A, an

A and an have the same meaning and as they both mean one, they are used only before a singular countable noun (a hat). We do not place either of them before a plural noun or an uncountable noun.

  • He who kills animals illegally is a poacher.
  • His father works as an accountant in a multi-national company.

We use the before the following types of nouns:

Singular countable nouns

  • The serial killer has struck again.

Plural countable nouns

  • Rebel forces killed two of the soldiers.

Uncountable nouns

  • The sand blown by strong wind covered the entire area.

Proper nouns

  • The Brown family you have been waiting for has arrived.
Zero Article

When we use the zero article before the following types of nouns:

Plural countable nouns

  • Dogs bark all the time.
  • Most of them who spend time at this coastal resort are tourists.

Uncountable nouns (always singular)

  • Rice is currently in short supply in the province.
  • Drug overdose caused his death.

Proper nouns

  • Rome is a great city.
  • Her first language is English.