a1 [ eı ] (plural a's) or A (plural A's) noun
1. ) 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 major
3. ) A count or uncount a mark that a teacher gives to a student's work to show that it is excellent
4. ) A uncount a common BLOOD TYPE
from A to B
from one place to another:
What's the cheapest way of getting our products from A to B?
a2 [ 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-ray
an 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 money
a few friends
We all appreciate a little encouragement.
7. ) used in numbers and measurements to mean one, as in a thousand or an hour :
a million dollars
a hundred years ago
a minute or two
8. ) 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.
a ) used before the name of a famous artist to mean a picture by that artist:
The gallery has recently acquired a Picasso.
b ) 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.
c ) 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.

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