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Grammar details about ARTICLE 2 by Franco

The indefinite article a/ an is NOT used

Before plural nouns

  • the plural of ** a** dog is dogs.

Before uncountable nouns
Singular and uncountable nouns in English

  • advice, information, news, baggage, luggage, furniture.
    These are often preceded by: some, any, a little, a lot of, a piece of, etc…

  • I´ll give you a piece of advice.

  • There isn´t any news.

  • You need some more furniture.

Knowledge is considered uncountable, but when used in a particular sense…

  • A knowledge of languages is always useful.
  • He has a good knowledge of Mathematics.

Hair is considered uncountable, but if we consider each hair separately we say :

  • a hair, two hairs…

  • She has black hair.

  • The fisherman used a hair to tie the feather to the hook

Materials are uncountable, but can also denote one particular thing, and then take an article

  • Windows are made of glass; Have a glass of wine.
  • We write on paper; I´ve got a newspaper.
  • Iron is a metal; I use an electric iron.
    some, any, a piece of, a lot of, are often used with materials.

Before abstract nouns, except in a particular sense:

  • beauty, happiness, fear, hope, death,

  • He was pale with fear vs Some children suffer from a fear of the dark

Before names of meals, except when preceded by an adjective; and special meaning

  • We have breakfast at eight; He gave us a good breakfast.

  • I was invited to dinner; I was invited to a dinner given to welcome the new ambassador.


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