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a

a   Reference library

Garner’s Modern English Usage (4 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2016
Subject:
Language reference, Usage and Grammar Guides
Length:
966 words

A. Choice Between a and an.

The indefinite article a is used before words beginning with a consonant sound,

a.

a.   Reference library

The Oxford Dictionary of American Usage and Style

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2002
Subject:
Language reference, Usage and Grammar Guides
Length:
380 words

Choice Between a and an.

The indefinite article a is used before words beginning with a consonant sound, including

A

A   Quick reference

The Oxford Dictionary of English Grammar (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2014

*Adverbial as an *element of *clause structure.

The symbol is used in some modern analyses of clause

-a

-a   Reference library

Fowler’s Dictionary of Modern English Usage (4 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2015

Now being printed more and more to represent the sound that replaces of in rapid (especially popular or informal) speech, as in ...

a, an

a, an   Quick reference

Fowler’s Concise Dictionary of Modern English Usage (3 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2015
Subject:
Language reference, Usage and Grammar Guides
Length:
522 words

called the indefinite article (or, by some grammarians, determiner). In origin, a and its by-form an are versions of the

a, an

a, an   Reference library

Fowler’s Dictionary of Modern English Usage (4 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2015
Subject:
Language reference, Usage and Grammar Guides
Length:
1,042 words

In origin, a (and its by-form an), which is usually called the indefinite article, but now, by many grammarians, an indefinite or central determiner, is a version of OE ...

a-

a- 1   Reference library

Fowler’s Dictionary of Modern English Usage (4 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2015
Subject:
Language reference, Usage and Grammar Guides
Length:
187 words

a prefix denoting lack of something or negation, represents Greek ἀ- before a consonant and becomes an- (Greek ...

a-

a- 2   Reference library

Fowler’s Dictionary of Modern English Usage (4 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2015
Subject:
Language reference, Usage and Grammar Guides
Length:
210 words

In origin a preposition, it is recorded from 1523 onwards in many literary works, (a) with be: engaged in (...

a-word

a-word   Quick reference

The Oxford Dictionary of English Grammar (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2014
Subject:
Language reference, Usage and Grammar Guides
Length:
185 words

A *word beginning with the syllable a and belonging to a class of words (some more like adjectives, others

a.m.

a.m.   Reference library

Fowler’s Dictionary of Modern English Usage (4 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2015

As an abbreviation of Latin ante meridiem ‘before noon’, it is always pronounced as /ˌeɪˈɛm/, and is normally written in the form ...

AAVE

AAVE   Reference library

Fowler’s Dictionary of Modern English Usage (4 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2015

An initialism for african american vernacular english.

abacus

abacus   Quick reference

Fowler’s Concise Dictionary of Modern English Usage (3 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2015

The plural is abacuses, when referring to a counting device. In its architectural meaning the plural of abacus is

abacus

abacus   Reference library

Fowler’s Dictionary of Modern English Usage (4 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2015

In its meaning of a calculating device, this Latin word has the plural abacuses. In its architectural meaning, denoting the flat slab on top of a capital, the Latin plural ...

abalone

abalone   Reference library

Garner’s Modern English Usage (4 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2016

(= an edible mollusk known for its mother-of-pearl shell lining) is pronounced /a-bә-loh-nee/. Cf. calzone.

abandon

abandon n.   Reference library

The Oxford Dictionary of American Usage and Style

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2002
Subject:
Language reference, Usage and Grammar Guides
Length:
105 words

The usual idiom is wild abandon or reckless abandon (= unrestrained impulsiveness), not abandonment (= the giving up of something).

abandonment

abandonment n.   Reference library

Garner’s Modern English Usage (4 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2016
Subject:
Language reference, Usage and Grammar Guides
Length:
255 words

In most contexts, abandonment (= the permanent relinquishment of any right or interest in a thing) is the noun that

abbreviable

abbreviable   Reference library

Garner’s Modern English Usage (4 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2016

So formed—not ✳abbreviatable. See -able (d) & -atable.

abbreviated

abbreviated   Quick reference

The Oxford Dictionary of English Grammar (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2014
Subject:
Language reference, Usage and Grammar Guides
Length:
211 words

Shortened or contracted so that a part stands for the whole.

This term is used to designate language (a clause,

abbreviation

abbreviation   Quick reference

The Oxford Dictionary of English Grammar (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2014
Subject:
Language reference, Usage and Grammar Guides
Length:
302 words

A shortened form of a *word or *phrase, standing for the whole.

This term is applied in

Abbreviations

Abbreviations   Reference library

Garner’s Modern English Usage (4 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2016
Subject:
Language reference, Usage and Grammar Guides
Length:
1,772 words
Publisher:
Oxford University Press

A. Acronyms and Initialisms.

Six points merit attention here. First, be aware of the technical difference between the two types

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