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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.

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“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 ...
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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.
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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“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.
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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! ...
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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 ...
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“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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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“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 ...
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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 ...
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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?
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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?
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“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 ...
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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?
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“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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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“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.
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“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?
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“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 ...
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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....
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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 ...
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“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 (...
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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"?
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“Analysis” or “The analysis”

I've come across many scientific articles which bear titles beginning with: "Analysis of ...". For example: Analysis of the accuracy and implications of simple methods for predicting the secondary ...
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“growing demand for ” VS “ a growing demand for”

And today, compared to some 10 years ago, we experience a growing demand for high-performing fabrics. And today, compared to some 10 years ago, we experience growing demand for high-performing ...
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“worthy of mention(ing)” or “worthy of a mention(ing)”?

That kind of happening would have definitely been worthy of mention. or That kind of happening would have definitely been worthy of a mention. or That kind of happening would have definitely ...
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Should I use “a snake” or “the snake”?

What is your favorite Halloween character? My favorite Halloween character is a snake. Or My favorite Halloween character is the snake. Which is correct
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Meaning of “a Richard Snary” / “a Given Name” [closed]

An old joke I found in Mark Forsyth's "The Etymologicon", originally mentioned in the OED A country lad, having been reproved for calling persons by their Christian names, being sent by his master ...
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Which article should I use to refer to a noun in general. Is it “a car”, or “the car”? [duplicate]

I have a simple question. I wondered what article I should use to refer to a noun in general. Which one is the right form? The story of the inventor of a car. The story of the inventor of the car. ...
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When somone has two jobs, what is correct usage of 'indefinite article'?

When somone has two jobs, what is correct usage of 'indefinite article'? A. Jack Hamilton, a small business owner and a construction foreman, died yesterday. B. Jack Hamilton, a small business owner ...
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“Ladies tracks” and “hallmark” in this sentence

When Fabolous and Jadakiss connected for their 2017 collaborative project, Friday on Elm Street, the lyrical tandem shook up the city of New York with their visceral raps. Despite being a punchy ...
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Usage of definite articles once again

I learn english for about 20 years, and still sometimes articles make me mad. This question has few related sub-questions about articles. Can you please explain these sentences: "Waiting for remote ...
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“in the event of failure” VS “in the event of a failure”

In the event of failure, the machine will first react based on the self-diagnostic software. In the event of a failure, the machine will first react based on the self-diagnostic software. Do we ...
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Help understanding the articles in “There is A picture over THE crib.” and “She's putting A blanket over THE baby.”

Can I get another explanation? I was watching a video on English prepositions, I came across this sentence. Unfortunately, the video raised more questions than answers on the articles. There is ...
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Why the indefinite article is not used before institutions when we think of the general idea of these places?

I don't understand why the indefinite article is not used before institutions (prison, hospital, university, college, church, etc.) when we think of the general idea of these places and what they are ...
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“in an era of AI” VS “in the era of AI”

Some manual jobs would disappear in an era of AI. Some manual jobs would disappear in the era of AI. Some manual jobs would disappear in a new era of AI. If I want to express a common truth that ...
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The vs An (Comparing for most appropriate.)

The average person knows 25000 words. Vs An average person knows 25000 words. I find the latter more appropriate, but the former is what I read almost everywhere. Does anyone have a coherent ...
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Article- general sentences

Here are some sentences about someone's routine: 1) I go to a cafe twice a week. 2) I go to a restaurant three times a week 3) I read a book four times a week. Should he/she use "plural"...
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“cost extra 50 dollars” or “cost an extra 50 dollars”?

Tell me please I need to use the indefinite article in the following sentence. That phone costs 200 dollars, and that one will cost you (an) extra 50 dollars. I think because of the adjective ...
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the/a city doesn't matter

While having a conversation with an HR about a job location, I constructed the next sentence Yes, I'd like to relocate to the UK. The city doesn't really matter. which is bugging me now. Why did ...
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Indefinite article before uncountable nouns

Please help me understand why the indefinite article is used in this case: "I had a marvellous time!"