Know When to Use the English Indefinite Articles a or an

Edited by Hotelier, Alexander Avdeev, Eng, vc

Hello! Thank you for watching VisiHow! In this tutorial, we'll be discussing the usage of the indefinite articles "a" and "an" in the English language.

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Steps

  1. 1
    The indefinite articles are generally placed before nouns
    .
    So, we need to know when to use "a" and "an" before nouns.
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  2. 2
    When we use "a" or "an" is dependent on the immediate following sound
    .
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    • If the immediate following sound in the next word is a consonant sound, we should use "a".
    • If the immediate following sound in the next word is a vowel sound, we should use "an".
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  3. 3
    We can remember that our English vowels are "a", "e", "I", "o", and "you"
    .
    It does not matter whether one of these letters begins the next word. What matters is the sound.
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  4. 4
    We'll list some examples of when to use "a"
    :
    • a cat;
      "cat" begins with the "k" sound, which is a consonant sound;
    • a door;
      "door" begins with "d", which is a consonant sound;
    • a unique;
      we can see that "unique" begins with the vowel "you", but the sound of the "you" in "unique" is the "j" sound, which is not one of the vowel sounds; so, we still use "a" before "unique".
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  5. 5
    We can use "an" before vowel sounds
    :
    • an umbrella;
      "umbrella" begins with the "ah" sound, which is a vowel sound;
    • an apple;
      "apple" begins with the "æ" sound, which is one of our vowel sounds;
    • an hour;
      we can see that "hour" begins with the English consonant letter "h", but the letter is silent; so, the word sounds like "auə", which starts with a vowel sound.
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This does conclude the tutorial on the usage of the indefinite articles "a" and "an" in the English language. If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions, please leave them in the space below.

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Video: Know When to Use the English Indefinite Articles a or an

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Article Info

Categories : Communications & Education

Recent edits by: Eng, Alexander Avdeev, Hotelier

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