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Unit 4.1

Indefinite Articles

Determiners

Articles are words that define nouns and they belong to the group of words called determiners. Essentially there are two kinds of articles: indefinite and definite.

We use indefinite articles to express non-specific things or general categories.

Indefinite articles are usually placed before adjectives and noun phrases. We use them before singular nouns.

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: when a noun starts with a consonant (b, c, d, f, g, j, k…).

An: when a noun starts with a vowel (a, e, i, o, u) or h that is not pronounced.

  • I am a doctor.
    I am an engineer.
  • She has got a pear.
    She has got an apple.
  • We saw a huge elephant in the street.
    We saw an elephant in the street.

Indefinite articles are used to refer to general or non-specific things (not mentioned before) unknown to both the speaker and the interlocutor, and only with singular countable nouns. Also, we use them when we talk about jobs and professions.

Indefinite articles (a/an) are determiners and are used to express non-specific things or general categories. They are placed before singular nouns or adjectives.

  • A when the noun or adjective begin with a consonant;
  • An when the noun or adjective begin with a vowel or h that is not pronounced.

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

We use the indefinite article to express something general, which has never been mentioned before.

♦ “The information office around the corner” = We use the definite article (the) since we know what we are talking about.

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

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