a UK [eɪ] / US or A UK / US noun
Word forms "a":
singular a plural a's
Word forms "A":
singular A plural A's1) [countable/uncountable] the first letter of the English alphabet. A is a vowel.2) [countable/uncountable] music the sixth note in the musical scale of C major3) [countable/uncountable] a mark that a teacher gives to a student's work to show that it is excellent4) [uncountable] medical a common blood group in the abo system•See:
II = an
a strong UK [eɪ] / US or a weak UK [ə] / US or an strong UK [æn] / US or an weak UK [ən] / US determiner ***
A or an is used as an indefinite article, usually followed by a singular countable noun.
A is used when the next word begins with a consonant.
An is used when the next word begins with a vowel sound. When a word begins with the letter "u" that is pronounced /juː/, the word is treated as starting with a consonant: a university. When a word begins with a silent "h", it is treated as starting with a vowel: an hour. The names of the letters f, h, l, m, n, r, s, and x begin with vowel sounds, so abbreviations that begin with one of these letters are treated as starting with a vowel: an MP ♦ an HGV.1) used when you are mentioning a person or a thing for the first time, or when the person listening to you does not already know about them
I have an idea.
There's a concert on Sunday night.2) used when you mean any person or thing of a particular type, but you are not referring to a specific one
You need a dictionary.
I haven't got an umbrella.
Children must be accompanied by an adult.3) used when you say what class, type, or group someone or something belongs to, or what job someone has
He's a liar and a cheat.
Greece has been a republic since 1973.
Ruth's father was a lawyer.4) used before a singular noun that represents every person or thing of a particular type
A dog needs regular exercise.
A molecule consists of two or more atoms.5) used when you are referring to a person or thing as one of several people or things of this type
I want you to meet a friend of mine.
He's a member of the team.6) used in expressions of quantity such as "a lot", "a few", or "a great deal"
a lot of money
a bit of luck
We all appreciate a little encouragement.7) used in numbers and measurements to mean "one", as in "a thousand" or "an hour"
a million dollars
a hundred years ago
a minute or two8) used in phrases showing how much something costs, how often it happens, how fast it goes etc
Meetings are held four times a year.
Tomatoes are £1.20 a kilo (= each kilo costs £1.20).
The car was travelling at 90 miles an hour.9) used before a noun that means a substance, product, food etc when referring to a particular type of it
Brie is a soft creamy cheese.
Plants won't grow in a soil that contains too much lime.10) used before the name of some drinks to mean a cup or glass of that drink
I'll just have a beer, thanks.
Have you got time for a coffee?11) used before a noun that means a particular quality or feeling when the quality or feeling is described in some way
Sales staff must have a good working knowledge of French.
They fought back with a fierce determination that surprised the invaders.12) used before a noun that is formed from a verb and means a single action of that verb
Can I have a try?
Let's take a walk round the garden.13) used before a noun that expresses your feelings about a situation
It's a relief to know they're safe.
What a shame he couldn't be there to receive the prize!14) used before the name of a particular day, season, or holiday to mean one particular Tuesday, summer, Christmas etc
It was a bitterly cold winter.
She was born at six o'clock on a Sunday morning.15) used before a person's name when you do not know anything about them
There's a Mr Alex Murray asking to see you.a) used before the name of a famous artist to mean a picture by that artist
The gallery has recently acquired a Picasso.b) used before a family name to mean a member of that family
Remember you're an Osborne – it's a name to be proud of.c) used before the name of a famous person to mean someone else with similar abilities, a similar appearance, or a similar character
Already he is being hailed as a young Albert Einstein.
English dictionary. 2014.