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Thread: A / One

  1. Member
    English Teacher
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      • Native Language:
      • Italian
      • Home Country:
      • Italy
      • Current Location:
      • Italy

    • Join Date: Jan 2012
    • Posts: 141

    A / One

    English teacher

    What is the difference, if any, between "I've got a brother / a dog ...." and "I've got one brother / one dog ...."?
    My students often use "a / one" interchangeably.

    Thank you.

  2. Moderator
    Retired English Teacher
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      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • England

    • Join Date: Jun 2010
    • Posts: 25,493

    Re: A / One

    As you know, the problem is that in many languages, including Italian, the indefinite article 'a' and 'one' share the same word.

    In English, we use 'one' when the number has a particular relevance.

    'He has a brother called Hector, hasn't he?'

    'He has two sisters but only one brother.'

    'You owe me a thousand pounds.'

    'Is it just one thousand pounds you owe me?'


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