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The indefinite article

Afrikaans only have one indefinite article, namely 'n a(n). The indefinite article indicates that the noun is singular and has not yet been identified. It is often used to place new information in the text (Van Rooy 2017:264).

The indefinite article may be absent or present. It does not distinguish gender, but it does distinguish between singular and plural, by its absence in the plural. It also distinguishes between count nouns and non-count nouns, by its absence before non-count nouns. The following table summarises these uses, and illustrated in the sentence examples below:

Table 1
Singular, both genders Plural
Count nouns 'n a ('n boek a book) - (boeke books)
Other - (wyn wine) - (not applicable)

Wie kan 'n boek skryf sonder om uit eie ondervinding te put?
who can a book write without for.COMP out own experience PTCL.INF draw.INF
Who can write a book without drawing on their own experience?
In ons tyd word boeke nie meer so erg deur maghebbers gevrees nie
in our time be.AUX.PASS.PRS books not anymore as badly by rulers fear.PASS PTCL.NEG
In our time, books are no longer so badly feared by rulers.
Ek sal wyn bring.
I will.AUX.MOD wine bring
I will bring wine.

Both the definite article and the indefinite article have a function in the domain of discourse, as well as distinguishable uses. More details regarding the function and use of the indefinite article can be found by following the corresponding links:

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