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Main Cases of the use of the Indefinite Article


The Indefinite Article has the following meanings:

1. nominating meaning (we give a name to the object we have in mind):

eg. Its a bus (not a car).

2. numeral meaning (= the meaning of oneness):

eg. I have a son and a daughter.

3. generalizing meaning (when the noun is used in a general sense and denotes a typical member of class. The article has the meaning of every):

eg. A hungry man is an angry man.

4. in the plural no article is used:

eg. Cats are domestic animals.

The Indefinite Article is used:

1) to denote something which has not been mentioned before:

e.g. Ive just seen a car coming up a driver. Theres a spider in the bus.

2) denotes a noun belonging to a class. It has the meaning of -, , :

eg. Its a teenager novel (not for grown-ups).

3) in apposition ():

eg. His aunt, an old woman of 56, was also present there.

4) in exclamatory sentences after WHAT, SUCH, RATHER, QUITE:

eg. What a nice girl!

Plural nouns take zero article: eg. What nice girls!

5) with nouns denoting time, measure, weight and with numerals: hundred, thousand, million, dozen, score:

e.g. A week has passed. The case weighs a hundred pounds. We go there twice a fortnight.

6) in the construction there is / was and after It is This is. with a singular countable nouns:

eg. There is a book on the table.

7) with professions, trades, occupations: eg. He is a lawyer.

8) in expressions of frequency: e.g. twice a week; fifty pounds a day.

9) to denote two things that are often mentioned together as though they are one thing: e.g. a knife and fork; a cup and saucer.

10) to denote somebodys name when we dont know the person:

e.g. There is a Mr. Wilkins to see you.

11) with ordinal numerals in the meaning of : e.g. a second cup of coffee.


The Indefinite Article is used in some set expressions:


a lot of a great deal of, at a speed of at a distance
a great number of in a loud/low voice at a time when a good deal
its a pity to be in a hurry to have a mind as a rule
a few/ a little to fly into passion to have a cold at a flash
all of a sudden as a result of to have a seat in a whisper
as a matter of fact at a time/ at a glance to take a seat to keep a secret
for a short/long time to get in a fury/in a rage to have a headache to tell a lie
its a shame to be at a loss to go for a walk to put an end to
to give a permission to have a good time to have a smoke to give smb a hand



The Article

Date: 2015-01-11; view: 1813

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