a /; strong form e/ (also an /n; strong form n/) indefinite article The form a is used before consonant sounds and the form an before vowel sounds. When saying abbreviations like ‘FM’ or ‘UN’, use a or an according to how the first letter is said. For example, F is a consonant, but begins with the sound / e / and so you say: an FM radio. U is a vowel but begins with / j / and so you say: a UN declaration.
1 used before countable or singular nouns referring to people or things that have not already been mentioned: a man / horse / unit an aunt / egg / hour / x-ray I can only carry two at a time. There’s a visitor for you. She’s a friend of my father’s (= one of my father’s friends).
2 used before uncountable nouns when these have an adjective in front of them, or phrase following them: a good knowledge of French a sadness that won’t go away
3 any; every: A lion is a dangerous animal.
4 used to show that sb/sth is a member of a group or profession: Their new car’s a BMW. She’s a Buddhist. He’s a teacher. Is that a Monet (= a painting by Monet)?
5 used in front of two nouns that are seen as a single unit: a knife and fork
6 used instead of one before some numbers: A thousand people were there.
7 used when talking about prices, quantities and rates per: They cost 50p a kilo. I can type 50 words a minute. He was driving at 50 miles an hour.
8 a person like sb: She’s a little Hitler.
9 used before sb’s name to show that the speaker does not know the person: There’s a Mrs Green to see you.
10 used before the names of days of the week to talk about one particular day: She died on a Tuesday.
Student or Learner