a/an - one...

natt

Member
venezuela, spanish
hi, i would like to know the difference between the word use "a/an" and "one";in other words, when is used these words in a phrase?

for example:

"please, gimme one cigarette" or "please, gimme a cigarette"

i just use each one instinctively but i don't know its difference...

if you could help me, i'll thanful to you
 
  • Rubns

    Senior Member
    Español - Spanish (Spain)
    A/an and one both refer to one thing. Using one puts more emphasis on the number. Examples : Henry gave the taxi driver a note (not a coin), Henry gave the taxi driver one note (not two).

    We use one (not a/an) when we mean one of a larger number :
    One question/One of the questions in the exam was more difficult than the others
    The team wasn't at full strenght. One player/One of the players was injured.

    I hope this helps
     

    Masood

    Senior Member
    British English
    Hmmm...good question. Rubns has answered your question well, I think. In your example, "gimme a cigarette" sounds much more natural than "gimme one cigarette". If you said "gimme one cigarette" the other person might say (jokingly) "just one? sure you don't want 2 or 3 or the whole packet!?"
    I haven't really answered your question, but in general, if you need EXACTLY one of an item, you are OK to say "can I have one <item X>, please".

    Masood.
     

    el alabamiano

    Senior Member
    English (US)
    Remember that a is used before words that begin with consonants, while an is used before words that begin with vowels or where a word beginning with the letter h is silent. Examples:

    a boy
    a cat
    a dog
    a house

    an hour (h is silent)
    an apple
    an elephant
    an idol
    an ostrich
    an umbrella
     

    Vicki

    Senior Member
    United States/English
    el alabamiano said:
    Remember that a is used before words that begin with consonants, while an is used before words that begin with vowels or where a word beginning with the letter h is silent.

    También hay que fijarse en ésto:

    Cuando se trata de una abreviatura, depende del sonido de la primera letra.

    Por ejemplo, "an MBA", no "a MBA" -- "an em..."

    Es un error que se hace muchas personas cuya primer idioma es inglés.

    Vicki
     

    jasare69

    New Member
    Mexican Spanish
    HEY GUYS!

    I´m new in the forum....

    Does anybody know the difference between "A" and "ONE"?

    For instance,

    1.- I want "a" beer, please or I want "One" beer please....
    2.- "One" way ticket or "A" way ticket.
    3.- We watched "a" movie or We watched "one" movie..

    These examples might sound akward, sorry about that..

    Thanks in advance.
     

    Periplo

    Senior Member
    Spanish Argentina
    A es un artículo indefinido y se usa para referirse a algo o alguien en general: un hombre cualquiera, una casa indistintamente.

    One (en este caso) es un adjetivo y se usa para determinar la cantidad de cosas o personas a las que me refiero: un hombre y no dos, una casa y no cuatro.

    Espero que haya quedado claro, saludos.
     

    Aidanriley

    Senior Member
    English
    They're hard to differentiate, but when you use "one" in numbers one or three, it makes it sound like you want to emphasize that you want no more than one. The second phrase, "one-way", is sort of a set-in-stone manner to refer to tickets that take you somewhere, but don't take you back.
     

    maiku83

    Member
    English - USA
    A es un artículo indefinido y se usa para referirse a algo o alguien en general: un hombre cualquiera, una casa indistintamente.

    One (en este caso) es un adjetivo y se usa para determinar la cantidad de cosas o personas a las que me refiero: un hombre y no dos, una casa y no cuatro.

    Espero que haya quedado claro, saludos.

    no podría ser más clara esta explicación.
     

    jasare69

    New Member
    Mexican Spanish
    A es un artículo indefinido y se usa para referirse a algo o alguien en general: un hombre cualquiera, una casa indistintamente.

    One (en este caso) es un adjetivo y se usa para determinar la cantidad de cosas o personas a las que me refiero: un hombre y no dos, una casa y no cuatro.

    Espero que haya quedado claro, saludos.
     

    david.escuizo

    Senior Member
    Spanish (Spain)
    También hay que fijarse en esto:

    Cuando se trata de una abreviatura, depende del sonido de la primera letra.

    Por ejemplo, "an MBA", no "a MBA" -- "an em..."

    Es un error que se hace muchas personas cuya primer idioma es inglés.

    Vicki

    El pronombre "esto" nunca va con tilde ya que no existe su "doble" como determinante demostrativo: se puede decir esta casa pero no esto casa. Se le llama pronombre neutro.

    La frase: es un error que lo cometen muy a menudo las personas cuyo primer idioma es el inglés
     

    Languetrad

    New Member
    Spanish
    hola, quisiera saber si la frase " tiene dos hermanos y una hermana " en inglés sería correcto decir: "he has two brothers and a sister" o "he has two brothers and one sister"
     

    Bill Osler

    Senior Member
    English, USA
    I have heard both forms. My personal opinion is that although they both mean essentially the same thing the second form emphasizes a bit more the fact that there is exactly one sister.
     
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