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  1. trueheart_205's Avatar
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    #1

    "one" and "a"

    Do the words "one" and "a" have the same meaning? Can I use them interchangeably?
    Please give me some examples.
    Thanks!

  2. BrunaBC's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: "one" and "a"

    I'm not a teacher, but I think I can help you with this question.
    One refers to numeral and a/an are indefinite articles.
    You can say: Give me one orange please, or give me an orange.
    They don't have the same meaning considering one refers to an amount of 1, and a/an are articles.
    Not a teacher.

  3. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: "one" and "a"

    Articles and the word "would" are absolutely the hardest things to explain.

    Sometimes it's "native speaker's sense" and little else that tells you when you could use "a" for one. I would say there are more times (outside of math, obviously) when you can use "a" for "one" than "one" for "a."

    It lasts one month. It lasts a month. Fine, no difference.

    But: "You're welcome to take one cookie" means one, not two or more while "You're welcome to take a cookie" leaves the possiblity that two or three would be okay too.
    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.

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    #4

    Re: "one" and "a"

    Likewise, it would be natural to say "There's a man at the door to see you" but not to say "there is one man..."

  4. trueheart_205's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: "one" and "a"

    Why don't we say "one man"? It is not natural, is it?

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    #6

    Re: "one" and "a"

    Because it carries the idea of one man not two men (or more). If you were expecting two or three men to come, then it would work.

  5. trueheart_205's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: "one" and "a"

    I understand. Thanks.

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