Proper use of English articles “A” or “An”
- julio 8, 2016
- Posted by: Joel
- Category: Confusing Verbs Grammar Pronunciation
Some of you have learned that you need to use “a” in front of words beginning with consonants, and “an” with words beginning with vowels. While the rule is easy, it’s not quite right: you need to use “a” with words beginning with consonant sounds and “an” with words beginning with vowel sounds.
I drive a car
I have an owl as a pet
He’s a soldier, so he wears a uniform.
I drove over an hour to get here.
Even though “uniform” starts with the letter “u”, the first sound is, in fact, a y: /yúniform/.
Similarly, even though “hour” starts with the letter “h”, it’s silent: /áur/
So, when deciding whether to use which, remember to base your decision on the first sound, not the first letter.
AND REMEMBER: words like “Spanish”, “standard”, “spaghetti”, “start”, etc. start with an “s” sound, not an “e”. (it’s /spánish/, not /espánish/), so use “a” in front of them, not “an”!
That is a Spanish orange
She is a special person to me.