IELTS English Proficiency Training - A Lesson on Indefinite Articles "An" and "A"

Just like the article "the", "a" and "an" are limiting adjectives. These two are usually placed right before the noun they modify. It is important to know that only countable nouns are used with these articles.

Countable nouns are nouns that can be counted. They can have a plural form too. For example, we have table, horse, computer, and many more as countable nouns. Here are the rules in usage of the articles "a" and "an":

· Use "a" with singular countable nouns with consonant sounds


  • a boy
  • a table
  • a horse
  • a uniform
  • a university
· Use "an" with singular countable nouns with vowel sounds
  • an apple
  • an egg
  • an igloo
  • an orange
  • an umbrella
  • an hour
  • an honest person

· Use "a" and "an" to say something about the job of a person


  • Mrs. Kim is a good lawyer.
  • My father is a doctor.
  • Their daughter is a nurse in Australia.

· Use "a" and "an" with a singular noun to say something about all things of that kind


  • A man needs friends. This means that all men need friends.
  • A dog likes meat. It means that all dogs eat meat.

· use "a" and "an" when we introduce the noun in the sentence for the first time. When we need to mention it again, that’s the time we have to use the definite article “the”.


There is a woman sitting outside the truck near the porch of my house. I looked at it again and realized that the woman is my mother and the truck where she is sitting my father's.

I have a big blue notebook in my room. I usually use the notebook when I write my notes for my exam. The notebook has been a very big help to me since I like reviewing using the notes in the notebook that I have.

Now, answer the following activities: which one should use "a", "an" of "the".
1) I like ___ blue T-shirt over there better than ___ red one.

2) Their car runs 150 miles ___ hour.

3) Where's ___ USB drive I lent you last week?

4) Do you still live in ___ Bristol?

5) Is your mother working in ___ old office building?

6) Carol's father works as ___ electrician.

7) The tomatoes are 99 pence ___ kilo.

8) What do you usually have for ___ breakfast?

9) Ben has ___ terrible headache.

10) After this tour you have ___ whole afternoon free to explore the city.

There are a lot of worksheets online for free where you could practice on. These articles are just so simple yet they can be confusing once you have to use them in writing and even in speaking. Enjoy learning.


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