Indefinite article in English – “a” and “an”

Saturday, October 8, 2016

In this English lesson, you will learn how to use the indefinite article (a, an)

Dans ce cours, vous allez apprendre l’article indéfini en anglais.

“a”, “an” and “the” are articles. They are types of determiners and they modify nouns.

“a” and “an” are indefinite articles. This means “not specific” so they refer to non-specific instances of a noun.

The most common use is when it is the first time we refer to an instance of a noun.

In this video lesson, I explain the grammar rules and all of the other situations of when to use indefinite articles.

There are some grammar exercises at the end of the lesson.

Other videos:

Grammar lessons:
Countable and uncountable nouns:
Listening exercises:
Vocabulary videos:

Crown Academy of English

Photo credits:

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“Young Man Brushing Teeth” Image courtesy of artur84 |
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  1. Jaafar says:


  2. engin says:

    Any difficult subject can be taught ,with a methodical  approach, which you do best.Thank you ,with  worm feelings .

  3. SunSook Lee says:

    Thank you for the lesson..I have a question. When I say I have a pen do I have to say a as /eɪ/ all the time? When natives say this it sounds like a light a to me…

  4. Ranwinsu Nill says:

    Hello Sir,
    I've a question?
    Oxford learners online dictionary meaning for the word "Pulp"
    [singular, uncountable]a soft wet substance that is made especially by crushing something.
    Example sentences:
    Cook the fruit gently until it forms a pulp.
    Mash the beans to a pulp.His face had been beaten to a pulp (= very badly beaten).
    Reduce the berries to a pulp.
    Can somebody explain why there is an indefinite article before the word pulp and also what is the meaning of [singular, uncountable] noun in the example sentences

    Cook the fruit gently until it forms a pulp. [a pulp = a cup of pulp or a mass of pulp?]
    I mean 'a pulp' is a contraction for 'a mass of pulp'?
    Dictionary markings with [Singular, Uncountable], can we use a/an before the noun?

    Thanks for your videos, it is very useful.
    Thanks in advance.
    Ranjith P V

  5. nasrin ghorbani says:

    Very good teaching, I am very difficult in English
    One of my dreams one day to speak good English
    thank you so much for tiching

  6. Rajpawar Pawar says:

    u r good teacher

  7. Romário Teixeira Neto says:

    Thanks teacher for helping me!

  8. amita sharma says:

    good one.
    I want to learn about the definite article …where not to be use?

  9. jenelyn marianito says:

    its very clear and well explained sir! ..great job!

  10. Aziz Faizi says:

    Thank you Andrew. I am always watching your video and it help me a lot with my english.

  11. Mari Maellaro says:

    Andrew, I'm from Brazil and I've been studying English yet. Your videos help me all the time and I've been learning a lot with you! Thank you so much!!!

  12. 김주원 says:

    I always thank you teacher
    I have a question
    1) I go bathroom
    2) I go to bathroom
    3) I go to the bathroom
    Are these sentences all grammatically correct? If these are,
    Can you explain me an obvious distinction between these three?

  13. Abude Sotlai says:

    thank you teacher Andrew you are my best teacher

  14. Vasily Sarantsev says:

    Andrew, Thanks for the lesson!
    1)If I get it right, an expression "What an honor" (I've heard that in an American TV show) will be incorrect, since the word 'honor' is uncountable.Does this rule stay strong in spoken English?Doesn't it sound weird for native speakers to say 'what honor'? Is it a general rule for both British and American English?
    2)In the following sentence: 'Both of them entered college after finishing high school' there is no article before 'college'.Would you explain me why?I put an indefinite article 'a' and it turned out to be incorrect.
    Sorry for weighting you down with my questions, but your explanations are very definite and clear, so I hope you'll help!

  15. Yasser Al-abdeli says:

    Hello Andrew …..

    How are you today ??? I hope you r well

    do you remember me .. hhhhh ,, I'm Yasser , from Iraq

    today I need your help in this question >> my question is about the definite article '' THE '' .

    Q what is the difference between these sentences ???

    1- Selma and Zainab watch the TV twice a week . ( with ''The '' )


    2- Selma and Zainab watch TV twice a week . ( without '' The '' )


    My friend told me \ the first sentence is wrong ,,, we can't say (( the TV ))

    but I said \ No , I don't think so .

    I think we Can … I think so

    because '' TV '' is shortcut form or abbreviated form to Television .

    and the second reason is , I talked about something is known . or specific object


    so >> what do you think . Am I right ?

    I m very confused ,,,,,,,,,,, please Help me . Andrew


  16. bilguun enkhee says:

    Andrew is an excellent teacher.

  17. Andres Caceres Coronel says:

    What a fantastic video lesson, Andrew… ! Thanks a lot for posting… ! :-)

  18. Partizan Dinic says:

    Hello teacher How are you. l must to improv sentences where use insted l was l have been for example l was in Germany and where is diffrenc l have been in Germany. Did you watch the game England against Estonia? We had played against Albania in Tirana and there we had win 2-0 l felt so happy and excited. But yesterday we lost Serbia 1 Portugal 2 and l wasn't so happy but our team improv and getting better of yes Lazar Marković is injured and he didn't play to us. This week l must to learn English a lot of course with your lesson. See you

  19. Rajat Soni says:

    Namaste Sir,

    Here I've three questions for you. Please answer them to make me clear.

    1. In this video you've used a sentence (after 16:00) "Andrew is an English teacher.". I think this sentence is wrong as because I've read in a book that "English teacher" is wrong, instead of this the correct usage is "teacher of English". Am I right? or you've used it correctly. Please explain.

    2. As you have explained that for exclamations we use articles "a/an" for example "What a surprise!". Here I've a confusion. Before asking this I say sorry in advance as I'm using this sentence without any wrong intention. Very commonly we use an expression "What the fc#k!", here we use definite article "the". Is it correct or as per your explanation this sentence should be correct "What a fc#k!". Please clarify which one is correct?

    3. At last I request you to make a wonderful lecture about the definite article "the". 🙂

    Thanks in advance. 🙂

    Warm Regards,
    Rajat Soni

  20. Partizan Dinic says:

    Hello teacher l must to improv ( have been) Has have had been) And so on
    please send me that lesson

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