What Part of Speech is “A”

The word “A” has multiple purposes in verbal and written English. It can either be used as an indefinite article, a noun, a verb, or a preposition.

  1. Indefinite Article

The word “a” is categorized under indefinite articles because it is used to mention a singular noun that is unspecified.  In the sample sentence below:

It was taken by a man in the basement.

The word is considered as an indefinite article because it is used to refer to a singular noun (man) that was mentioned for the first time.


a. used when referring to someone or something for the first time in a text or conversation

  • Example:
  • A muscular man entered the bar.


  1. Noun

Sometimes, the word “a” is also used as a noun that refers to the first letter of the alphabet, a musical note, or an academic grade given to a student. For example, in the sentence:

Rico got an A in Math.

The word “A” is used as a noun that refers to a grade that represents an excellent work.


a. the first letter of the English alphabet

  • Example:
  • Write the letter A above the line.


b. the sixth tone of a C-major scale

  • Example:
  • Play the A minor chord next.

c. a grade that is given to a student for doing excellent work

  • Example:
  • Almost everyone got an A in English.


  1. Verb

This word is considered as an archaic verb when it is used to denote an action or a state of being. In the sample sentence seen below:

I might a had husbands before now.

The word “a” is used as a verb that introduces the sentence predicate “had husbands before now.”


a. have

  • Example:
  • We might a had peace in a little while


  1. Preposition

In some cases, the word “a” is also used as a preposition which can be substituted to “in,” “to,” or “for each.” For example, in the sentence below:

My parents send money once a month.

The word “a” is considered as a preposition which can also mean “for each.”


a. in, to, or for each

  • Example:
  • Our family visits twice a week.
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