Should you put an “a” here in the blank after such?

Alpha is supposed to warrant the connection between Beta and Gamma. But ____ connection seems to be already warranted.

Which one is correct instead of ____, such or such a?

  • @Eilia That’s an answer, true enough, but not, I think, a correct one. See below.
    – tchrist
    Jan 1, 2017 at 16:43

1 Answer 1


Tom’s Thumbrule: If you can say some with a singular noun and the expression still be grammatical, then you can use such with that singular noun without requiring an indefinite article. But if you cannot do so, then you must add an indefinite article in both cases. That’s because this is related to nominal countability.

On Countability

In shorter words, all that matters here is whether connection is countable, which it is:

  • Such a connection is subject to verification.
  • Such connections are subject to verification.

Contrast with the normally uncountable bravery:

  • Such bravery is to be commended.

Because we do not normally say *a bravery, nor *some braveries either.

Thumbrule Application

If you try the “some for such” substitution I suggested, this becomes clear:

  • Some bravery is to be commended. ← grammatical
  • *Some connection is subject to verification. ← ɴᴏᴛ grammatical❗

There’s More Than One Way to Do It

There are cases that legitimately admit both scenarios:

  • Such honor is to be revered.
  • Such an honor is to be bestowed.
  • Such honors are to be bestowed.

The first posits honor as a quality, the other two as enumerable items (such as a prize perhaps).

For learners of English whose first languages are bereft of articles, getting used to when the zero-article applies versus when one or another definite or indefinite one does so is something that often proves annoying or difficult, or both. You just have to get used to it.

  • 1
    Can't we use "connection" with "some"? Please check "some connection between/among/with" in google search.
    – Sasan
    Jan 1, 2017 at 18:56
  • @user204489 Yes, but not by itself. You cannot say "Some connection is subject to verification". There it’s a count noun, so would need to be in the plural.
    – tchrist
    Jan 3, 2017 at 1:14

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