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When I want to say, generally speaking, alligators are dangerous, which one is best?

a. Alligators are dangerous animals.

b. Alligators are an dangerous animal.

c. An alligator is an dangerous animal.

d. The alligator is an dangerous animal.

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I'd go with option A: Alligators are dangerous animals.

You don't use a or an when you're talking about plural words like alligators.

This is a plural sentence(more than 1 alligator), but it works better than the singular version for your purpose.


Also, when you use your articles(a / an) you use an when the next word would begin with a vowel(a,e,i,o,u), and you'd use a when the next word would begin with a consonant(everything else). There is a small number of exceptions to the rule, but it's a good guideline.

So if you wanted to talk about a specific alligator, you'd say:

The Alligator is a dangerous animal.

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    "The alligator" is not talking about a specific alligator, but the class of animals called alligators. If you wanted to talk about a specific alligator, you'd say (pointing), "that alligator is a dangerous animal" to which I might reply, "Only that one?!"
    – Jim
    Commented Jul 23, 2014 at 0:53

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