One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A determiner (a and an in English) that introduces a noun phrase and implies that the thing referred to is non-specific (as in she bought me a book; government is an art; he went to a public school). Typically, the indefinite article is used to introduce new concepts into a discourse.Compare with definite article
- ‘The use of the indefinite article with predicate nouns is to some extent an idiosyncratic feature of English.’
- ‘It seems to me that the argument requires not only reading ‘or’ in a particular way but substituting the definite article for the indefinite article.’
- ‘There may be a difference between the definite article and the indefinite article, and there are different views on capital letters, I suppose.’
- ‘For example, Gordon's speech as represented by Odum has some striking aspects that, like the regular omission of definite and indefinite articles, can only be attributed to an unusual idiolect.’
- ‘Using the feminine personal pronoun as an indefinite article is as moronic as using the masculine personal pronoun for personification.’
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