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Notes on using the indefinite article

Using the indefinite article a or an with singular countable nouns

Using the indefinite article a or an
A or an is used to introduce a singular countable noun.
an email

a letter

a relative

a major project

a computer

Omitting a or an with uncountable nouns

Omitting the indefinite article
A or an is omitted when a noun is used with a general uncountable meaning.
communication

information

access

pornography

control
Example
  • It is possible to transfer information quickly using a computer.

Some nouns can have both a countable and uncountable meaning *.



Examples
  • It is easy to send an email to a relative.
  • Email is faster than mail
  • A communication * from the Prime Minister was received earlier today.
  • Good communication is essential in most jobs.
Note: Countable nouns take s in the plural. Note: Nouns with a general uncountable meaning cannot be made plural.
  • We sent emails to our relatives
  • They will undertake several major projects
  • Data communications are now very rapid
  • The technology supports both voice and data communications
  • We correspond by email
  • We need to control access to information on the Internet
  • Data communication is now very rapid
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