不定冠词

不定冠词有两个:a 和 an 。不定冠词就跟其他冠词一样,没有型态上的变化。至于要选用哪一个不定冠词,要取决于名词第一个字母或第一个音节的发音。当名词是子音开头,或是以 u 或 eu 开头(发音上接近「you」),就用 a;而当名词是以母音开头,或是以不发音的 h 开头,则用 an。

 

举例
  • a boy
  • an apple
  • a car
  • a helicopter
  • an elephant
  • a big elephant
  • an itchy sweater
  • an ugly duck
  • a european
  • a university
  • a unit
  • an hour
  • an honor

初次提及某物时,会在名词前用不定冠词。有时特指群体中的一个成员时,也会用不定冠词。以下提供几个使用的时机和例句:

第一次提及某物时,用不定冠词。

举例
  • Would you like a drink?
  • I've finally got a good job.
  • An elephant and a mouse fell in love.
特指群体的某个成员

在职业名前加不定冠词。

举例
  • John is a doctor.
  • Mary is training to be an engineer.
  • He wants to be a dancer.

在单数的国籍或宗教名称前加不定冠词。

举例
  • John is an Englishman.
  • Kate is a Catholic.

如果没有特指任何一周的某个日子时,就在那个日子前用不定冠词。

举例
  • I was born on a Thursday.
  • Could I come over on a Saturday sometime?

用不定冠词指某件事的例子。

举例
  • The mouse had a tiny nose .
  • The elephant had a long trunk .
  • It was a very strange car .

在 what 和 such 后的单数名词前用不定冠词。

举例
  • What a shame !
  • She's such a beautiful girl .
  • What a lovely day !

在指单个人或物或者单个测量单位时,就用 a 来表示「一个」。在这些句子中,a 并不是不定冠词,但在文法上是正确的。这种用法强调了数量,也表达数字间的对比。

举例
  • I'd like an orange and two lemons please.
  • I'd like one orange and two lemons please.
  • The burglar took a diamond necklace and some valuable paintings.
  • I can think of a hundred reasons not to come.
  • I need a kilogram of sugar.
  • I need one kilogram of sugar.
  • You can't run a mile in 5 minutes!