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The letter a

Contents

Translingual

Etymology 1

Approximate form of Greek upper case Α (a, “alpha”) that was the source for both common variants of a

Modification of capital letter A, from [[w:Template:lang:la language|Template:lang:la]][[Category:Template:lang:la derivations]] A from Ancient Greek letter Α (A).

Pronunciation

  • (most languages): IPA: /ɑː/, /a/

Letter

a (lower case, upper case A)

  1. Lower case form of A. The first lower case letter of the classical Latin alphabet and most variations thereof, including the English alphabet.

Usage notes

The letter a is used in the International Phonetic Alphabet and in several romanization systems of non-Latin scripts to represent an open central unrounded vowel (IPA: /a/).

See also

External links

Etymology 2

From atto-, from Danish and Norwegian atten (eighteen).

Symbol

a

  1. atto-, the prefix for 10-18 by the International System of Units.

Etymology 3

From [[w:Template:lang:la language|Template:lang:la]][[Category:Template:lang:la derivations]] annus

Symbol

a

  1. A year in SI Units, specifically a Julian year or exactly 365.25 days.

English

Etymology 1

Runic letter ᚫ (a), “‘ansuz’”), source for Anglo-Saxon Futhorc letters replaced by a

From Middle English and Old English lower case letter a and split of Middle English and Old English lower case letter æ.

  • Anglo-Saxon Futhorc letter ᚪ (a), “‘āc’”) Old English lower case letter a from 7th century replacement by Latin lower case letter a of the Anglo-Saxon Futhorc letter  (a), āc), derived from Runic letter  (a), Ansuz).
  • Anglo-Saxon Futhorc letter ᚫ (æ), “‘æsc’”) Old English lower case letter æ from 7th century replacement by Latin lower case ligature æ of the Anglo-Saxon Futhorc letter  (æ), æsc), also derived from Runic letter  (a), Ansuz).

Alternative forms

Pronunciation

  • (letter name)
    The current pronunciation is a comparatively modern sound, and has taken the place of what, till about the early part of the 17th century, was similar to that in other languages.
  • (phoneme) IPA: /æ/, /ɑː/, /eɪ/, ...

Letter

a (lower case, upper case A)

  1. The first letter of the English alphabet.
Usage notes

In English, the letter a by usually denotes the near-open front unrounded vowel (IPA: /æ/), as in pad, the open back unrounded vowel (IPA: /ɑː/) as in father, or, followed by another vowel, the diphthong IPA: /eɪ/, as in ace.

a is the third-most common letter in English.

Derived terms
See also
  • Next letter: b

Noun

Singular
a

Plural
es

a (es)
  1. The name of the letter A.
  2. (Template loop detected: Template:context 1) The best grade; superiority.
    The burgers here are grade a number 1.
Translations

Etymology 2

Old English ān.

Pronunciation

Article

a (indefinite)

  1. Apocopic form of an. One; any indefinite example of.
    There was a man here looking for you yesterday.
    I've seen it happen a hundred times.
  2. One certain or particular.
    We've received an interesting letter from a Mrs. Miggins of London.

Usage notes

Before a vowel sound, a becomes an.

Quotations

  • 2005, Emily Kingsley (lyricist), Kevin Clash (voice actor), “A Cookie is a Sometime Food”, Sesame Street, season 36, Sesame Workshop
    Hoots the Owl: Yes a, fruit, is a [sic], any, time, food!

Translations

See an for translations.

Etymology 3

Unstressed form of on.

Pronunciation

Preposition

a

  1. (archaic) In, on, at, by.
    A God’s name.
    Torn a pieces.
    Stand a tiptoe.
    • Shakespeare, Hamlet, IV-v: A Sundays
    • Chaucer: Wit that men have now a days.
  2. (archaic) In the process of; in the act of; into; to. (Used with verbal substantives in -ing which begin with a consonant.)
    • King James Bible, Hebrews 11-21: Jacob, when he was a dying
    • Shakespeare: It was a doing.
  3. (archaic) Of.
    The name of John a Gaunt.
    • Shakespeare, 1 Henry IV, I-ii: What time a day is it?
    • Ben Jonson: It’s six a clock.
  4. To, each, per.
    I brush my teeth twice a day.
    The servants are given a bonus of six shillings a man.

Etymology 4

Unstressed variant of have or of.

Pronunciation

Verb

Infinitive
a

Third person singular
-

Simple past
-

Past participle
-

Present participle
-

a (third-person singular simple present -, present participle -, simple past and past participle -)
  1. (Template loop detected: Template:context 1) Have. (Now often attached to preceding auxiliary verb.)
    I shoulda stayed at home last night.
Derived terms

Etymology 5

Unstressed variant of ha (he), heo (she), etc.

Pronunciation

Pronoun

a

  1. He; she; it; they.
    • (obsolete) Shakespeare, Much Ado About Nothing, III-ii:
      a’ brushes his hat o’ mornings.
    • (UK, Scotland, Template loop detected: Template:context 2) 1874 Thomas Hardy, Far from the Madding Crowd, Barnes & Noble Classics reprint [reset], 2005, ch 5 p 117; from "Hardy's 1912 Wessex edition":
      "And how Farmer James would cuss, and call thee a fool, wouldn't he, Joseph, when 'a seed his name looking so inside-out-like?" continued Matthew Moon, with feeling. / "Ay -- 'a would," said Joseph meekly.

Etymology 6

Variant spelling of ah.

Pronunciation

  • IPA: /ə/, /ɑ:/

Interjection

a

  1. A meaningless syllable; ah.
    • Shakespeare, The Winter’s Tale, IV-iii:
      A merry heart goes all the day
      Your sad tires in a mile-a
    • Avery, I Love to Singa:
      I love to sing-a
      About the moon-a and the June-a and the Spring-a.

Etymology 7

Abbreviations.

Pronunciation

Abbreviation

a

  1. (Template loop detected: Template:context 1) accepted
  2. ante; before.
  3. (linguistics) active
  4. adjective
  5. An are, a unit of area of which 100 comprise a hectare.

See also


Ainu

Pronoun

a- (verb prefix, kana ア-)

  1. I, we, someone, my

Aragonese

Etymology

From Latin illa.

Article

a f. sg.

  1. the
    A luenga aragonesa — “The Aragonese language”

Asturian

Preposition

a

  1. to, towards

Derived terms


Bosnian

Conjunction

a [[Category:Template:lang:bs conjunctions|a]]

  1. and
  2. but

Croatian

Conjunction

a

  1. and
  2. but

Czech

Pronunciation

Conjunction

a

  1. and

Egyptian

Pronunciation

Noun

D36
Z1

D36:Z1 a

  1. arm

French

Verb

a

  1. Third-person singular indicative present of avoir.

See also


Galician

Etymology 1

From [[w:Template:lang:la language|Template:lang:la]][[Category:gl:Template:lang:la derivations]] ad (to, toward).

Preposition

a

  1. to, toward
Usage notes

The preposition a regularly forms contractions when it precedes the definite article o, a, os, and as. For example, a o ("to the") contracts to ao or ó, and a a ("to the") contracts to á.

Derived terms

Etymology 2

From [[w:Template:lang:la language|Template:lang:la]][[Category:gl:Template:lang:la derivations]] illa, feminine of ille (that).

Article

a f. sg. (masculine singular o, feminine plural as, masculine plural os)

  1. (Template loop detected: Template:context 1) the
Usage notes

The definite article o (in all its forms) regularly forms contractions when it follows the prepositions a (to), con (with), de (of, from), and en (in). For example, con a ("with the") contracts to coa, and en a ("in the") contracts to na.

Derived terms

Pronoun

a f accusative (nominative ela, oblique ela, dative lle)

  1. her (feminine singular third-person personal pronoun)
Usage notes

The third-person direct object pronouns o, os, a, and as, have variant forms prefixed with l- or n-. These alternative forms appear depending on the ending of the preceding word. The l- forms (e.g. la) are used when the preceding word ends in -r or -s. The n- forms (e.g. na) are used when the preceding word ends in a -u or a diphthong. These alternative forms are then suffixed to the preceding word.

In all other situations, the standard forms of the pronouns are used (o, os, a, as) and are not suffixed to the preceding word.

These direct object pronouns also form contractions when they immediately follow an indirect object pronoun. For example, Dou che a ("I gave you it.") contracts to Dou cha.

Derived terms
Related terms
See also

Hungarian

Article

a (definite)

  1. the
    a hölgy - the lady

Usage notes

Used before words starting with a consonant.

Related terms


Interlingua

Preposition

a

  1. to, at

Irish

Pronunciation

Particle

a

  1. Vocative (triggers lenition)
    A Dhia! — "O God!"
    A dhuine uasail — "Sir"
    Tar isteach, a Sheáin — "Come in, Seán"
    A amadáin! — "You fool!"
  2. Numeral (attaches h to a vowel)
    A haon, a dó, a trí... — "One, two, three..."
    Séamas a — "James the Second"
    Bus a seacht — "The number seven bus"
  3. Direct relative (triggers lenition)
    An fear a chuireann síol — "The man who sows seed"
    An síol a chuireann an fear — "The seed that the man sows"
    Nuair a éirím — "When I rise"
  4. Indirect relative (triggers eclipsis)
    An bord a bhfuil leabhar air — "The table on which there is a book"
    An fear a bhfuil a mac ag imeacht — "The man whose son is going away"
  5. how, used with an abstract noun (triggers lenition)
    A ghéire a labhair sí — "How sharply she spoke"
    A fheabhas atá sé — "How good it is"

Preposition

a

  1. to, used with a verbal noun (triggers lenition)
    Síol a chur — "To sow seed"
    Uisce a ól — "To drink water"
    An rud atá sé a scríobh — "What he is writing"
    D’éirigh sé a chaint — "He rose to speak"
    Téigh a chodladh — "Go to sleep"

Pronoun

a

  1. his, its (triggers lenition)
    A athair agus a mháthair — "His father and mother"
    Chaill an t-éan a chleití — "The bird lost its feathers"
  2. her, its (attaches h to a vowel)
    A hathair agus a máthair — "Her father and mother"
    Bhris an mheaig a heiteog — "The magpie broke its wing"
  3. their (triggers eclipsis)
    a dtithe — "their houses"
    a n-ainmneacha — "their names"
  4. all that, whatever
    Sin a bhfuil ann — "That's all that is there"
    An bhfuair tú a raibh uait? — "Did you get all that you wanted?"
    Íocfaidh mé as a gceannóidh tú — "I will pay for whatever you buy"

Italian

Pronunciation

Preposition

a [[Category:Template:lang:it prepositions|a]]

  1. in
  2. at
  3. to
  4. Indicates the direct object, mainly to avoid confusion when it, the subject, or both are displaced, or for emphasis
    A me non importa. — “It doesn’t matter to me.” (literally, "To me it doesn’t matter.")
    A lei non piace, ma a lui piace molto — “She doesn't like it, but he likes it very much.”

Usage notes

When followed by a definite article, a is combined with the article to give the following combined forms:

Verb

a

  1. Common misspelling of ha.

Japanese

Noun

a (hiragana )

  1. : hiragana letter a
  2. : katakana letter a

Krisa

Noun

a m.

  1. pig

Latin

Letter

a (lower case, upper case A)[[Category:Template:lang:la letters|a]]

  1. (Template loop detected: Template:context 1) the first letter of the Latin alphabet.
    littera a — “the letter a”

Usage notes

Broom icon.svg A user suggests that this entry should be cleaned up, giving the reason: “Information about mutations of the letter and sound a belongs in an appendix, if anywhere.”.
Please see the discussion on Requests for cleanup(+) for more information and remove this template after the problem has been dealt with.

Preposition

a (takes object in ablative case)[[Category:Template:lang:la prepositions|a]]

  1. of; from

Synonyms

Derived terms

Interjection

ā!

  1. ah

Lingua Franca Nova

Preposition

a

  1. to, at, in, on, toward, towards, in the manner of

Interjection

a

  1. ah

Noun

a

  1. “the letter a”

Mandarin

Particle

a (Pinyin a, traditional and simplified )

Modal particle (used as phrase suffix)

  1. (in enumeration)
    qian a, shu a, biao a, wo dou diu le. Money, books, watch, I lost everything.
  2. (in direct address and exclamation)
    Lao Wang a, zhe ke bùxíng a! Old Wang, this won't do!
  3. (indicating obviousness/impatience)
    lai a! Come on!
  4. (for confirmation)
    ni bu lai a? So, you're not coming?

Pronunciation

Interjection

a (Pinyin ā or a, traditional and simplified )

  1. (Beginning Mandarin) ah; oh

Usage notes

  • placed at the end of a sentence, or used by itself to express surprise.

Pinyin

a (form of a0 or a5)

  1. : exclamatory particle
  2. :

Pinyin syllable

a

  1. A transliteration of any of a number of Chinese characters properly represented as having one of four tones, ā, á, ǎ, or à.

Usage notes

English transcriptions of Chinese speech often fail to distinguish between the critical tonal differences employed in the Chinese language, using words such as this one without the appropriate indication of tone.


References

  • Shao, Jingmin (ed.) (2000). HSK Dictionary (HSK汉语水平考试词典) (in Mandarin/English). Shanghai: Huadong Teachers College Publishers. ISBN 7561720785.

Min Nan

simpl. and trad.

Pronunciation

Interjection

a (POJ, traditional and simplified )

  1. ah; oh

Usage notes

  • placed at the end of a sentence, or used by itself to express surprise.

Novial

Preposition

a

  1. to

Usage notes

When followed by the definite article, li, a may optionally be combined with the article to give al.


Old English

Etymology

Germanic *aiwi-, from Indo-European *vitality. Cognate with Old Saxon eo, Old High German io, eo (German je), Old Norse ei, ey (English aye), Gothic 𐌰𐌹𐍅𐍃 (age, eternity).

Pronunciation

Adverb

ā

  1. ever, always

Descendants


Polish

Pronunciation

Conjunction

a [[Category:Template:lang:pl conjunctions|a]]

  1. and; but
    A ty? - “And you?”
    Ty wolisz tabletki, a ja wolę zastrzyki. - “You prefer pills and I prefer injections.”

Portuguese

Pronunciation

  • Hyphenation: a

Etymology 1

Portuguese articles (edit)
Singular Plural
Masculine Feminine Masculine Feminine
Definite articles
(the)
o a os as
Indefinite articles
(a, an; some)
um uma uns umas

From [[w:Template:lang:la language|Template:lang:la]][[Category:pt:Template:lang:la derivations]] illa

Article

a f. (singular, definite)

  1. the
    Lá vem a chuva. — “Here comes the rain.”

Etymology 2

From [[w:Template:lang:la language|Template:lang:la]][[Category:pt:Template:lang:la derivations]] ad (to)

Preposition

a

  1. to
    Vamos a Paris! — “Let’s go to Paris!”
    a você — “to you” (***)
    a onze milhas — “eleven miles away” (*.*)
    a vinte metros — “twenty meters away” (*.*)
    a mim — “to me” (***)
    a ti — “to you” (***)
    a ele — “to him” (***)
    a ela — “to her” (***)
    a nós — “to us” (***)
    a vós — “to you” (***)
    a eles — “to them” (***)
    a elas — “to them” (***)
    a distância — “at a distance” (*.*)
    a cavalo — “on horseback” (*.*)
    a convite de — “at the invitation of” (***)
    uma viagem a Paris — “a trip to Paris” (*.*)
    fazer uma visita a um lugar (ou pessoa) — “to pay a visit to some place (or person)” (***)
    Meu coração pertence a você. = “My heart belongs to you.”
  2. at
    Onde vai ele a esta hora da noite? — “Where is he going at this time of night?”
  3. Indicates the direct object, mainly to avoid confusion when it, the subject, or both are displaced.
    A mim ele não engana. — “He doesn’t deceive me.” (literally, “To me he doesn’t deceive.”)
Usage notes

When followed by a definite article, a is combined with the article to give the following combined forms:

Synonyms

Pronoun

Portuguese personal pronouns (edit)
Number Person Subject Accusative case
(direct object)
Dative case
(indirect object)
Singular First eu me mim
Second tu te ti
Third ele, ela lhe, o, a, se ele, ela, si
Plural First nós nos nós
Second vós vos vós
Third eles, elas lhes, os, as, se eles, elas, si

a f. (third person singular)

  1. Her, it (as a direct object; as an indirect object, see lhe; after prepositions, see ela).
    Encontrei-a na rua. — “I met her/it on the street.”

Usage notes

  • Becomes -la after verb forms ending in -r, -s, or -z, the pronouns nos and vos, and the adverb eis; the final letter causing the change disappears.
    After ver: Posso vê-la? — “May I see her/it?”
    After pôs: Quero pô-la ali. — “I want to put her/it there.”
    After fiz: Fi-la ficar contente. — “I made her/it happy.”
    After nos: Deu-no-la relutantemente. — “He gave her/it to us reluctantly.”
    After eis: Ei-la! — “Behold her/it!”
  • Becomes -na after a nasal diphthong: -ão, -am [ɐ̃w̃], -õe [õj], -em, -êm [ẽj].
    Detêm-na como prisioneira. — “They detain her/it as a prisoner.”
  • In Brazil it is being abandoned in favor of the nominative form ela.
    Eu a vi.Eu vi ela. = “I saw her/it.”

See also


Romanian

Pronunciation

Letter

a (lowercase, capital A)[[Category:Template:lang:ro alphabet|a]]

  1. The first letter of the Romanian alphabet

Usage notes

In Romanian, the letter a represents the phoneme /a/.

See also

  • Next letter: ă

Article

a (feminine singular possessive article)[[Category:Template:lang:ro articles|a]]

  1. of
    sora a lui Alexandru
    Alexandru's sister
    cartea a mea
    my book

See also

  • al (masculine/neuter singular)
  • ai (masculine plural)
  • ale (feminine/neuter plural)

Preposition

a [[Category:Template:lang:ro prepositions|a]]

  1. (used with infinitive verbs) the infinitive marker to
    A fi.
    To be.

Verb

(el/ea) a (modal auxiliary; third-person singular form of avea, used with past participles to form perfect compus tenses)

  1. (modal auxiliary)
    A văzut acest film?
    Has he/she seen this film?

Usage notes

a is used instead of are to form the third-person singular perfect compus.


Scottish Gaelic

Pronoun

a

  1. his
    • a mhac, his son
  2. her
    • a mac, her son
  3. its

Serbian

Conjunction

a

  1. and
  2. but

Cyrillic spelling


Slovak

Conjunction

a

  1. and

Slovene

Conjunction

a

  1. but

Spanish

Alternative spellings

  • (obsolete) á

Etymology

[[w:Template:lang:la language|Template:lang:la]][[Category:es:Template:lang:la derivations]] ad (to)

Pronunciation

Preposition

a

  1. to
  2. by
  3. at
  4. Used before words referring to people, pets, or personified objects or places that function as direct objects. personal a
    Lo busca a Usted. — “He is looking for you.”

Usage notes

  • (before words referring to people or personified objects): Personal a is not translated in English.

See also


Sranan Tongo

Noun

a

  1. it

Tagalog

Interjection

a

  1. ah! (an exclamation of pity, admiration or surprise)
    A! Kailan namatay ang iyong ina? — "Ah! When did your mother die?"

Letter

a

  1. the first letter of the Tagalog alphabet

Welsh

Alternative forms

Pronunciation

  • (letter name): IPA: /aː/
  • (phoneme): IPA: /a/, /aː/

Letter

a (lower case, upper case A)

  1. â, the first letter of the Welsh alphabet

Derived terms

See also

  • Next letter: b

Yoruba

Pronoun

a

  1. First-person plural subject pronoun, we:
    a lo — “we went”

Elsewhere on the web

En-En

En-It

En-Fr

En-El

En-Sp

En-Mul

En-De

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