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Indefinite and definite articles

Indefinite articles and quantifiers

Indefinite articles and quantifiers


a and an are called indefinite articles because
they are used to refer to something in a less specific manner (an unspecified count noun).

We use a before singular count-nouns that begin with consonants


a + a consonant sound

a car

a policeman

a sofa

we use an before singular count-nouns that begin with vowels or vowel-like sounds an + a vowel sounds (a, i, u, e ,o)

an artist

an astronaut

an island

Words that begin with an h sound often require an a (as in a horse, a history book, a hotel), but if an h-word begins with an actual vowel sound, use an an (as in an hour, an honor)

a useful device and a union matter because the u of those words actually sounds like y (as opposed, say, to the u of an ugly incident). The same is true of a European and a Euro (because of that consonantal y sound)

a once-in-a-lifetime experience or a one-time hero because the words once and one begin with a w sound

Indefinite article a/an


1. is used with singular countable nouns when we talk about things in general.

An aeroplane is faster than a train. Which aeroplane? Aeroplane in general

A crocodile is very dangerous animal. Which crocodile? We dont mean a specific crocodile. But we mean crocodile in general

2. is often used after the verbs to be and to have Mr. Lee is a doctor. Mr. Hasan was a doctor.

George has got a new sports car

Unit of measurements

Unit of Measurement are used with both count and noncount nouns.

This Pattern : Number or Percent + Unit + Of + Name of Item

Note : Dozen does not use of Compare : I bought a dozen eggs I bought a carton of eggs

Indefinite articles and pronoun

Indefinite Adjectives and Pronouns


Noncount Nouns Much, a little, only a little, not much, very little, less and the least are used as adjectives with noncount nouns. They also may be used without the noun.
No 1. 2. Indefinite Adjectives Andi has a little money How much money do you have? Indefinite Pronouns Andi has a little I dont have much

Count Nouns Many, a few, few, several, only a few, not many, fewer and the fewest are used with count nouns. They may also be used without the noun.
No 1. 2. Indefinite Adjectives Andi has a few dollars I dont have many dollar bills Indefinite Pronouns Andi has a few I dont have many

Both Count and Noncount Nouns

(The) most, a lot (of), lots (of), plenty (of), some, any and no are used with both count and noncount nouns.
No 1. 2. Indefinite Adjectives Andi has a lot of money Indefinite Pronouns Andi has a lot

Do you have any dollar bills? I dont have any

The Definite Article with Count and Noncount Nouns

The Definite Article with Count Nouns


Structures Explanations Examples

Nonspecific The is not used with (without nonspecific nouns. the) A or an is used with a singular noun, and no articles are used with plural nouns.

Specific (with the)

Singular Today a company may earn over $1 billion annually Plural Today companies may earn over $1 billion annually The is used before a Today, the companies that singular or plural count earn over $1 billion noun when that noun is annually are primarily oil specifically identified or its companies identity is already understood

The Definite Article with Noncount Nouns


Structure Nonspecific (without the) Specific (with the) Explanations No articles are used with unspecified nouns The is used with a noncount noun when the noun is identified by a phrase or clause Examples Gold is a precious metal - The gold in jewelry is mixed with other metals - The gold that is used in jewelry is mixed with other metals - South Africa produces the most gold in the world

The is usually used with superlatives

The with Quantifiers


Quantifiers such as all, most, some, and enough can be used as pronouns followed by prepositional phrases. When the quantifier is used as an adjectives, the is omitted in most cases. With the (pronoun quantifier + phrase) Count Nouns Without the (adjective quantifier)

All of the passengers are All passengers are on on board board

Noncount Nouns

Most of the luggage is now on board

Most luggage is now on board

Quantifiers and subject / verb Agreement


Explanations Expression

A variety of quantifiers may be used as All, most, some, enough pronouns and followed by of the (or of + demonstrative or possessive) + noun. Fractions and percentages They may also be used as adjectives with either count or noncount nouns (all money, enough people) In formal English, none is always None followed by a singular verb.

The Number Of versus A Number Of : Subject / Verb Agreement


Both a number of and the number of are followed by plural nouns. However, the use of a or the affects both the meaning of the phrase and the form of the verb that follows.
Explanations A number of A number of means many. The verb must be plural The number of refers to a specific quantity. It must be followed by a singular verb Examples A number of ships were built

The number of

The number of ships was quite high

Two Part Subjects : Subject / Verb Agreement


Structures both . . . . . and either . . . or neither . . . nor not only . . . but also Along with As well as In addition to Together with Explanations A plural verb always follows subjects with both . . . . and With these expressions, the verb is singular or plural, depending on the subject closest to the verb The nouns that follow these expressions do not affect the verb. The subject alone determines whether the verb is singular or plural.