Elo Kasia

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What are singular and plural nouns and when to use “a/an”?

by Sep 11, 2019English Grammar Tips, English Time Ask Elo

What are singular and plural nouns and when to use “a/an”?

What are singular and plural nouns and when to use “a/an”?

What are singular and plural nouns and when to use “a/an”?

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What are singular and plural nouns and when to use “a/an”?

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What are singular and plural nouns and when to use “a/an”?

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What are singular and plural nouns and when to use “a/an”?

English Time Ask Elo

Asked by @ Laba Kumar Debnath (Community Student)

What are singular and plural nouns and when to use “a/an”?

Answered by @ Elo Kasia

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What are singular and plural nouns and when to use “a/an”?

 

What are singular and plural nouns and when to use “a/an”? English Grammar Course | Singular and Plural Nouns #2

 

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What are singular and plural nouns and when to use “a/an”? Question Time: What are singular and plural nouns and when to use “a/an”?

 

What are singular and plural nouns and when to use “a/an”?  @ Laba Kumar Debnath, Thank you for your question

What are singular and plural nouns and when to use “a/an”?  As usual, I will try to explain the difference using simple language and plenty of examples.

 

What are nouns?

 

A noun is a part of speech. Nouns are normally things or people. Words like car, mother, student, university, house are all nouns.
 
In English, with most nouns which are singular (= one), we need to use a/an or the (articles).
 
 
We use a = one person or thing
 
  • I work in a school. (not “school”)
  • I have got a mobile phone. (not “mobile phone”)
  • Is there a TV in his room? (not “TV”)
  • She is waiting for a bus. (not “bus”)
  • They haven’t got a car. (not “car”)
 
We use an (not “a”) before a/e/i/o/u
 
  • Do you want an apple?
  • I need an envelope.
  • They have bought an I-phone.
  • She works in an office.
  • I haven’t got an umbrella.
 
But, also watch out for the pronunciation of some words to decide if to use a or an.
 
  • An hour (pronounced an our)
  • A university (pronounced a yunversity)
  • A European country (pronounced a yuropean)
 
Remember a / an stand for “one” so the nouns have to be “countable”. In English, there are two groups of nouns: countable, which has objects and people which can be counted (one apple, two buses, many houses, a group of students, etc.) and uncountable, which includes materials and objects considered “in mass”, such as flour, water, tea and abstract ideas or qualities, such as love, fear, knowledge, music, etc. They cannot be “counted”, so you cannot say “a flour”, “a knowledge”, etc.

 

 

When to use “A” or “AN” in a sentence… and when NOT to! (Indefinite Articles)

 

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Some of the most common uses of a/an (which are called indefinite articles).

 

When we say what a thing or person is

  • The sun is a star.
  • A watermelon is a fruit.
  • Rome is a city in Europe.
  • A jumper is a piece of clothing.

 

When we talk about people or objects for the first time

  • This is a nice hat.
  • I have just read an article about climate change.
  • I have never seen a bike like that.
  • Can you bring a chair?

 

When we talk about people’s jobs

  • She is an architect.
  • Are you a student?
  • He isn’t a banker, he is a security guard.
  • Would you like to be a teacher?

 

Plural form of countable nouns.

To talk about more than one thing or person, we need a plural form. This is usually formed by adding +s, but there are some exceptions.
 
  • a flower – two flowers, one month – two months
  • a student – thirty students, a shop – these shops
 
There are some spelling rules, which are important:
  • -s, -sh, -ch, -x – > es dish – dishes, fox- foxes, pass – passes
 
Also potato – potatoes
 
  • -y > – ies baby – babies, nappy – nappies
  • – f/-fe >- ves wife – wives, knife – knives
 
Some irregular plural nouns:
 
  • man – men, woman – women, foot- feet, child – children, mouse -mice, tooth- teeth
 
Using articles in English can sometimes be difficult, even for advanced level students. The best way to learn is to practise with real-life situations and sentences. Make sure you follow our TT exercises this week to get as much practice as possible.
 

 

 
 
 

What are singular and plural nouns and when to use “a/an”? Elo Kasia

What are singular and plural nouns and when to use “a/an”?

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