English The Indefinite Article


Learn when and how to use the indefinite article "a/an" when using singular nouns.

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A/a” is an indefinite article used before a singular noun
“An/an” is an indefinite article used before a singular noun that begins with a vowel “a,e,i,o’u”.
We do not use a/an before a plural noun.

An hour (h is not pronounced)
A university (pronounced “yuniversity”)
A European country (pronounced “yuropean”)

A school, a student, a teacher (singular)
Schools, students, teachers (plural)

An egg, an onion, an eagle (singular)
Eggs, onions, eagles (plural)

  • She works in a school.
  • They live in a city.
  • She is an artist.
  • He is an engineer.

There is/There are

“There is” is used for singular nouns, “There are” is used for plural nouns.

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There is a big pool in the backyard.

There’s something in my bag.

There isn’t any music at this party.

Is there a coffee shop near here?

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There are too many people here.

There are many TV channels.

There aren’t many things to do today, because it is raining.

Are there any malls near here?

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Common European Framework of Reference for Languages

The CEFR is an international standard used to describe language ability. Here are specific details of the CEFR for this topic.

General Explanation:
Can understand and use familiar everyday expressions and very basic phrases aimed at the satisfaction of needs of a concrete type. Can introduce him/herself and others and can ask and answer questions about personal details such as where he/she lives, people he/she knows and things he/she has. Can interact in a simple way provided the other person talks slowly and clearly and is prepared to help.
Specific Capabilities at this Level
I can write a short, simple postcard, for example sending holiday greetings. I can fill in forms with personal details, for example entering my name, nationality and address on a hotel registration form.
Spoken Production:
I can use simple phrases and sentences to describe where I live and people I know.
Spoken Interaction:
I can interact in a simple way provided the other person is prepared to repeat or rephrase things at a slower rate of speech and help me formulate what I’m trying to say. I can ask and answer simple questions in areas of immediate need or on very familiar topics.
I can understand familiar names, words and very simple sentences, for example on notices and posters or in catalogues.
I can recognize familiar words and very basic phrases concerning myself, my family and immediate concrete surroundings when people speak slowly and clearly.