Stack Exchange Network

Stack Exchange network consists of 175 Q&A communities including Stack Overflow, the largest, most trusted online community for developers to learn, share their knowledge, and build their careers.

Visit Stack Exchange

Questions tagged [indefinite-article]

An article is a word that combines with a noun to indicate the type of reference being made by the noun.

1
vote
1answer
25 views

Can “a one” be an unambiguous substitution of “a [noun]”?

I want to use "a one" in the following sentence to refer to a single coat: I heard that coats were invented for this reason and therefore wearing a one will surely keep you warm. Does "one" take ...
2
votes
1answer
33 views

“a client and a doctor” vs. “a client and doctor”

I'm conducting a survey related to health care. You can describe yourself using 3 categories: a client, a doctor or "a client and (a) doctor." I'm wondering if I should repeat the second "a" before ...
0
votes
0answers
16 views

…AmE has reinvigorated an old past participle “gotten” — why not “the”?

Faced with the overwhelming interpretation of (ha)ve got as simply have, AmE has reinvigorated an old past participle gotten to be used whenever other, non-possessive forms of get are intended. (...
0
votes
0answers
14 views

'greater understanding' without the preceding article 'a'

I'm aware that by default it is ...a greater understanding. However, I would like to know if I could leave the indefinite article out in the following case: The goal of this programme is simple: ...
3
votes
1answer
125 views

A question regarding using the definite article

Supposed that I already stated earlier that it was raining for while and I gave a good description of how it looked like. Now, I am wondering if I can use Rain without any articles so that only the ...
11
votes
5answers
1k views

a sore throat vs a strep throat vs strep throat

If my throat is red and it feels painful to swallow, I say I have a sore throat. Recently, I've come across "strep throat". It's an infection and it doesn't seem to be used interchangeably with "...
0
votes
1answer
23 views

Correct use of article 'the'

The indians are genetically incapable of being good or outstanding sportsman. Here i think it should be only indians. If i want to use the then use as the indian not the indians. Am i right? If 'no'...
2
votes
1answer
44 views

“Siri, set the timer for X minutes”

Every time I ask Siri to set the timer for X minutes I get corrected with set a timer for X minutes I consulted some tech sites, they seem to agree on "a timer". At least, I didn't find any "...
0
votes
1answer
22 views

when does the noun “access” need an indefinite article?

Most usage of the noun "access" follows a similar format as the following - "have access to" or "gain access to" Even for the definition of "a way or means of entering or approaching", Merriam-...
1
vote
1answer
27 views

Shall I use an article before the word “value”

I am not sure if the word value is countable or non-countable. So I am not sure if i should add an article before it in a context like: Our method adds a value over their method.
1
vote
1answer
19 views

indefinite article with 'school'

Could you explain why is there used indefinite article before school, when the context is about institution rather than building of (a?) school. For most children, secondary education begins when ...
1
vote
2answers
35 views

“If you own” or “If you own a” when talking about a product in an ad

Let's say there is a game console called Bumby that can be used to play every single game available. "If you own Bumby, you won't need another console." "If you own a Bumby, you won't need ...
0
votes
2answers
51 views

“…where gin could be bought at ten cents the large nip” — what else can be used instead of “the”?

The following is an excerpt from 1984: In the low-ceilinged canteen, deep underground, the lunch queue jerked slowly forward. The room was already very full and deafeningly noisy. From the grille ...
3
votes
1answer
21 views

A case of using definite articles

txt is widely know file format. Should I use the article the or not when referring to it? I am familiar with the notion of txt format, but it could be wrong. As I just asked a question about using ...
4
votes
2answers
21 views

“search results” or “the search results”

Using articles is sometimes tricky. But I hope my understanding is improving with the great answers provided in this forum. Some students said that the Google search engine show xx in the search ...
3
votes
1answer
27 views

Is an article needed in these opening statements?

I have some opening statements like: From programming perspective, ... And, From application development perspective, ... Not sure whether I should add definitive article for them to become: ...
2
votes
1answer
27 views

Using “The” when starting sentence with a noun

My sentence starts with a noun: Shall I add "The": The HyperText Transfer Protocol (HTTP) is becoming .. or leave it without an article: HyperText Transfer Protocol (HTTP) is becoming ..
2
votes
4answers
47 views

“The devil is in the detail” or “The devil is in details”

Which statement is correct? The devil is in the detail Or, The devil is in details
0
votes
1answer
21 views

“a great many processes”

Yet a great many processes depending on such research are sought for with complete secrecy until the stage at which patents can be taken out. (J.D. Bernal "Secrecy in Industry," in L.G. Alexander, New ...
1
vote
1answer
23 views

Why is there an indefinite article in the phrase “English as a second language”?

Usually we use the definite article before "first", "second" and so on.
0
votes
0answers
75 views

A class is an extensible program-code-template for creating objects

Given the following definitions of a class: a class is an extensible program-code-template for creating objects1 A class is the blueprint from which individual objects are created2 A ...
1
vote
1answer
18 views

Which article to use with 'are'?

I read the following sentence from an article online: We are a species trapped by a series of brightly lit screens. Is it grammatically correct? Or should it be "We are the species..."? Are both ...
0
votes
2answers
14 views

Definite or indefinite article?

There are following rules about articles: a - introduces a person/thing we haven't identified before the- introduces someone/something that is unique. What happens if I'm going to mention ...
0
votes
1answer
51 views

Is “who or what a thing or person is” correct?

identity: who or what a thing or person is Is this sentence correct? shouldn't there be an "a" before the word "person"? I mean it's either definite or indefinite, but in this sentence it's neither ...
0
votes
1answer
20 views

The/an urge to do something

Given the following examples from Oxford Dictionaries 1) ‘I glowered, having a strong urge to turn away from him, but I knew that he intended well.’ 2) ‘Larenia giggled after she finished ...
0
votes
1answer
80 views

“For background on ..” vs. “for a backgroun on ..”

This is somewhat tricky articles case: For a background on X, see .. vs. For background on X, see .. By background, I mean background about a specific topic to build knowledge on it.
1
vote
1answer
17 views

using “the” article in; “the Xs that exisit in the top Xs”

I have a sentence like the following: From the 400 websites, we exclude the websites that exist in the top websites list Is using the before the first mention of websites correct? I can not decide ...
3
votes
3answers
48 views

Can I enquire of you [the/an] additional question of whether this is also correct? Can both 'the' and 'an' be applied?

Can I enquire of you the additional question of whether this is also correct? e.g. ___ Can I enquire of you an additional question of whether this is also correct? e.g. ___ I'd like to ...
1
vote
2answers
70 views

Using 'shame', 'pity', and 'honor' as countable and uncountable nouns

Sometimes "a" is used with shame/pity/honor, sometimes it's not. What's the difference? How to understand when it should be used. Have pity! Please have a pity on the helpless. Shame on you! ...
0
votes
1answer
43 views

the article before “Germany”

He represents a civilized Germany, a role which in itself means that Mann's conception of Germany was not a simple one; he is mild of manner, sane and reasonable, though he is attracted to the demonic ...
2
votes
1answer
36 views

“This is the left eye”: why not “a left eye”?

What is the difference in the application of the article before choosing the side? Or not at all (in what cases)? a left or the left Well, for example, such an example: "this is a / the left ...
0
votes
2answers
88 views

particularizing attribute with indefinite article

While reading an English grammar book I've run into some issues: There is the example of a sentence with particularizing attribute: One day in January he called at the seminary to return a book ...
0
votes
3answers
82 views

Is it “a historical account” or “an historical account”?

I saw both of them on various books, so are both valid? Or is it just that 50% of the people are wrong? I know it's "a universe", but I still have trouble with it. Is there a website that tells you ...
9
votes
3answers
3k views

“A dreadful five minutes” - what about the article?

In a BBC One show Would I Lie To You the host says "Gary [...] has had to endure a dreadful five minutes." (video on Youtube). I'm curious about the indefinite article, since I've never seen it used ...
0
votes
2answers
32 views

Where “a/the” aren't used?

Here is simple test with Google: Search "virtualization of hardware" (with quotes) - it will be 73600 results. "virtualization of a hardware" (with quotes) - 75 results "virtualization of the ...
4
votes
1answer
93 views

Wrong title in IELTS? 'An almost forgotten people?'

A title in the IELTS Reading Section reads - The Phoenicians: an almost forgotten people It's IELTS and thus unlikely to make a mistake! What am I missing? Or IELTS has gone wrong?
1
vote
2answers
40 views

use of Indefinite Article

I have doubt about use of article in below sentence. A cake is necessary when you have party. Does sentence uses correct article?
2
votes
1answer
36 views

“a pair of variables” and “mixture of Gaussian models”, why in the first sentence `a` is correct while is not required in the second sentence?

As I mentioned in my previous question, a is a determiner used with a noun. However, I am confused about the usage of a in the following sentences. Let (x_1, x_2) be a pair of variables. The ...
1
vote
1answer
58 views

Does the article change the meaning of the expression “Student with [a?] physics background”?

I have heard natives say both student with physics background and student with a physics background so I assume both expressions are grammatical. Is there any difference in meaning?
2
votes
1answer
59 views

“the role of guide” or “the role of a guide”?

While Heaphy was in the role of hawk-eyed, sure-handed, specimen-procuring guide, Hochstetter, Haast and their colleagues were delighted by him and quick to sing his praises. (source) This sentence ...
2
votes
2answers
47 views

Commit a crime/ commit murder

Why is crime proceeded by a, while murder is not? 1) Commit murder/rape/suicide/adultery On the other hand 2) commit a robbery/a crime/an offense Why do robbery, crime, and ...
3
votes
1answer
28 views

Difference between “a” and “any”: “Can a/any bulletproof vest stop a bullet…?”

What is the difference between a and any in the following sentence? Can a bulletproof vest stop a bullet fired from an AK-47? Can any bulletproof vest stop a bullet fired from an AK-47? Does the ...
1
vote
1answer
25 views

keeping indefinite article in front of each quality in first description of someone

When I first describe a certain person by providing three qualities (passive, quiet, friendly), two of which are rather negative (passive, quiet) and the last (friendly) is positive, can I keep the ...
1
vote
1answer
378 views

“I just sent a mail” or “I just sent mail”

I'm wondering if it is "I have sent a mail to him" Or "I have sent mail to him" I could not find much online. Thank you.
3
votes
2answers
304 views

“A daughter’s life”: the usage of the article

What else but sail to save a daughter's life, and pray she still drew breath? It seems to me that the article in bold is redundant. Why is it used in this text? Is it grammatically correct?
0
votes
2answers
29 views

“Through critical engagement with philosophical texts” or “Through a critical engagement with philosophical texts”

Through (a) critical engagement with philosophical texts, I examine the phenomena and provide an in-depth analysis. This is a line I am writing. The noun "engagement" seems tricky. Scrolling down ...
2
votes
1answer
48 views

I don't understand the usage of 'a' in this sentence

I have trouble understand this sentence: The kernel maintains a data structure called a page table, that contains a mapping of a processes' virtual page addresses to real page addresses in memory....
0
votes
1answer
51 views

Can I use “a” with the word single

As I understand, single (sometimes) means one. For example, single pair of shoes or single parameter an so on. My question is can I use "a" with "single". For example, This shows only a single type ...
0
votes
1answer
32 views

“the shadow of a doubt” or “a shadow of a doubt” or “shadow of doubt”

It seems all these three versions are in use: "the shadow of a doubt", "a shadow of a doubt", and "shadow of doubt", as suggested by Google Dictionary and Google search results. Google Dictionary (...
0
votes
2answers
35 views

Can a pronoun refer to a non-specific noun?

For example: A professor said that he loves teaching. Is it possible for "he" to refer to "a professor"?