Nouns: indefinite articles


I want an ice cream - Eu quero um sorvete

There are two indefinite articles in English: a (used before consonant sounds, e.g. a card) and an (used before vowel sounds, e.g. an ambulance). We use indefinite articles when a noun (things, people, etc.) is not specific in the context:

  • Do you have a pen? (any pen; it is not a specific one)
  • There is a train coming in 5 minutes.
  • Look! I can see a hotel over there.

We use indefinite articles to say someone's occupation:

  • My sister is a dentist.
  • Matt is an enginner.

We can also use them when describing nouns:

  • That's a beautiful house.
  • We had an amazing time.

A and an are also used after the words 'what' and 'such':

  • What a goal!
  • We can't waste such a great opportunity.
Further learning
Description Author Language
Specific examples of when to use indefinite articles. EF English


This grammar section includes materials sourced from the following: Linguapress,