# A /An VS One apple

#### lingkky

##### Senior Member
How many apples do you have?

"I have an apple. "
"I have one apple."

We say "an apple" or "one apple" when answering the question if we only got one?
Are they interchangeable?

• #### e2efour

##### Senior Member
In answer to the question you would use one apple.
The most common answer, of course, would be one word -- One.

#### lingkky

##### Senior Member
If we don't answer a question but just say what we have. What should be said?

Look! I have an apple.
Look! I have one apple.

An or one?

#### e2efour

##### Senior Member
Look! I have an apple seems more likely than to stress the number of apples, as in Look! I have one apple.

In his hand he held an apple
is not the same as In his hand he held one apple.

#### dojibear

##### Senior Member
We say "one" when talking about the number of apples. In a situation where we might say "two apples" or "three apples", we say "one apple". It is the normal answer to a question like "how many apples?".

In most other situations, we use "a/an/the" before any countable noun such as apples. So "a/an" is used much more often than "one".

Do you have anything to eat? Yes, I have an apple.
If you are hungry, I have an apple you can eat.
I knew this meeting would last long, so I brought an apple.

#### dojibear

##### Senior Member
We also use "one" when we want to omit the noun (because it is already clear). "A/an/the" cannot be used alone. They can only be used before a noun.

Do you have an apple?
Yes, I have one.
Yes, I have an.

#### lingkky

##### Senior Member
Would it be wrong to say

"I have an apple"
for the question "How many apples do you have? "

?

#### velisarius

##### Senior Member
Would it be wrong to say

"I have an apple"
for the question "How many apples do you have? "

?
In answer to the question you would use one apple
Yes, "I have an apple" isn't an appropriate answer.

#### dojibear

##### Senior Member

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