- Books, Literature, and Writing»
- The English Language
When To Use An a or An an In The English Language
Important for Essays Thesis Dissertations Interviews
Learn To Speak Better
Proper Usage Of a and an
In grammar school I remember as kids we used to sound the word English as "Engalish" which was improper from the beginning.
The English language is among the top three languages used all over the world. It is perhaps, the number one language. In this segment I will talk about proper usage of words: a and an.
The Letter A and Word
Of course, A or a is the first letter of the English alphabet. It also happens to be a one-letter word as well. Used as a one letter word it usually refers to one object or subject such as a girl. A is an adjective that describes only one amount of the object. Notice that an object just happens to follow that.
Remember The Vowels
Remember the vowels, vowel sounds and consonants we learned in grammar school? http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/vowel
How many vowels were there? a e i o u and in my opinion sometimes h and y. In certain sentences the h is silent and precedes the o such as in hour or honor. Here is another silent h that is used often, "I would prefer an honest person to collect the rents for me." I’m not sure of why the y was tagged as a vowel but anyway, there are definitely five vowels. They basically have more than one sound like the first vowel a has the long sound in the word apron. It has a short sound in words like art or apple. In a sentence it should read,"I had an apple for a snack." The proper usage between the a and the an is to say an apple because a vowel followed the singular reference to the apple. Similar uses are, an airplane, an earmuff, an extra pad, an interview, an octopus, an octave, an underground sprinkler, an upstairs. All those words that followed the word "an" started with a short vowel from a to u and maybe y. Coincidentally when these adjectives are used properly, they seem to make the speech feel comfortable and easy. If you are a writer of any kind, your writing skills will sharpen as you understand and apply these important adjectives
The Improper Use Of A
Unfortunately, I notice that people have a tendency to use the an improperly in front of a vowel. Improper usage of the a is to say, an apple, a eating area, an effort, a energetic person, an inch, a inner tube, a ovary, an opened door, an upper valve, a underwear or an undergarment.
Proper Usage In Speech And Sentences For An or an
The room had an area of one hundred square feet. In the mornings we usually see an airplane fly over the river. I saw an elderly man come out of the house. I heard an eerie noise in the dark room. I saw the man kiss her after an hour of talking. I considered the hub compliment an honor to receive. That chair was an inch away from the wall. We dangled from an interior chain above the stairs. There was still an opening under the nose of the lady so he kissed her again. I have an optimistic feeling about the way the economy is looking. Can we reach an understanding about our roles in this house? My email has an underscore between my first and last name.
All the other alphabets of the English language are called consonants. Vowels and consonants make up the entire English language alphabet. A consonant usually has one sound except for the letter, h. It is sometimes silent but not considered a vowel.
A Brief Recap
The word A or a is usually used when it precedes a word that starts with a consonant except for the letter, h. The word An or an is only to be used when it precedes a word that starts with a vowel. In a future hub we will get into the vowel sounds.