answers
83 views

For Nth time or for a/an Nth time

In an English language class at school, I was taught to always use "the" not "a/an" when I want to use an ordinal number, for example, "for the second time in a row" ...
yoppuyoppu's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
106 views

(In)definite articles with abstract concepts

I am always struggling to figure out whether to use a definite or indefinite article with abstract concepts. See the following example. Positions in question are marked with (the?): Section X ...
Median Hilal's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
27 views

a LAN vs an LAN [duplicate]

LAN is the abbreviation for local area network. According to dictionaries, it has two variants of the pronunciation: [læn] and [ˌeleɪˈen]. Does it mean we can write both "a LAN" and "an ...
Loviii's user avatar
  • 735
1 vote
0 answers
26 views

Is it "a SW" or "an SW"? [duplicate]

First of all: I am aware of the rule for "a" vs. "an" be it a noun or an abbreviation following (see When should I use "a" vs "an"?). So following this rule the ...
ultimate's user avatar
  • 111
1 vote
2 answers
72 views

Good, bad, ugly? - "with professional efficiency" vs "with a professional efficiency" [duplicate]

Is either wrong? What's your take on the difference? I'm writing my first story and have an editor who has been great. I'm going through their edits and changing my draft as per their suggestions. One ...
AlexParson's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
163 views

"'A' HSBC branch" or "'An' HSBC branch"? [duplicate]

The general rule says 'a' should be used if the 'h' makes a sound, e.g., "a horse" vs "an hourglass", or (somewhat debated) the first syllable is not stressed, e.g., "an hotel&...
Cristian Diaconescu's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
23 views

a frantic 24 hours [duplicate]

"It follows a frantic 24 hours of talks between ambassadors, officials and foreign ministers." Why is the indefinite article used before the word frantic when 24 hours are undoubtedly plural?...
Jakub Málek's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
39 views

lacquer finish/a lacquer finish/the lacquer finish [article usage]

I've just read an article about lacquer finish (or should I say a lacquer finish here?), and the use of articles is a bit confusing. The headline uses the indefinite one, which is kind of clear ...
bobby's user avatar
  • 31
0 votes
1 answer
50 views

Improper usage of "it"? [closed]

On a language exchange app, a non-English speaker wrote the following: Whenever I go to a cafe, I order a soda float. I love it because it's tasty. This sounds very wrong to me, but the person I'm ...
TFlo83's user avatar
  • 168
0 votes
1 answer
58 views

Why the indefinite article is used with a proper name?

Reading Dune by Frank Herbert, I came across a sentence – That drunken fool of an Idaho! I know that this type of expression is usually used to render rebuke, scorn, contempt and what not. But I am ...
MrBtr's user avatar
  • 1
5 votes
1 answer
92 views

When and why did "a" become a synonym for "per"?

In modern day lingo, we often read and hear phrases like "50 cycles a second" or "60 words a minute" or "30 kilometers an hour". When did English first start using "...
guninvalid's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
22 views

Why is it "an FFP2 mask"? [duplicate]

The indefinite article "a" is changed to "an" if the following word starts with a vowel or and silent "h". Now I read "an FFP2 mask" everywhere. Is this correct,...
holyschmoly's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
40 views

Why do we put the in this example?

Nearly $300 billion in foreign aid was spent by the U.S. Government between the years 2013 and 2018 (source: Forbes) I seriously don't know why we put "the years" in the sentence. More ...
Ray's user avatar
  • 111
0 votes
1 answer
35 views

Can the noun eyewitness be used properly without a preceding article?

Today I was writing an email calling somebody "eyewitness to" some event, but it was marked as incorrect and it was suggested I precede it with an article; i.e. an eyewitness, instead. But ...
Dexygen's user avatar
  • 111
1 vote
1 answer
615 views

Difference between make 'an' effort and make 'the' effort

Consider the following sentence. Yet I still enjoy making ____ (an/the) effort to bake at home from time to time. Here, what is the difference between an and the? Is effort here a specific or common ...
tofuthefirst's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
53 views

Will "a" or "the" be presumed in this scenario? [closed]

Suppose a native English-speaking witness in court is testifying about what she saw. The story, as previously narrated by the witness in her written statement, starts with a certain identified/named ...
Greendrake's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
80 views

"An X of an Y" or "The X of an Y"?

Important: All of the examples below are assumed to be used when we say something like "a cat" and not "the cat". That is, for example, when we are introducing something for the ...
user90726's user avatar
  • 555
0 votes
0 answers
30 views

an atom vs the atom [duplicate]

In Britannica's Atom term, some general sentences about an atom use "an atom", and others "the atom", why? Sentences with "an atom": The behaviour of an atom is strongly ...
Ben's user avatar
  • 105
0 votes
0 answers
1k views

A or AN before a dollar amount preceded by dollar symbol $ [duplicate]

I have found related questions but my doubt remains and is best explained with an example. Consider the following sentence in a Finance academic article, where it is common to use the dollar symbol ...
debrah's user avatar
  • 1
0 votes
1 answer
115 views

Is it grammatically correct to say that someone is "the son of Satan"?

I read a news report today which is titled "Chinese State Media Slams Soros As 'The Most Evil Person In The World' And 'The Son Of Satan'". My question is not about politics but English ...
John Z. Li's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
59 views

The "-ing" form of a verb and indefinite article [closed]

If celebrities visit public places, such as malls and bars, people will crowd them demanding for a picture or autograph. 1: Why did the writer use the "-ing" form of the verb "demand&...
olivia's user avatar
  • 51
0 votes
0 answers
14 views

Complete the article. Use a, the or no article (-) [duplicate]

Would you like to explain the answer no.11? I think No.11 need filling with "the" article, because it is the typical music. But the key is no article. I am confused (s)............ name of ...
anh trần's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
3k views

"In a first step" versus "In the first step"

In German we would often use the phrase "In einem ersten Schritt" which literally translates to "In a first step[, we did this or that..]". It is often used when the order of steps ...
monade's user avatar
  • 123
2 votes
4 answers
438 views

Using the indefinite article before "rain"

I have recently learned the use of the indefinite article before uncountable nouns to talk about an unspecific instance. Can I use "a heavy rain" in the following sentence to communicate ...
Ayden Ferguson's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
147 views

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 ...
qw45ty's user avatar
  • 65
0 votes
1 answer
51 views

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 ...
Kumiko Oumae's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
39 views

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 ...
Cosmopolitan's user avatar
9 votes
3 answers
1k views

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 ...
John Smith's user avatar
  • 1,758
1 vote
1 answer
279 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 ...
Igor Ševo's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
41 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 ...
G.T.'s user avatar
  • 303

1
2 3 4 5
11