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  1. Newbie
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    #1

    Wink a or an and the

    when used a or an and the?


    • Join Date: May 2008
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    #2

    Re: a or an and the

    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.


    • Join Date: May 2008
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    #3

    Re: a or an and the

    the
    1 used to refer to sb/sth that has already been mentioned or is easily understood: There were three questions. The first two were relatively easy but the third one was hard.
    There was an accident here yesterday. A car hit a tree and the driver was killed.
    The heat was getting to be too much for me.
    The nights are getting longer.
    2 used to refer to sb/sth that is the only, normal or obvious one of their kind: the Mona Lisa
    the Nile
    the Queen
    What’s the matter?
    The phone rang.
    I patted her on the back.
    How’s the (= your) baby?
    3 used when explaining which person or thing you mean: the house at the end of the street The people I met there were very friendly. It was the best day of my life. You’re the third person to ask me that. Friday the thirteenth Alexander the Great
    4 used to refer to a thing in general rather than a particular example: He taught himself to play the violin. The dolphin is an intelligent animal. They placed the African elephant on their endangered list. I heard it on the radio. I’m usually out during the day.
    5 used with adjectives to refer to a thing or a group of people described by the adjective: With him, you should always expect the unexpected. the unemployed the French
    6 used before the plural of sb’s last name to refer to a whole family or a married couple: Don’t forget to invite the Jordans.
    7 enough of sth for a particular purpose: I wanted it but I didn’t have the money.
    8 used with a unit of measurement to mean ‘every’: My car does forty miles to the gallon. You get paid by the hour.
    9 used with a unit of time to mean ‘the present’: Why not have the dish of the day? She’s flavour of the month with him.
    10 used, stressing the, to show that the person or thing referred to is famous or important: Sheryl Crow? Not the Sheryl Crow? At that time London was the place to be.

  2. Newbie
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    • Join Date: May 2009
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    #4

    Re: a or an and the

    thanks for your help

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