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determiner stronga pronunciation in British English // weaka pronunciation in British English /ə/
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or an stronga pronunciation in British English /æn/ weaka pronunciation in British English /ən/

A or an is used as an indefinite article, usually followed by a singular countable noun.
A is used when the next word begins with a consonant.
An is used when the next word begins with a vowel sound.
When a word begins with the letter ‘u’ that is pronounced /juː/, the word is treated as starting with a consonant: a university.
When a word begins with a silent ‘h’, it is treated as starting with a vowel: an hour.
The names of the letters f, h, l, m, n, r, s, and x begin with vowel sounds, so abbreviations that begin with one of these letters are treated as starting with a vowel: an MPan HGV.
 
  1. 1
    used when you are mentioning a person or a thing for the first time, or when the person listening to you does not already know about them
    I have an idea.
    There’s a concert on Sunday night.
    Synonyms and related words
  2. 2
    used when you mean any person or thing of a particular type, but you are not referring to a specific one
    You need a dictionary.
    I haven’t got an umbrella.
    Children must be accompanied by an adult.
    Synonyms and related words
  3. 3
    used when you say what class, type, or group someone or something belongs to, or what job someone has
    He’s a liar and a cheat.
    Greece has been a republic since 1973.
    Ruth’s father was a lawyer.
    Synonyms and related words
  4. 4
    used before a singular noun that represents every person or thing of a particular type
    A dog needs regular exercise.
    A molecule consists of two or more atoms.
    Synonyms and related words
  5. 5
    used when you are referring to a person or thing as one of several people or things of this type
    I want you to meet a friend of mine.
    He’s a member of the team.
    Synonyms and related words
  6. 6
    used in expressions of quantity such asa lot’, ‘a few’, ora great deal
    a lot of money
    a bit of luck
    We all appreciate a little encouragement.
    Synonyms and related words
  7. 7
    used in numbers and measurements to meanone’, as ina thousandoran hour
    a million dollars
    a hundred years ago
    a minute or two
    Synonyms and related words
  8. 8
    used in phrases showing how much something costs, how often it happens, how fast it goes etc
    Meetings are held four times a year.
    Tomatoes are £1.20 a kilo (=each kilo costs £1.20).
    The car was travelling at 90 miles an hour.
    Synonyms and related words
  9. 9
    used before a noun that means a substance, product, food etc when referring to a particular type of it
    Brie is a soft creamy cheese.
    Plants won’t grow in a soil that contains too much lime.
    Synonyms and related words
  10. 10
    used before the name of some drinks to mean a cup or glass of that drink
    I’ll just have a beer, thanks.
    Have you got time for a coffee?
    Synonyms and related words
  11. 11
    used before a noun that means a particular quality or feeling when the quality or feeling is described in some way
    Sales staff must have a good working knowledge of French.
    They fought back with a fierce determination that surprised the invaders.
    Synonyms and related words
  12. 12
    used before a noun that is formed from a verb and means a single action of that verb
    Can I have a try?
    Let’s take a walk round the garden.
    Synonyms and related words
  13. 13
    used before a noun that expresses your feelings about a situation
    It’s a relief to know they’re safe.
    What a shame he couldn’t be there to receive the prize!
    Synonyms and related words
  14. 14
    used before the name of a particular day, season, or holiday to mean one particular Tuesday, summer, Christmas etc
    It was a bitterly cold winter.
    She was born at six o’clock on a Sunday morning.
    Synonyms and related words
  15. 15
    used before a persons name when you do not know anything about them
    There’s a Mr Alex Murray asking to see you.
    Synonyms and related words
    1. a.
    2. b.
      used before a family name to mean a member of that family
      Remember you’re an Osborne – it’s a name to be proud of.
      Synonyms and related words
    3. c.
      used before the name of a famous person to mean someone else with similar abilities, a similar appearance, or a similar character
      Already he is being hailed as a young Albert Einstein.
      Synonyms and related words

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