PREPOSITIONS. A-; after; againstA. Ben Jonson in his Grammar, p. 785, writes thus:--"A hath also the force of governing before a noun--'And the Protector had layd to her for manner's sake that she was a council with the Lord Hastings to destroy him.'--Sir T. MORE." “Forty and six years was this temple a building.” St. John ii. 20. The present text is in, but Cranmer and Tyndale had "a." This a, which still exists in alive, afoot, asleep, &c. is a contraction of A.-S. on or the less common form an. We find in Early English "on live," "on foot," "on hunting," "on sleep;" "a morrow and eke an eve," for "by morning and also by evening;" "a land and a water," Piers Pl. (where some MSS. have on), "a (for in) God's name," "an end" for "on the (at the) end." In the Folio we sometimes find a where we write o':
See Adverbs, 24
“What is 't a clocke?