Indefinite articles

Indefinite articles are used with things and people that are not clearly defined.

A man crosses the street. <=> The man (with the hat) crosses the street.

It is clear and obvious that in the first sentence any man crosses the street. A guy that is not defined as someone certain or special. The second sentence defines the man as someone specific that distinguishs himself as the one with the hat.

The use is mostly the same as in English. Therefore just trust your intuition for the use of indefinite articles and you will be fine.

un gâteau (masculine)
  a cake  
  une voiture (feminine)
  a car  

  Indefinite articles

  More examples
un cadeau a gift
  un gâteau a cake
  un cheval a horse
  un livre a book
  une cuillière a spoon
  une fourchette a fork
  une tête a head
  une ville a city

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