I am wondering if I don’t put “a” in this sentence, will it still sound okay or natural.

The IP camera will be supplied by a local IP camera service provider in each country.

Do we always need to use a, an, the, some and other articles or can we skip them sometimes? Is there any rule to read?

  • We can omit articles in headlines (in news, for example) and sometimes in instructions (a table assembly instruction, for instance, or some chemical procedure description). In general-purpose texts, no, I don't believe that we can omit articles, although the meaning of the sentence will be understood correctly in the majority of cases. – CowperKettle Jan 9 '19 at 4:48
  • Note that the definite article has meaning here - coupled with the "each", it strongly implies that there is one and only one service provider in each country. If you want to leave open the possibility of one or more providers in each country, then you would drop the article a and use the plural providers. – Canadian Yankee Jan 9 '19 at 15:42
  • @CanadianYankee I agree that "the" implies that only one provider exists in each country, but "a provider" makes sense as long as only one provider is supplying the camera in each country (i.e. there are not two suppliers used in the USA, one each for east/west of the Mississippi). – Tashus Jan 9 '19 at 16:53
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    @Tashus - I think we're in agreement. What I meant is that with "a", there is one and only one provider in use in each country. – Canadian Yankee Jan 9 '19 at 17:10

There are many rules for articles in English. Any educational grammar source should provide an explanation of these rules. Wikipedia has a helpful discussion.

In your case, the indefinite article "a" indicates that one supplier of many possible suppliers will be used in each country. You can also use the plural noun "suppliers". Plural nouns do not take an indefinite article even in the indefinite case, but "some suppliers" is an option that emphasizes the indefinite case.

If only one supplier exists in each country, the definite article should be used: "the one supplier".

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