In the following sentence, can I use the zero article before 'important means' instead of 'an'?

Newspapers are still (an) important means of communication.

  • What do you mean by zero article?
    – Bella Swan
    Jun 20 '19 at 6:37
  • 1
    @BellaSwan He means omitting the article. zero article == no article. Jun 20 '19 at 6:47

Yes, you can omit 'an' in the sentence 'Newspapers are still (an) important means of communication.' When the 'an' is omitted, the word 'means' becomes plural. It happens that the singular and plural forms of 'means' are identical.

  • You could substitute method and methods for with and without the an to demonstrate the plurality?
    – Smock
    Jun 20 '19 at 10:03
  • For "method" you would need to say "an important method". It only works for means because it can be both singular or plural. This ELU post asks a similar question. @Simon, (Welcome to ELL) in future, please try and reference a source :)
    – Gamora
    Jun 20 '19 at 10:55

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