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Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Indefinite Articles, Explanations and an Exercise


INDEFINITE ARTICLES A / An

A

The article A is used before singular, countable nouns which begin with consonant sounds. 

Articolul nehotarat A se foloseste cu substantivele numarabile care incep cu o consoana.

Atentie ! Este vorba de pronuntie - se refera la substantivele a caror pronuntie incepe cu o consoana. 
Important este sunetul si nu felul in care este scris cuvantul respectiv.

Exista substantive sau alt tip de cuvinte [ adjective, de exemplu ] care incep cu o consoana dar se pronunta fara consoana initiala:

ex. an honorable man - H nu se pronunta, motiv pentru care se foloseste articolul nehotarat AN

an hour - H nu se pronunta, de aceea se foloseste articolul nehotarat AN

If there is an adjective or an adverb-adjective combination before the noun, A(AN) should agree with the first sound in the adjective or the adverb-adjective combination.

Examples:
He is an excellent singer / He is a singer.
She wrote an essay / She wrote a long essay.
She is an excellent dentist / She is a dentist.

Use AN before words such as "hour" which sound like they start with a vowel even if the first letter is a consonant.

Also use AN before letters and numbers which sound like they begin with a vowel, such as "F", "L", "M",,, or "8".

Remember, it is the sound not the spelling which is important.

Examples:
I only have an hour for lunch. 
Does his name begin with an "F"? 

AN

The article AN is used before singular, countable nouns which begin with vowel sounds.
Examples:
She is an actress.
He didn't get an invitation.
I saw an eagle at the zoo.

Note: You cannot use A / AN with plural nouns
Use A before words such as "European" or "university" which sound like they start with a consonant even if the first letter is a vowel. 

Also use A before letters and numbers which sound like they begin with a consonant, such as "U", "J", "1" or "9".
Remember, it is the sound not the spelling which is important.
For example, "1" is spelled O-N-E; however, it is pronounced "won" like it starts with a "W".
Examples:
She is a European citizen.
That number is a "1". 

In English, some nouns are uncountable such as: information, news, knowledge, water, sugar, air, advice, money, etc.

We do not use A(AN) with these uncountable nouns.  

If we want to count them, there are quantifiers to be used:
ex. a piece of information
      a word of advice
      a bag of money
     an item of furniture


REMEMBER !

A – with consonant voiced nouns
AN – with vowel voiced nouns

 EXERCISE:

Add a / an to the following:

Hour, heir, heiress, hospitable man, hospital, usual thing, union, uniform, unit, UFO, Unidentified Flying Object, European citizen, university, X-ray, egg, ice-cream, education, unicorn, year, ear, yard, yellow wall, L, W, X

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