A, an:

and an have the same meaning and as they both mean one, they are used only before a singular countable noun (a hat). We do not place either of them before a plural noun or an uncountable noun.


  • He who kills animals illegally is a poacher.
  • His father works as an accountant in a multi-national company.

We use the before the following types of nouns.


Singular countable noun:

  • The serial killer has struck again.

Plural countable noun:

  • Rebel forces killed two of the soldiers..

Uncountable noun:

  • The sand blown by strong wind covered the entire area.

Proper noun:

  • The Brown family whom you have been waiting for has arrived.



Zero Article

We use the zero article before the following types of nouns:


Plural countable noun:

  • Dogs bark all the time.


  • Most of them who spend time at this coastal resort are tourists.

Uncountable noun (always singular):

  • Rice is currently in short supply in the province.
  • Drug overdose caused his death. 

Proper noun:

  • Rome is a great city.
  • Her first language is English