Article An

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citeaux

Member
Malaysia Malay
Hi,

I came across few sentences such as follows :

1) An game that challenges the mind.
2) An travel application.

why not 'the' instead ? Thanks.
 
  • cloudgazer

    Senior Member
    Inglés
    The article "a" should be used instead of "an" in cases where the following noun begins with a consonantal sound.

    A game that challenges the mind.:tick:
    An game that challenges the mind.:cross:
    An image that dazzles the eyes.:tick:
    A image that dazzles the eyes.:cross:
    A history of chess.:tick:
    An honor of service.:tick: (begins with silent h)
    A union.:tick: (begins with the sound "yu")
    An umpire.:tick:

    The indefinite articles "a" and "an" are used to indicate one, generic instance out of many. The definite article "the" is used to specify a particular instance of something.

    She holds a book. (We get the idea that she has some kind of book with her.)
    She holds the book. (This conveys the idea that she is holding a particular book, one we are familiar with.)
     

    Orange Blossom

    Senior Member
    U.S.A. English
    Hi,

    I came across few sentences such as follows :

    1) An game that challenges the mind.
    2) An travel application.

    why not 'the' instead ? Thanks.
    The reason why 'the' is not used is that the game or application in question is just one of several like it and the object has not been made definite.

    Pick up a travel application [There is a pile of travel applications.] and fill it out. When you have finished filling out the travel application, [Now I use the because I am referring to a specific, definite application: the one that the person has picked up and filled out.] bring it to the desk.

    Scrabble is a game that challenges the mind. <-- There are other games besides Scrabble that challenges the mind.

    Orange Blossom
     

    citeaux

    Member
    Malaysia Malay
    I found this in a maintenance contract,

    "Software" - means an Travel & Claim Application installed at the Cusomer site.

    still confuse.. why 'an' ?
     

    mjscott

    Senior Member
    American English
    I think what happened was that the person writing it wrote initially:
    An application installed at the customer site....

    ....Then, either out of oversight or not knowing any differently, when they added the words Travel & Claim, they forgot to change an to a.

    This is the only logic I can think of as to why they used an instead of a.
     

    Dimcl

    Senior Member
    Canadian English
    It's a "typo", Citeaux. It's incorrect and should say "a travel and claim application".

    Anytime you have to choose between "a" and "an", just remember that, in front of a consonant, it's always "a".

    If the nouns are specific and mean one particular thing, you would use "the". If you are speaking generally, you would use "an" (or "a") ie:

    "May I please have an apple from that basket of fruit?"
    "May I please have the apple in that basket of fruit?"
     
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