Could you please clarify for me do we supposed to put an article after the word before or after, when it's preceding a noun?

An example:

It will be done after (a) request from appropriate employee.

We will go jogging before (a) breakfast.

  • It's not the role of the preposition to dictate whether there should be an article in front of a noun. Whether there is an article in front of a noun depends completely on the noun itself. Nov 15, 2018 at 9:52
  • I thought so too but I was confused by the articles on Cambridge Dictionary site: there are examples without articles before noun after these before/after. So I thought maybe there are some exceptions.
    – Gamilato
    Nov 15, 2018 at 10:13
  • We will go jogging before breakfast.breakfast generally doesn't take an indefinite article. When you're talking about the practice of eating food in the morning, it's always used an uncountable noun. The preposition before has little to do with breakfast being an uncountable noun. Nov 15, 2018 at 10:19
  • 1
    Yes, after a request and after the request are both grammatical. On request is a set phrase. Nov 15, 2018 at 12:45

1 Answer 1


When the reference is not to a particular request but to a condition, the statement is a generality and the reference is to requests in general, hence no article:

We will send you more information upon request.

Zero-article is one way to enlist the noun in a generality.

The way to refer to "appropriate employee" or "authorized employee" in general terms is to use the indefinite article:

We will send more information upon request by an authorized employee.

The reference is not to a particular employee but to any employee having the necessary authorization.

Another way is to use the plural but that could be ambiguous here:

We will send more information upon request by authorized employees.

It might seem as if a co-requestor was required. Here it is a little less ambiguous:

Authorized employees may request further information.

Given the structure of your example sentence, the singular an authorized employee is the best way to express the general condition or requirement.

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