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What kind of a teacher!

We cannot use article after what kind of but we have exclamation mark in the sentence above.

And in arihant it is written in exclamations with what and how use an article before singular countable nouns.

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  • It's worth noting that you'd rarely see this fragment on its own, but it would be part of a larger sentence. At least one answer below explains this rather well, with good examples.
    – J.R.
    Commented Apr 20, 2017 at 18:33

2 Answers 2

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You would use "what kind of teacher" to refer to teachers in the general sense, a subset of the teaching profession. What kind of teacher gives oboe lessons? A music teacher.

You would use "what kind of a teacher" to refer to an individual example of a teacher. "What kind of a teacher would smack a student?" This implies that such an action is an exception from what teachers in general do, and asks for characteristics that would differentiate a teacher who does it.

It took me a minute to understand your exclamation mark question. I think you're using it in the sense of "What a teacher!" (an exclamation about the exceptional nature of a specific teacher. The "a" is appropriate because you are referring to a specific teacher. If you were commending all the teachers at a school for being exemplary examples of the teaching profession, you would say "What teachers!" because that would refer to the collection of teachers rather than each teacher individually. That would be the case even if you said "What teachers, each and every one of them!"

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You are right about the article and that "what kind of teacher" is the better form. However, the article (along with the exclamation mark you spotted) is being used to emphasise the teacher as a person, rather than their teaching ability. The sentence then becomes more focused on the individual.

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