Indefinite Articles

The words a, an, and the are special adjectives called articles.

Indefinite Articles—a, an

an—used before singular count nouns beginning with a vowel (a, e, i, o, u) or vowel sound:

  • an apple, an elephant, an issue, an orange

a—used before singular count nouns beginning with consonants (other than a, e, i, o, u):

  • a stamp, a desk, a TV, a cup, a book

Indefinite Article (a, an)

Used before singular nouns that are unspecified:

  • a pencil
  • an orange

Used before number collectives and some numbers:

  • a dozen
  • a gallon

Used before a singular noun followed by a restrictive modifier:

  • a girl who was wearing a yellow hat

Used with nouns to form adverbial phrases of quantity, amount, or degree:

I felt a bit depressed.