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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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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!"
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Changing “a” into “the” in case of providing more info for a noun

Do I need to change the indefinite article "a" before a noun into the definite "the" if I provide some definitive information for that noun right after it? I brought this trinket from a workshop. ...
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“130 yen to the dollar” VS “130 yen to a dollar”

I saw this sentence in the dictionary on my phone(so I can't get a link to it here): We're only getting 130 yen to the dollar at the moment. I'm wondering why the definite article 'the' is being ...
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Can the indefinite article be omitted in this sentence?

Consider The variables show low correlation. vs The variables show a low correlation. Is one version simply wrong? Is one more idiomatic than the other?
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Correct use of all manner

I'm just looking at settling a debate of the correct use of an all manner. He looked around and saw an all manner of contraptions nailed to the wall. He looked around and saw all manner of ...
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The indefinite article with an amount modified by an adjective: “It cost a mere 20 dollars.”

I am confused about using “mere” to show something is not large. Based on samples in the Cambridge dictionary: The plane crashed mere minutes after take-off. So other samples: It cost a mere 20 ...
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Which is correct? I'm not a Trump or I'm not Trump?

I'm not sure what to use. The context is I'm telling that I don't have power like he. So, showing that I'm powerless, I say... I can't do that. I'm not (a) Trump. Explanation is appreciated.
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Are articles useless sometimes? [closed]

In my native language there are no definite and indefinite articles, and for me this topic is difficult to understand, so I ask this question. For me it is interesting, how do you think, what role do ...
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“Insanity is wasting your life as a nothing”

I don't understand the indefinite article in a line from the movie wanted. Why "a nothing"? Shouldn't nothing be a noncount noun? Wesley: You're insane. Sloan: No. Insanity is wasting your ...
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'… is very good quality' VS '… is OF [a] very good quality' + article

I've got two questions regarding this sentence for a grammar book: The jacket you bought is very good quality. Would it be correct to say: 'This jacket is OF very good quality.'? Would it be ...
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Which 'article' to use when we refer to a common person every time in the same passage?

I know a rule: I found a pen. The pen was broken. When I introduce a pen, for the first time, it takes the indefinite article and once, it's introduced, I can proceed with the definite one. ...
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“of high quality” or “of a high quality”

I would like to know which expression is the right one: they are of high quality OR they are of a high quality.
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Why can articles be omitted in this sentence?

But all the while, he lived in the guesthouse where authorities believe he turned from con man to killer. (source) This seems to be a case of article elision. Why can articles be dropped before "con ...
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Is an article missing in this sentence? If so, definite or indefinite?

The editorial also discussed how Spiro Agnew differed from the men in the carving... Readers agreed, proven by the crowd at the dedication... Even James Venable, descendant of the man who originally ...
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an/a R function [duplicate]

R is a computer language (link). When describing a function written in R, I want to know which of an R function or a R function is correct. I initially thought an R function was correct according to ...
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Which article should I use in this context? [duplicate]

Imagine, a guest arrived to offer a bouquet of flowers to my mom, and then she said to me to put them in a vase. Consequently, she would utter something like: Put the flowers in a vase, please. I am ...
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“the … of a” classifying expressions

On p. 62 of the 2nd edition of Practical English Usage, M. Swan writes: 68 articles (8): special rules and exceptions 4 the ... of a ... In classifying expressions of this kind, the first ...
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definite article or indefinite article - an online survey or the survey online?

I'd like to know whether "the survey online" or "an online survey" should be used in the following: World Gym has been under new management since July 3. For the new team to better serve our ...