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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The Intention of X / An intention of X

She'd want him to be involved in their relationship with the intention of marrying, not just playing around. We couldn't say, ''an intention of marrying'', which means we don't limit the number of ...
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When to use article (a) and not using article , also using article (the)

Based on information from police report you are a traitor. Based on information from the police report you are a traitor. Based on information from a police report you are a traitor. Which is ...
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Omitting the indefinite article before occupations [duplicate]

From what I understand, one can omit the indefinite article when referring to unique titles or roles/professions, e.g. “He's captain of the local football team”. With less unique roles, I have ...
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Is “the” possible as a right answer? (English test from Japanese year 7)

This box is big. This ( )( )( ) box. Fill in the blanks so those two sentences can be almost the same meaning. I know the answer is This (is)(a)(big) box. However many children use "the" instead ...
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How to differentiate pairs like “an occupied territory” and “unoccupied territory” in speech

The noun "territory" can be both countable and uncountable, so "an occupied territory" and "unoccupied territory" are both complete noun phrases. The first vowels of the noun phrases are both schwa ...
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What form of indefinite article (“a” or “an”) should precede an abbreviation whose first letter is a consonant but is pronounced with a vowel sound? [duplicate]

I frequently want to use an indefinite article before an abbreviated noun beginning with a consonant which is provinces with a vowel sound. Is there a standard or preserve for “a” or “an” in this case?...
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English article: a temperature vs temperature

I was looking the definition of temperature in Merriam-Webster. In count noun section, I noticed a sentence with no article before "temperature". If a noun is countable, we must use an article (a or ...
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Is the phrase “You can cancel a subscription anytime” correct?

One native speaker said that it is a mistake to use the indefinite article in the phrase "You can cancel a subscription anytime". I want to ask native speakers if it's true, and if yes — what rule ...
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Should I use “an” in case that the adjective starts with a vowel? [duplicate]

Cambridge: The book presents a one-sided view of history. I'm confused. I thought that it should be an one-sided view of history. Could you please explain this case to me? I know that the article ...
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Putting the indefinite article before the second noun

Which of the sentences below is correct and why? I'm not a loser or pessimist. I'm not a loser or a pessimist.
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Orbit vs the orbit

What is the difference between get it into orbit and get it into the orbit
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Does 'a window' close the possibility to be one and only one window in the room?

Imagine me staying in a room and I have you on the phone and say to you that it has a window. I know that it has only one window but still choose the indefinite article 'a' because I'm not going to ...
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I took the wrong article and changed the meaning. Is it wrong?

If I say ‘’Those are the pencils which I use to write in English’’ you know that I only use these pencils so the definite article excludes the existence of other things in this category. If I say ‘’...
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Which of the following sentence is correct ?(use of definitive article related)

What is the name of game in screenshot? What is name of the game in screenshot? What is the name of the game in screenshot? What is name of game in screenshot? Which of the above mentioned sentence ...
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Using an article after “which we call”

I am hesitant in using an article after the sentence which we call. Example: We discovered a new attack model which we call "man-in-the-middle" attack Or We discovered a new attack model ...
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How do you see the difference between these two sentences?

Could someone explain the difference between these two? Why does the first one take the definite article and the second one takes the indefinite article? 1) Thousands of years ago, it was only ...
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Is it true that if we start a sentence with 'the', this 'the' can be omitted?

The data in Tables 1 were assembled from studies in North America... Fluxes shown in Table 1 are different from Tables 2 and 3 because... Results of the calculations indicate that .... ...
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The ultimate rule of taking the right article

A while ago I read a grammar book where I was said to use a definite article every time a noun is followed by a qualifying clause with OF or another preposition. 1.1 The first person to run the mile ...
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A car vs the car - English Article

Consider the following sentence from Oxford learners' dictionary, under their entry for the: There was an accident here yesterday. A car hit a tree and the driver was killed. In the first sentence,...
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Articles for different types of 'analysis'

All examples, except the last one, are from Longman dictionary A factor analysis identified ten significant factors affecting women’s rights. A structural analysis showed that the roof was ...
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‘tell a story’ or ‘tell the story’ in a single sentence

The single sentence: The novel tells the story of a salesman. Can I say: The novel tells a story of a salesman? I chose a story, but the answer is the story.
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Should it be “a moon” or “the moon”

I was reading Julian Barnes The Sense of an Ending, when I encountered this line: And I thought of a cresting wave of water, lit by a moon, rushing past and vanishing upstream, pursued by a band ...
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new puppy vs a new puppy

What is the difference between "new puppy" and "a new puppy"? Take this sentence for example: My brother’s daughter and new puppy are already best buds What if we add an indefinite article berere ...
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Can we use a definite article when someone we are talking to doesn't know of the topic yet?

As for my question about the difference between I like a movie, Pulp Fiction. I like the movie, Pulp Fiction. A commenter answered: I would say the only difference in usage is that you would use ...
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Cases where we can omit articles?

I often get confused with the definite article. For instance in the following sentence should we use the or not? 4 easy steps to update the recipient of your Optiscore Subscription Putting a ...
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difference between “part” and “a part”

What is the difference between part and a part? What is the difference between these two sentences? He was a part of the team. He was part of the team. I heard that part means a member and a ...
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meet a/the target of . . .?

Should the definite or indefinite article be used in the following? The target in question is mentioned for the first time in the passage, yet it seems to be quite specific. Currently, the Ministry ...
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Definite article in definitions

I have noticed a pattern of using the definite article „the” that occurs in definitions, and I don’t know how to explain that. The pattern is as follows: "A/An + term + basic description. The + term + ...
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A and THE, which is correct?

The sentence below A protocol is the language that a computer uses to communicate with other computers on the network. Is the usage of a/the correct? Can I change it to A protocol is a ...
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A bat vs bats vs the bats

Which one of these sentences is correct: A bat is not a bird, but a mammal. or Bats are not birds but mammals or The bats are not birds but mammals.
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In running such a game, a/the computer may freeze

Having the following sentences and lines of reasoning: Video Games are becoming more and more hardware demanding. In running such a game, the computer may freeze. (*) My line of reasoning: the ...
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“It was an April” vs “It was in April”

"It was an April afternoon. And the warm breezes of approaching summer had sent everyone, including Grandfather, indoors". The above sentences are from the story 'Adventures in a Banyan Tree' by ...
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English article “A” vs “The”

In English Grammar, before ordinals (first, second, third...), we always use the definite article "the." Consider the sentence below. If the same person calls a second time within a 15-minute ...
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Article usage in “a cow” vs “the cow”

I have referred to many grammar books and they say that "A cow gives us milk" and "The cow gives us milk" mean the same thing. They mean all cows give us milk or cows give us milk. I know that the ...
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Article needed in “show (a) focus”?

Recruiters prefer candidates to show a focus in their job applications. Do we need “a” here? What would change if “a” were removed? After all “focus” is both countable and uncountable noun. Some ...
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A single indefinite article for two items?

As I'm working my way in Duolingo I got an exercise to translate a sentence from Russian to English. The accepted translating is "I have a warm jacket and a warm sweater". In the comments on this ...
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Can definite and indefinite articles be used interchangeably?

I was going to say: Pronouns and/or be/have/do are occasionally omitted in spoken English at the beginning of the sentence. But then I thought, I don't have any particular sentence in mind here. ...
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This is a first … - can I use the indefinite article?

I know with words determining somehow the order of things I should use the definite article. But I would say it depends on the context. Is the following correct? This is a first discussion out of ...
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'high blood pressure' vs 'a high blood pressure'

What is the difference between these two sentences: I have high blood pressure. and I have a high blood pressure. I can only guess that the first one mean that I have high blood pressure all ...
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what's the role of indefinite article in this phrase : he went into a rage!

what the role of indefinite article in this phrase : He went into a rage! The indefinite article doesn't make sense here what if we eliminate it from the sentence? edit: it doesn't make sense to ...
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“Toutmai started the second officer's job at..” vs “Toutmai started a second officer's job at”

In 2011, she joined the XYZ Institute as a navigation officer. After over two years in the institute, in November 2013, Toutmai started the second officer's job at Siren for Fleet Ship Management. ...
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“I am [the / an] owner of a bookstore”?

I'm drafting a letter of invitation for someone. And one sentence goes: "I am [the / an] owner of a bookstore" - which article shall I use?
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Confusion in placing Articles a and an before nouns

When I was a kid I was taught that Article An should be placed before nouns starting with a Vowel letter, but now i got to know that it's actually the sound of vowel we should focus not the letter. ...
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Difference between “a”, “one” and “some”

A bus passes my house every hour. One bus passes my house every hour. Some bus passes my house every hour. Buses pass my house every hour. Some buses pass my house every hour. What is the ...
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Shall I use “an” before “impact”?

Some uncountable words like the word value should not be preceded with article. I am not sure about impact. It has impact on the existing approaches. or It has an impact on the existing ...
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Using 'a,' 'an,' or 'the' with 'price' and 'discount'

I am confused when to use the correct articles. For example, in an email: Dear Journal of Business News, I have received the information about subscribing to your journal. I have a few ...
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“To treat someone as property” or “to treat someone as a property”?

"He treats his dog as property." or "He treats his dog as a property." I suspect that the former is correct, is it?
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The use of the indefinite article with uncountable nouns after the phrase “more of”

I came across it in this article. Chloe Foster, a clinical psychologist at the Centre for Anxiety Disorders and Trauma in London, says shyness in itself is quite common and normal and doesn’t cause ...
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Why not say ‘in a pencil’, but say ‘in pencil’?

We say: Shall I write in ink or in pencil. Why not say: Shall I write in ink or in a pencil?
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“have pain in something” or “have a pain in something”? [closed]

Tell me please which one of the folowing sentences is correct. Because I have pain in my arm, I cannot pull it. Because I have a pain in my arm, I cannot pull it.