- a1 [ eı ] (plural a's) or A (plural A's) noun1. ) count or uncount the first letter of the English alphabet. A is a vowel.2. ) A count or uncount the sixth note in the musical SCALE of C major3. ) A count or uncount a mark that a teacher gives to a student's work to show that it is excellent4. ) A uncount a common BLOOD TYPEfrom A to Bfrom one place to another:What's the cheapest way of getting our products from A to B?=> A-BOMB, A-LINE, A-LIST, A TO Za2 [ weak ə, strong eı ] or an [ weak ən, strong æn ] determiner ***A or an is used as an indefinite article, usually followed by a singular countable noun.A is used when the next word begins with a consonant.An is used when the next word begins with a vowel sound.When a word begins with the letter u that is pronounced /ju:/, the word is treated as starting with a consonant:a university.When a word begins with a silent h, it is treated as starting with a vowel:an hour.The names of the letters f, h, l, m, n, r, s, and x begin with vowel sounds, so abbreviations that begin with one of these letters are treated as starting with a vowel:an X-rayan SUV.1. ) used when you are mentioning a person or a thing for the first time, or when the person listening to you does not already know about them:I have an idea.There's a concert on Sunday night.2. ) used when you mean any person or thing of a particular type, but you are not referring to one specifically:You need a dictionary.I don't have an umbrella.Children must be accompanied by an adult.3. ) used when you say what class, type, or group someone or something belongs to, or what job someone has:Ruth's father was a lawyer.He's a liar and a cheat.Greece has been a republic since 1973.4. ) used before a singular noun that represents every person or thing of a particular type:A dog needs regular exercise.A molecule consists of two or more atoms.5. ) used when you are referring to a person or thing as one of several:I want you to meet a friend of mine.He's a member of the team.6. ) used in expressions of quantity such as a lot, a few, or a great deal :a lot of moneya few friendsWe all appreciate a little encouragement.7. ) used in numbers and measurements to mean one, as in a thousand or an hour :a million dollarsa hundred years agoa minute or two8. ) used in phrases showing how much something costs, how often it happens, how fast it goes, etc.:Meetings are held four times a year (=four times every year).Peaches are 99 cents a pound (=each pound costs 99 cents).The car was traveling at 90 miles an hour.9. ) used before a noun that means a substance, product, food, etc. when referring to a particular type of it:Brie is a soft creamy cheese.Plants won't grow in a soil that contains too much lime.10. ) used before the name of some drinks to mean a cup or glass of that drink:I'll just have a beer, thanks.Would you like a cola?11. ) used before a noun that means a particular quality or feeling when the quality or feeling is described in some way:Sales staff must have a good working knowledge of French.They fought back with a fierce determination that surprised the invaders.12. ) used before a noun that is formed from a verb and means a single action of that verb:Can I have a try?Let's take a walk around the garden.13. ) used before a noun that expresses your feelings about a situation:It's a relief to know they're safe.What a shame he couldn't be there to receive the prize!14. ) used before the name of a particular day, season, or holiday to mean one particular Tuesday, summer, Christmas, etc.:It was a bitterly cold winter.She was born at six o'clock on a Sunday morning.15. ) used before a person's name when you do not know anything about them:There's a Mr. Alex Murray asking to see you.1a ) used before the name of a famous artist to mean a picture by that artist:The gallery has recently acquired a Picasso.1b ) used before a family name to mean a member of that family:Remember you're an Osborne it's a name to be proud of.1c ) used before the name of a famous person to mean someone else with similar abilities, a similar appearance, or a similar personality:Already he is being hailed as a young Albert Einstein.
Usage of the words and phrases in modern English. 2013.