Using An

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Here’s a simple topic but one that is still confusing to many students.

A or an article?

We use an when the noun starts with a vowel sound, but that doesn’t mean that the nouns are written with a vowel letter (a, e, i, o, u).

Let’s look at a few examples:

I’ll meet you in an hour.

The letter H in the word Hour is silent, we pronounce the word as [‘aʊər] which is why we use an.

I want to make a unique gift for our anniversary.

Even though the first letter is U, we pronounce it as ju [juˈniːk] which is why we use a.

A European is staying at our hotel.

In this case, the letters Eu are pronounced as jʊ [jʊrəˈpiːən] and that’s why we use a.

He got an MBA degree last year.

When it comes to abbreviations, you should check which sound they start with. The letter M has the sound ɛm [”ɛmbieɪ] which is why we use an.

There’s no magic trick to figure out where to use an, just say the word and if the first sound is a vowel sound, then you should use an, otherwise, go for a. 🙂

How about practicing a/an right now?

I hope you have a wonderful weekend! 🙂

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