Category : 4th Class
A and an are indefinite articles because they do not refer to any particular person, animal, thing or place.
Use of 'A'
1. A is used before a singular countable noun beginning with consonant.
In these sentences 'a' has been used before the nouns boy, teacher, girl, cake and toy, as all these are single countable noun beginning with a consonant.
2. A is also used before a singular noun beginning with vowel letter but sounding like a constant.
Here, a is used before useful, university, European and one. All of these words though begin with a vowel but their sounds are like consonant. For example, we say 'useful' as 'yousful', university as 'youniversity', etc. So before these words if we need to use article, we have to use a always.
Use of' An'
1. An is used before a singular noun beginning with a vowel.
In the given sentences an have been used before old, elephant. American, egg and umbrella. All of these words begin with a vowel.
2. An is also used before a singular noun beginning with consonant but sounds like vowel.
Here though the words honest, honourable, M.L.A and M.P begin with consonant, but all of them sound like vowel. For example, we say honest as 'onest', honourable as 'onarable' etc.
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