See the following examples:

What sort of (a) man he is!

To my knowledge, this is wrong because in sentences starting with 'what kind of' 'what sort of' 'what type of' 'what variety of' and in exclamatory sense articles are not used before nouns. ( I am not entirely sure why this happens, I have observed this ). But what will happen if I use it in the interrogative sense? Should I use an article or not. Also, clarify if my first understanding is right.

What kind of (a) man is he?

  • 1
    Same thing: The article is usually dropped after sort of, kind of and type of, but structures with articles are possible in an informal style. That's a funny sort of (a) car. What sort of (a) bird is that? (M.Swan PEU) Sep 21, 2018 at 15:57

1 Answer 1


Manuals of usage have discouraged use of the article as too colloquial, but both are grammatical and idiomatic. In contexts where you don't want to sound too "talky", don't use the article.


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