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Qui suis-je ?

A, An or The

The definite and indefinite articles 'a', 'an', and 'the' are basic building blocks of the English language. Using them indicates two things: whether a word is singular or plural, and whether a noun is definite or indefinite.

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A, An or The
5 min

1. We use a/an/ø with general nouns.

Use 'an' nefore words that begin with a vowel (a, e, i, o, u) and 'a' before words that begin with a consonant.

-For example:
• a dog
• a house
• a manager
• a restaurant
• a taxi
• a doctor

• an apple
• an engineer
• an architect
• an English teacher

Words that begin with a “u” or “h” take 'an' if the noun begins with a vowel sound (an umbrella, an heir) and 'a' if the noun begins with a consonant sound (a university, a house).

2. We use 'the' with specific nouns or when there is only one of something.

- For example:
• the sun
• the moon
• the earth
• the library
• the bank

3. We do NOT use 'a', 'an' with we, they or you (plural).

- For example:
• They're architecs

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