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[The little old red bag] held [a very big surprise].

In most cases, the article is the first word of its noun phrase, preceding all other adjectives and modifiers.[3]

[The little old red bag] held [a very big surprise].
There are a few things that are the same, and:

Certain determiners, such as all, both, half, double, precede the definite article when used in combination (all the team, both the girls, half the time, double the amount).
Exclamative markers of nominals, though still also determinative, precede the indefinite article: such (He is such an idiot!) and what (What a day!).
Adjectives qualified by too, so, as and how generally precede the indefinite article: too great a loss, so hard a problem, as delicious an apple as I have ever tasted, I know how pretty a girl she is.
When adjectives are qualified by quite (particularly when it means "fairly"), the word quite (but not the adjective itself) often precedes the indefinite article: quite a long letter. test tes

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