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  1. Member
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      • Native Language:
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    Articles with other nouns.

    Why do we use an article here?

    What a pity!

    Although the articles A and an use before a singular countable nouns.

    Pity isn't countable.

  2. Barb_D's Avatar
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    Re: Articles with other nouns.

    The second definition of "pity": something to be regretted <it's a pity you can't go> (Dictionary and Thesaurus - Merriam-Webster Online)

    From their English Learner's dictionary:
    2 [singular] : something that causes sadness or disappointment
    ▪ It's a pity [=shame] you can't go. = Pity (that) you can't go. [=I'm sorry that you can't go] ▪ I'll be out of town on that day—a (great) pity, since I'd love to see you. ▪ He didn't live to see his daughter grow up, and that's a pity.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  3. 5jj's Avatar
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    Retired English Teacher
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    Re: Articles with other nouns.

    'What a shame' is similar.

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