I came across the following definition:

A/an and the are articles. They are a type of determiner and they go before a noun.


Consider the following examples:

Stuart is an intelligent boy.

That was an excellent meal.

Here intelligent and excellent are adjectives. I don't understand why we have used "an" before an adjective. I mean the definition says that "an" go before a noun.

Kindly clarify.

1 Answer 1


Articles come before nouns, but not necessarily immediately before nouns.

Adjectives and adverbs can come before nouns, as well. When they do, the article precedes the adjectives and adverbs that precede the noun:

Stuart is a boy
Stuart is a smart boy
Stuart is a very smart boy

  • Thanks. This clear everything. Can you link me to a source which talks about "what takes precedence over what" Mar 11, 2019 at 14:12
  • 1
    This isn't always true: Stuart was too intelligent a boy for his own good. Mar 11, 2019 at 14:32

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