The indefinite Article

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    nuhru_1098
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    Registration date : 2008-07-15

    Post The indefinite Article

    Post by nuhru_1098 on Thu Nov 06, 2008 10:31 pm

    a, an The Indefinite Article

    To facilitate pronunciation, a is used in front of any word that begins with a consonant or consonant-like vowel sound.
    Conversely, an is put in front of any word that begins with a pure vowel sound or a mute 'h'.

    Our town has a theatre, a university,a large park and a conference hall.
    Many Chinese still believe an Englishman always carries an umbrella.
    It's an old custom.
    It's a strange old custom.

    Note that spelling is not a reliable indicator of when to use a or an!
    The coastguard received an SOS.
    He spent an hour standing in line.

    The indefinite article a/an is placed in front of a countable noun that is being mentioned for the very first time. Once introduced, all further references to it can be preceded by the definite article the.
    I have two cars: a Ford and an Audi.
    The Ford is white and the Audi is silver.

    In English, an indefinite article is needed in front of professions. She is an architect and he is a doctor.

    The indefinite article can also be used instead of per when giving the rate or pace of something.
    He earns $200 a day.
    She swims twice a week.
    He drove at 60 miles an hour.

    Note too that little and few become a whole lot more positive when preceded by the indefinite article!
    Compare:
    She has a little money and a few friends,so she'll probably get by.
    She has little money and few friends,so I doubt if she'll get by.

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