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Usage of "A" and "An"


    Author:     Member Level: Gold    Points: 2 (Rs 2)

A common mistake done by many people today is to mess up "A" and "An". Both are indefinite articles meaning 'one'. The difference between the duo is that "A" is used before a consonant sound and "An" is used before a vowel sound.

Both "one" and "a"/"an" can be used almost interchangeably.

1. I have one dog (or) I have a dog.
2. I have a car (or) I have one car.
3. I have an umbrella (or) I have one umbrella.

Please Note that the use of "a" and "an" depends on consonant sounds and vowel sounds respectively and not on consonants and vowels.

Let us now move to see some examples.


Sample Usage

I have a umbrella. (wrong)
I have an umbrella. (correct)

I like to play with an dog. (wrong)
I like to play with a dog. (correct)

I have not seen a elephant. (wrong)
I have not seen an elephant. (correct)

You can find it difficult to pronounce the wrong sentences (bold words) above while the pronunciation of the correct sentences (bold words) are made easier.


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