18 Articles – Indefinite

Determiners

Articles belong to the group of words called Determiners. Essentially there are two kinds of articles: Indefinite and Definite.

We use Indefinite Articles to talk about non-specific things or general categories.

There are two Indefinite Articles “a/an” and we choose which to use according to the first letter of the following word (consonant or vowel).

A

We use a if a noun starts with a consonant (b, c, d, f, g, j, k etc.).

An

We use an if a noun starts with a vowel (a, e, i, o, u.) or “h” when not pronounced.

  • She has got an apple.
    She has got a pear.
  • We saw a huge elephant in the street.
    We saw an elephant in the street.
  • There is an owl in the room!
    There is a bird in the room!

We use an Indefinite Article before singular nouns. Below you can read the main differences between A and An:

  • A: We use a if a noun starts with a consonant (b, c, d, f, g, j, k etc.);
  • An: We use an if a noun starts with a vowel (a, e, i, o, u.).

Generally, Indefinite Articles are used to refer to things unknown to both the speaker and writer and we find them before nouns or adjectives.

Indefinite articles (“a” and “an”) are determiners and are used to talk about non-specific things or general categories. They are placed before nouns or adjectives.

We usually use “a” when the noun following the article begins with a consonant and “an” when it begins with a vowel.

For example:
— “There’s a tourism office behind the corner.” = We use a before a word starting with a t- because it is a consonant
— “There’s an information office behind the corner.” = We use an before a word starting with an i- because it is a vowel.

In these examples we need to use the Indefinite Article because we want to talk about something general, which has never been mentioned before.

NOTE: Indefinite Articles are only used before singular nouns/adjectives.

Let’s revise this content within the [Form] section. Take a look at the [Example] section that shows its use within a context.