Articles Indefinite

1st Part
The definite article: The

2nd Part
Indefinite Articles “a” and “an” 

3rd Part
No article

Grammar in use

  • Topic : The indefinite Articles “a” and “an” 
  • Skills : Grammar


What are indefinite articles?

a dog

an apple

“a‟ and “an‟ are indefinite articles, used before singular countable nouns. We use them to refer to an unspecific object that is one of many of the same objects.

We use “a‟ before a noun with a consonant sound.
a dog
a bird

“an‟ is used before a noun with a vowel sound.
an egg
an uncle

It is the sound that matters, not the letter we write. So we say “an” before a vowel sound, not necessarily before a vowel. Likewise, we say “a” before a consonant sound, not necessarily before a consonant.We use „a‟ and „an‟ in expressions of speed, price, number and ration.
a happy day (consonant sound)
an hour (vowel sound, silent „h‟)
European (consonant sound)
an “m‟ (vowel sound)
an “s‟ (vowel sound)
a “u‟ (consonant sound)
The car was going forty miles an hour.
Eggs cost $2.20 a dozen.
The temperature is taken twice a day.
Usually we do not put an article before the name of a person. We do so only when we do not know their identity.We do not use “a‟ and “an‟ before plural nouns, uncountable nouns or abstract nouns.
A Mrs. Harris called you half an hour ago.
My father has gone to dinner with a Mr. white.
Beauty lies in the eye of the beholder. (NOT – A beauty…
We can buy eggs and butter from the farm. (NOT – an eggs…)
Simplicity is the best virtue. (NOT – A simplicity…)

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