Indefinite article "a/an" with plural count nouns?

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1

I know we never use the indefinite article ("a/an") before a non-count noun. But what about before plural nouns?

Questions:

  1. I don't think a plural count noun can follow an indefinite article ("a/an"). But I'm not sure. Is it possible, and if so, could you provide some examples?

  2. The following examples: "a good three hefty steaks", "a marvelous hundred days", "a hundred charges" -- aren't examples of a plural count noun with an indefinite article "a", or are they? If they aren't, then how should they be parsed?

Dmitrii Bundin

Posted 2014-12-02T19:15:22.790

Reputation: 4 809

This question appears to be off-topic because it is about a point of grammar that does not exist, and there was not any example provided. – user3169 – 2014-12-02T20:34:28.990

Vote to reopen. The first two sentences of the text of this question ask whether an article is necessary in a certain place, after the fashion of it being necessary in a similar place. This is reasonable, given his current knowledge of the grammatical topic in general. – None – 2014-12-02T23:41:51.647

1In addition, how can Dmitry Fucintv provide an example of a construction that he has never seen, and that he does not know exists or not? I find his question to be indicative of a good language learning student. – None – 2014-12-02T23:53:25.173

Perhaps: a good three hefty steaks, a marvelous hundred days, a hundred charges. Something like that? – F.E. – 2014-12-03T02:36:01.603

Great @F.E. I'm sure the learner could benefit from an explanation of these cases, which seems to me only one case. – None – 2014-12-03T02:59:55.127

@F.E. Couldn't you explain why does the examples not examples of indefinite article with non count noun? – Dmitrii Bundin – 2014-12-04T03:22:15.723

Perhaps you could ask user CarSmack (by posting a request under his answer post), for it seems that he might already have an answer figured out for your question. :) – F.E. – 2014-12-04T03:34:01.787

Answers

3

We don't use the indefinite article before plural nouns.

user6951

Posted 2014-12-02T19:15:22.790

Reputation:

1Which means we use indefinite aricle only before singular count noun? – Dmitrii Bundin – 2014-12-02T19:36:38.263

@DmitryFucintv Exactly. a or an means one. We don't use it when we are counting though. – Araucaria - Not here any more. – 2014-12-02T19:44:20.860

0

The construct "[indefinite article] [adjective] [number] [plural nouns]" is used to refer to apply an adjective to a single group containing a specified number of things. For example "a marvelous 100 days" refers to a marvelous group of days which contained, in total, 100 days.

Note that when using this construct, the adjective applies to the group, not the items therein. Note as well that in many cases the adjective may be applied to the group at least partially because of the number of things in it. For example, Acme Corporation gives it workers a rather skimpy five days of vacation per year, while Bogon corporation gives a generous forty. The sentence isn't describing the individual vacation days as being skimpy or generous, but is instead saying that a year's vacation allotment for Acme Corporation is, in total, rather skimpy, while that of Bogon corporation is, again in total, rather generous.

supercat

Posted 2014-12-02T19:15:22.790

Reputation: 585