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Unit 3.2

Articles – Indefinite


Articles are words that define nouns. Essentially there are two kinds of articles: Indefinite and definite.

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

Indefinite articles are usually placed before adjectives and noun phrases. We use an indefinite article 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: 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 a pear.
    She has got an apple.
  • We saw a huge elephant in the street.
    We saw an elephant in the street.
  • There is a bird in the room!
    There is an owl in the room

Indefinite articles are used to refer to general or non-specific things unknown to both the speaker and writer.

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

♦ “The information office behind 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.


Articles - Indefinite Copyright © 2016 by My Language Skills. All Rights Reserved.