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Usage of a/an


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Usage of a/an


In both spoken and written English, an is used
• before words beginning with a vowel sound

Example:

He carried an umbrella.

The Nobel is an honor.


• when the consonants f, h, l, m, n, r, s, and x are pronounced by name.

Example:

The renovations created an L-shaped room.

Miles received an F in physics.


Use a
• before words beginning with a consonant sound

Example:

What a fish!

I bought a computer.


• before words that start with vowels but are pronounced as consonants

Example:

A union can be dissolved.

They live in a one-room apartment.


• Also use a with words that start with consonant letters not listed above and with the vowel u.

Example:

She earned a C in French.

He made a U-turn.


• For words that begin with h, if the initial h is not pronounced, the word is preceded by an

Example:

It will take an hour.


• Adjectives such as historic, historical, heroic, and habituall are commonly preceded by an, especially in British English, but the use of a is common in both writing and speech.

Example:

She read a historical novel.


• When h is strongly pronounced, as in a stressed first syllable, the word is preceded by a.

Example:

I bought a history of Long Island.


Sample Usage

an:

1) She bought an umbrella from this shop.

2) He waited for an hour.

3) She said that she have an idea to make her father calm down.

4) It is an honour for me.

a:

1) She is a European.

2) He took a picture of the landscape.

3) There is a hotel nearby.

4) A bottle is kept on the shelf.


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