Grammar

The Indefinite Article A (An)

There are two forms of indifinite article in English – ‘a’ and ‘an’.

We use ‘a’ when the word following the article starts wih a consonant sound (a street, a house, a desk), but we normally use ‘an’ when the word following the article starts with a vowel sound (an umbrella, an apple, an hour).

Since the indefinite article has meaning similar to number one, we cannot use it with plural nouns.

We also do not use it with uncountable nouns. We use ‘some’ instead. (Would you like some coffee?)

We use the indefinite article a (an):

  • in front of countable nouns we are mentioning for the first time (I saw a cat in the street).
  • with singular countable nouns when we talk about things in general (An airoplane is faster than a train)
  • after the verbs ‘be’ and ‘have’ (Jack is a waiter; I have a pencil)
  • with the names of professions (He is a doctor)
  • before time and measurement phrases (half an hour; cucumbers are 3 pounds a kilo)
  • with a noun complement (It is a good dog)
  • in front of word ‘very’

 

Exercises:

Put ‘a’ or ‘an’ where necessary:

  1. They are making _______ snowman.
  2. She bought half _______ pound  of bananas.
  3. ____ boy is feeding ____ monkey.
  4. Brigitte is ____ police officer.
  5. I have ____ cat.
  6. She is _____ very good driver.
  7. There’s ____ fly in my soup.
  8. Give me ____ orange, please.

Put ‘a’, ‘an’ or ‘some’ where necessary:

  1. She’s looking for ____ book about elephants.
  2. I’ve bought _____ fruit.
  3. There is ___ blue flower here and ____ red ones over there.
  4. We have ______ cheese in the fridge.

Answers: 1. a, 2. a, 3. a, a, 4. a, 5. a, 6. a, 7. a, 8. an

  1. a, 2. some, 3. a, some, 4. some

 

 

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s