. Use of a/an – Articels
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Use of a/an

a/an is used:

A       Before a singular noun which is countable (i.e. of which there is more than one) when it is mentioned for the first time and represents no particular person or thing:

                   I need a visa.            They live in a flat.      He bought an ice-cream.

B       Before a singular countable noun which is used as an example of a class of things:

                    A car must be insured = 

                    All cars/Any car must be insured.

                    A child needs love =

                    All children need/Any child needs love.

C           With a noun complement. This includes names of professions:

                             It was an earthquake.      She’ll be a dancer.      He is an actor.

D           In certain expressions of quantity:

                        a lot of                    a couple

                        a great many       a  dozen (but one dozen is also possible)

                        a great deal of

1 Articles etc.

E          With  certain numbers:

               a hundred       a thousand         

Before half when half follows a whole number:

                         11/2  kilos =  one and a half kilos or a kilo and a half

But 1/2 kg = half a kilo (no a before half), though a    +     half    +     noun is sometimes possible:

                    a half-holiday           a half-portion          a half-share

With 1/3,   1/4,  1/5 etc. a is usual: a third, a quarter etc.,  but one is also possible.

F      In expressions of price, speed, ratio etc.:

                        5p a kilo           £1 a metre           sixty kilometres an hour

                       10p a dozen    four times a day   

(Here a/an = per. )

G       In exclamations before singular, countable nouns:

                   Such a long queue!                  What a pretty girl!                But

                   Such long queues!                    What pretty girls!

             

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