I am trying to post an advertisement, which is:

Job opportunity:

A company located in XXX needs employees.
Requirements: some knowledge about NoSQL (preferable Couchbase) and elasticsearch. (It doesn't need to be an advanced knowledge)

If anyone interested, kindly send an email to this address XXXXXXXX

My question is should I put "an" in the "an advance knowledge"? Or not?


2 Answers 2


In English knowledge is a mass noun. For this reason it cannot combine with an indefinite article.


However, the uncountable nouns, when they are preceded by an adjective or followed by a phrase will take the indefinite article:

a good knowledge of French

a sadness that won't go away

  • 1
    Not true - in some cases it can. For example "He has a wide knowledge of painting and music" is the 2nd example under definition one in the OALD: oxforddictionaries.com/us/definition/learner/knowledge "An advanced knowledge" is perfectly fine. Jul 13, 2015 at 14:09
  • That will do fine @NigelHarper! Thanks for the correction! -:) Jul 13, 2015 at 15:10
  • IMHO, the edited answer is still misleading. For example, work is uncountable, according to this answer, when it's preceded by an adjective, for example, tedious, work will take the indefinite article--that is, we should write a tedious work. That doesn't sound quite right. Jul 13, 2015 at 15:40
  • Lucian Sava, I think you should say ".......or followed by a clause, not a phrase.
    – Khan
    Jul 13, 2015 at 18:31

As a general rule, mass nouns don't take the indefinite article. However, some mass nouns, though uncountable, can be used in the singular by taking the indefinite article. Knowledge is one of them that can take the indefinite article, especially when you limit its meaning in some way by using adjectives. Some examples are given below:

  1. I have a thorough knowledge of history.

  2. He has a wide knowledge of painting and music.

  3. He has a limited knowledge of French.

  4. I have a reading knowledge of French.

So you can say an advanced knowledge.

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