"Never Never Nest" is a one act play.

Why do we use a in this sentence? My teacher told me that when there is something specific we use the not a. Isn't one act play is specific and shouldn't we be using the instead of a?

  • 1
    "A one-act play" is not specific until you have identified it. If you go on to tell us more about 'Never Never Nest', you might say The play was written by X and first performed in [date]. Apr 19, 2022 at 16:38
  • The one-act play "Never Never Nest" is a simple production, easily put on stage in any theatre. Apr 19, 2022 at 17:09

1 Answer 1


First, an Act is not an Actor. An Act is one of the major parts of a play. Most plays are between one and three acts. The acts are usually further divided into scenes. There are many plays that consist of only one act. That is why we say, Never Never Nest, is a one act play.

If we were going to say something about Never Never Nest that would single that play out from all other one act plays we could use the article the to do that.

Never Never Nest is the one act play that makes me laugh out loud.

In the example above, Never Never Nest is still only one of many one act plays but I have let the reader know that out of all the one act plays, it is the single play that makes me laugh out loud. The example implies that there are no other one act plays that make me laugh out loud.

Never Never Nest is a one act play that makes me laugh out loud.

In the example above Never Never Nest still makes me laugh out loud but there could be other one act plays that also make me laugh out loud.

  • 1
    Yes, except that your final sentence isn't quite true. There's no doubt that the in your first example effectively forces the implication that no other one-act plays make you lol. But using a instead of the simply nullifies that implication - it doesn't actually assert any "negated" version thereof. Maybe it's one of many that make you lol, or maybe it's still the only one that does so; it's just that the indefinite article version is "agnostic" on that front. Switching from a to one goes further in that direction, though. Apr 19, 2022 at 17:15

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