W1S1 [ə strong eı] indefinite article, determiner also an
1.) used to show that you are talking about someone or something that has not been mentioned before, or that your listener does not know about
We have a problem.
There was a hole in the fence.
Suddenly they heard a loud bang.
2.) used to show that you are referring to a general type of person or thing and not a specific person or thing
Would you like a sandwich?
I want to train to be an engineer.
He's a really nice man.
Take a look at this.
It needs a good clean.
3.) used before someone's family name to show that they belong to that family
One of his daughters had married a Rothschild.
4.) one
a thousand pounds
a dozen eggs
You'll have to wait an hour or two.
5.) used in some phrases that say how much of something there is
There were a lot of people at the party.
A few weeks from now I'll be in Venice.
You have caused a great deal of trouble.
6.) used to mean 'each' when stating prices, rates, or speeds
I get paid once a month.
The eggs cost $2 a dozen.
7.) used before singular nouns to mean all things of a particular type
A square has four sides (=all squares have four sides) .
A child needs love and affection.
8.) used once before two nouns that are mentioned together very often
I'll fetch you a cup and saucer.
Does everyone have a knife and fork?
9.) used before the -ing forms of verbs when they are used as nouns referring to an action, event, or sound
There was a beating of wings overhead.
Bernice became aware of a humming that seemed to come from all around her.
10.)used before nouns that are usually ↑uncountable when other information about the quality, feeling etc is added by an adjective, phrase, or ↑clause
Candidates must have a good knowledge of chemistry.
11.) used before the name of a substance, food etc to refer to a particular type of it
Use a good cheese to make the sauce.
plants that grow well in a rich moist soil
12.) used before the name of a drink to refer to a cup or glass of that drink
Can I get you a coffee?
Renwick went to the bar and ordered a beer.
13.) used before the name of a famous artist to refer to a painting by that artist
an early Rembrandt
14.) used before a name to mean someone or something that has the same qualities as that person or thing
She was hailed as a new Marilyn Monroe.
15.) used before someone's name when you do not know who they are
There is a Mr Tom Wilkins on the phone.
16.) used before the names of days, months, seasons, and events in the year to refer to a particular one
We arrived in England on a cold wet Sunday in 1963.
I can't remember a Christmas like it.
Before a word beginning with a vowel sound, use an : an elephant | an umbrella | an obvious mistake
!! Use an before an 'h' that is not pronounced : an hour later |an honest explanation
!! Use a before a 'u' that is pronounced like 'you' : a university | a unique opportunity
!! Use an before an abbreviation that is pronounced with a vowel sound at the start : an SOS call |an MP3 file

Dictionary of contemporary English. 2013.

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