A vs. An: Grammar Guide
I received this question and thought I'd write a quick hub:
How do I know when to use a or an before a noun/subject?
The Article: An
Use the article "an" before a word beginning with a vowel.
- I ate an apple with my lunch.
- The jewelry was made by an East Indian woman.
- The growing boy had an enormous appetite.
There are two exceptions with the article "an":
- When the letter "u" sounds like a "y", as in "you", use the article "a".
- When the letter "o" sounds like a "w", as in "water", use the article "a".
- A U.S. navy ship was deployed from San Diego.
- My daughter wanted to be a unicorn for Halloween.
- She was a one-woman show.
The Article: A
Use the article "a" before a word beginning with a consonant.
- A clown performed at the party.
- I saw a peacock walking around loose at the zoo.
- The book was about a girl in the 1700s.
There is one exception with the article "a":
- Use "an" with a silent "h".
- I will wait for an hour.
- He was an honorable man.
More by this Author
Understanding the difference between affect and effect. Definitions and examples to use these often confused words correctly.
What is the difference between sympathy and empathy? Definitions of the the two as well as differences and comparisons.
Book ideas, sample questions, and a step-by-step guide on how to start a book club for your child.