Uses of The Indefinite Articles

Uses of The Indefinite Articles :

The indefinite article is used….

(1) Before a noun that names someone or something not already mentioned or known about

1. Have you got a house?
2. I had a pain in my heart.
3. That is a very good picture.
4. She is a doctor.
5. He is a friend of mine.

(2) Meaning as one

1. I want a thousand rupees.
2. I want a few weeks - of time to repay.

(3) In its original sense of one

1. Hundred cms make a metre.
2. A word to the wise is sufficient.

(4) In the vague sense of a certain person or thing

1. A Pratap Singh is suspected by the police.
2. One evening a wretched girl came to my door.

(5) In the sense of any, to single out an individual as the representative of a class

1. A student should obey his master.
2. A horse needs more attention than a wife.
3. A cow is a very timid animal.

(6) To make a common noun of a proper noun

1. A Daniel has come to judgement. (A Daniel : a very wise man)
2. A Napolean has come here. (A Napolean = warrior)
3. They say the young actress is a new Marilyn Monroe.

(7) Before names of people, showing that someone is unknown to the speaker

a certain :

1. A Mrs. Smith wishes to speak again.
2. A Mrs. Smith : one by name Mrs. Smith.

(8) Before names of times and places - a particular one

1. I can't remember a Deepavali when it rained so much.
(Compare : It always rains at Deepavali.)

(9) a (after half / rather / such / what / many)

1. I've got rather a headache.
2. Many a small business has failed.
3. I've never met so nice a girl.

When putting a or an before a set of letters such as RAF, you must consider, how the letters are said, not whether the letters themselves are vowels or consonants.

RAF begins with the Consonant V. But the letter is said with the vowel sound A.

1. So an RAF officer
2. An U.N. official
3. An MLA
4. An MBA degree holder
5. An MBBS Doctor

Uses of The Indefinite Articles

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