1. We use the indefinite article, a/an, with count nouns when the hearer/reader does not know exactly which one we are referring to:

Police are searching for a 14 year-old girl.

2. We also use it to show the person or thing is one of a group:

She is a pupil at London Road School.

 

Police have been searching for a 14 year-old girl who has been missing since Friday.

Jenny Brown, a pupil at London Road School, is described as 1.6 metres tall with short blonde hair.

She was last seen wearing a blue jacket, a blue and white blouse and dark blue jeans and blue shoes. 

Anyone who has information should contact the local police on 0800349781.


3. We do not use an indefinite article with plural nouns and uncount nouns:

She was wearing blue shoes. (= plural noun)
She has short blonde hair. (= uncount noun)

 

Police have been searching for a 14 year-old girl who has been missing since Friday.

Jenny Brown, a pupil at London Road School, is described as 1.6 metres tall with short blonde hair.

She was last seen wearing a blue jacket, a blue and white blouse and dark blue jeans and blue shoes

Anyone who has information should contact the local police on 0800349781.

 


4. We use a/an to say what someone is or what job they do:

My brother is a doctor.
George is a student.

5. We use a/an with a singular noun to say something about all things of that kind:

A man needs friends. (= All men need friends)
A dog likes to eat meat. (= All dogs like to eat meat)

 Exercise

Section: 

Comments

"I’ve been decorating the house this summer". (this sentence at the present simple & present perfect continuous)

i get little bit confuse about this sentence. pls clarify me. my question this sentence talking about future tense . is not it?

Hello taj25,

'I've been decorating' is the present perfect continuous, not the present simple. It does not refer to the present, but rather a time that began in the past (sometime this summer) and which is still continuing (i.e. it is still summer now). See this page for more on this topic.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

hi peter

if i had known this website. i will be become a good speaker.

could you tell me as this sentence grammatically correct.it would be appreciate.
many thanks
hussain

Hello Hussain,

I'm afraid that is not grammatically correct, as it mixes a third conditional and first conditional structure. Please see our Conditionals 1 and 2 pages for more on this, and then if the reason this is not correct is still not clear, you're welcome to ask us about it there. As always, please make your question as specific as possible and explain to use what you think - we can help you better that way.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

this comment really helpful for me. many thanks

sorry to say post again here.

i will become a good speaker if i had know this website before.

are the sentence grammatically correct.

Hello taj25,

No, that sentence is not correct. You are trying to mix unreal meanings ('if I had known') with real meanings ('I will'). Please see the links Kirk provided for more information on this.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hi there
In above task, following sentence was said as all things of that kind, would you explain me how it can be? Since I think that sentence is one of a group.
A tomato is a fruit, not a vegetable.

Thanks

Hello Fatemeh,

Here the idea is that all tomatoes are fruits, not vegetables, but you're right that you could also say that a tomato is a kind of fruit. The sentence is meant to illustrate one way that 'a' can be used more than be an example of logic. Does that make sense?

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Thank you so much Kirk.

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