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