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Indefinite Articles a and an

The function of the indefinite article

The indefinite article is used to refer to a word that is non-specific. If the word in question begins with a noun, you use ‘an’. If the word begins with a consonant, you should use ‘a’. 


  • A man 
  • An indefinite article
  • A pencil
  • An aeroplane
  • An hour (the ‘h’ is silent)

As mentioned above, you should use the indefinite article when referring to anything nonspecific. For example, “I’d like a loaf of bread” if you don’t want one load of bread in particular. 

You should also use it when referring to something for the first time. For example, “Would you like a drink?” versus “Don’t forget to finish your drink!”


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