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Thread: Adding a/an

  1. #1
    Guyy is offline Newbie
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    Default Adding a/an

    Hi
    I don't speak English usually so i'm sorry if I have any mistake.
    I've learned that I need to add a/an only before single noun.
    I read in a book the sentence 'He examined her belly with an ill-concealed astonishment' and I wondered why there is no an before the ill-concealed astonishment and I was told that we don't add a/an before an uncountable noun. a few minutes ago I read the sentence "i'm still in a daze". Daze is also an uncountable noun so I don't understand there is "a" before that?
    thanks

  2. #2
    ackeiyword is offline Banned
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    Default Re: Adding a/an

    be in a daze, this is a phrase and is a regular collocation.

    "A" goes before all words that begin with consonants.With one exception: Use "an" before unsounded h.
    "An" goes before all words that begin with vowels, With two exceptions:the word-initial 'y' sound (unicorn) is actually a glide [j] phonetically, which has consonantal properties; consequently, it is treated as a consonant, requiring 'a'.

  3. #3
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    devonpham1998 is offline Junior Member
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    Smile Re: Adding a/an

    Dear Guyy,
    What you were told is wrong. "A" and "An" are not only put before countable nouns but also before uncountable nouns. As Ackeiyword said:
    Quote Originally Posted by ackeiyword View Post

    "A" goes before all words that begin with consonants.With one exception: Use "an" before unsounded h.
    "An" goes before all words that begin with vowels, With two exceptions:the word-initial 'y' sound (unicorn) is actually a glide [j] phonetically, which has consonantal properties; consequently, it is treated as a consonant, requiring 'a'.
    But further more, you have to be careful with some words start with "U", like: university, useful (horse),... Put "A" before it! "U" here are pronunced /ju:/, j is a consonants.
    Good luck!

    Devon Pham

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    5jj's Avatar
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    Default Re: Adding a/an

    Quote Originally Posted by devonpham1998 View Post
    "A" and "An" are not only put before countable nouns but also before uncountable nouns.
    Actually, we cannot use a/an with most uncountable nouns. We can use a/an before some uncountable nouns, mainly those denoting human emotions and thoughts, and usually when they are limited in some way:

    He has a good understanding of the situation.
    He has a pretty good knowledge of Russian.

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    devonpham1998's Avatar
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    Default Re: Adding a/an

    Quote Originally Posted by fivejedjon View Post
    Actually, we cannot use a/an with most uncountable nouns. We can use a/an before some uncountable nouns, mainly those denoting human emotions and thoughts, and usually when they are limited in some way:

    He has a good understanding of the situation.
    He has a pretty good knowledge of Russian.
    Yes. I supposed to write: "A" and "An" are not only put before countable nouns but also before uncountable nouns in some cases.

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