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
0 votes
1 answer
19 views

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

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 ...
user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
21 views

Capitalization of an article in a sentence

Can an article be capitalized, to cause emphasis of a subject. Specifically the indefinite article A or An. I tried researching this and found capitalization rules but none in regard to being used ...
user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
39 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&...
user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
19 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?...
user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
16 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 ...
user avatar
  • 31
0 votes
0 answers
20 views

Adding the 'n' to indefinite articles on compound nouns [duplicate]

The rules when to add the n to the indefinite article a is explained here: https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/general_writing/grammar/using_articles.html They show rules about adjectives: If the noun is ...
user avatar
  • 129
0 votes
1 answer
46 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 ...
user avatar
  • 149
0 votes
1 answer
48 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 ...
user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
80 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 "...
user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
20 views

".. some observers clearly showed [a] more stable performance across conditions" Should "a" be there?

Should the following sentence contain the indefinite article: a? some observers clearly showed a more stable performance across material conditions.
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,...
user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
37 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 ...
user avatar
  • 111
0 votes
1 answer
27 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 ...
user avatar
  • 111
1 vote
1 answer
56 views

Difference between make 'an' effort and make 'the' effort [closed]

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 ...
user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
48 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 ...
user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
41 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 ...
user avatar
  • 535
0 votes
0 answers
28 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 ...
user avatar
  • 105
0 votes
0 answers
138 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 ...
user avatar
  • 1
0 votes
1 answer
81 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 ...
user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
45 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&...
user avatar
  • 51
0 votes
0 answers
13 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 ...
user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
575 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 ...
user avatar
  • 23
2 votes
4 answers
201 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 ...
user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
28 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 ...
user avatar
  • 65
0 votes
1 answer
46 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 ...
user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
35 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 ...
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 ...
user avatar
  • 1,148
1 vote
1 answer
99 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 ...
user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
35 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 ...
user avatar
  • 302
0 votes
0 answers
48 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?
user avatar
  • 1
0 votes
0 answers
55 views

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 ...
user avatar
  • 1,331
1 vote
2 answers
69 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 ...
user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
46 views

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. ...
user avatar
-2 votes
1 answer
192 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.
user avatar
  • 7
1 vote
1 answer
68 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
user avatar
  • 2,187
1 vote
4 answers
173 views

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 ...
user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
30 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 ...
user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
64 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 ...
user avatar
  • 89
0 votes
1 answer
55 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 ...
user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
29 views

"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 ...
user avatar
  • 113
0 votes
0 answers
97 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 ...
user avatar
  • 1
2 votes
2 answers
355 views

Nary an X or/nor a Y

It is a well-known rule of English grammar that either takes or and neither takes nor. Nary comes from the phrase "ne'er a" and is considered a non-standard variant of not, e.g.: Nary a ...
user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
39 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' ?
user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
81 views

"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", ...
user avatar
  • 535
0 votes
1 answer
48 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, ...
user avatar
0 votes
3 answers
167 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 ...
user avatar
  • 1,148
1 vote
0 answers
119 views

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 ...
user avatar
-2 votes
1 answer
248 views

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 ...
user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
390 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 ...
user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
66 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 ...
user avatar

1
2 3 4 5
10