“A” or “An”
Using "A" and "An" Correctly
I have often heard these two very small words used incorrectly. Even worse, I have even seen them used wrong in print - in major publications mind you, not simply blogs and things. On this page, I show you how to use "A" and "An" correctly.
The proper use of "A" and "An" is as follows:
"A" precedes words that begin with consonant sounds.
"An" precedes words beginning with the vowel sounds a, e, i, and o.
The letters "U" and "H" have special cases:
Letter U - If the word sounds like "you," then choose "A."
If the word sounds like "uh," then choose "An."
Letter H - If the word starts with a hard sound, as in "horse," choose "A."
If the word starts with a silent letter h, as in "herb," choose "An."
Examples: - an aardvark (a = vowel)
a belly (b = consonant)
an egg (e = vowel)
a UFO (U sounds like "you")
an unidentified flying object (u sounds like "uh")
a helmet (hard h)
an hour (silent h)
I hope this clears things up a bit for you!