when to use a and when to use an

Just a short lesson in the English language as it is used in text (writing). When the following word begins with a vowel (a,e,i,o,u and sometimes y) you should use the word "an" ie. I think I will eat an apple.

When the following word begins with a consenant (all the rest of the letters of the alphabet) you should use the word "a" ie. I think I will climb a tree.

The English language is a very difficult one to learn and I applaud all of those who are attempting to use it when it is not the native tongue.applause applause

Good luck
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Comments (26)

thumbs up thumbs up
Send this to AN Russian!!!!doh grin
rolling on the floor laughing rolling on the floor laughing rolling on the floor laughing
professor Parti!!
PS..AN Africa...Pretty Please!!!
help wink handshake handshake handshake
cheers cheers
Rider...I comes before E exept after C..Which is Crap !!!
handshake cheers peace
I think I will visit AN Hotel ??? I've got a Thirst up !!!doh cheers cheers cheers
handshake cheers
Rider ...Sorry about that!!blushing The Devil made me do it!doh
handshake handshake cheers cheers cheers
good morning rider,

English is my second language and
yes, it is a difficult language to learn...
and am still learning, learning, and learning it...
peace peace hug cheers
In 1956 Miss Pyle would have loved to have you in English class at good ol' Ordway high school!!!!
Although, it is my second language, writing in English I am good at and my work pertains to proofing and editing medical records from English speaking countries.
That would have been a neat trick Ed...in 1956 I was in grade one laugh

Looks like you've already been at the party Parti drinking
all in fun thumbs up
Well Titsy, you have your work cut out for you. It was hard enough to learn as my native tongue but as a second language it can be very confusing I'm sure. Good luck and don't get discouraged.
That was clearly and precisely written Homing thumbs up
hehe. Thanks for the tips, rider. I hope I did it good this long {smile} Looking for the next tips.
Rider ..You are Write!! English must be extremely difficult for other ppl to learn ,but most of them do a magnificent job on here!!!thumbs up thumbs up Bless their Cotton Sox!!!rolling on the floor laughing rolling on the floor laughing rolling on the floor laughing
handshake cheers
hi rider4u wave

I want to learn English language,teach me plzhandshake wink
According to some grammar books, AN is not used before U. For example: A union, not An union. Since U is combined of 2 vowels. wave
P.S. Comparing to other languages, English grammar is not difficult at all. On the contrary. I am grateful that Finnish or Hungarian aren't global languages since their grammar is a night mare laugh Bulgarian grammar is much more difficult than the English one too.
Thank you for correcting that Jana...you learn something new every day. See I told you it was a difficult language to learn and I've been speaking and writing it all of my life.laugh

I think the hardest part of the language is when words have more than one meaning and the nuance that is used will change their meaning as well.
That is a tricky one for sure as you would use it with
"an" umbrella. Go figure dunno
Seems like they made it up as the went along rolling on the floor laughing rolling on the floor laughing
Hey, I am Swedish!! lol.....now to the "A unit" and "An umbrella"

When the following word begins with a vowel AND IS PRONOUNCED IN THE BEGINNING OF THE WORD AS A VOWEL!

The most important thing is the pronounciation of the word in the beginning.
Hi SS...yeah it seems that with the vowel U it depends on whether it is the soft u (umbrella) or the hard u (union). Good point. English doh grin
Hi Silent, Rider!

I didn't specify that with U I meant when it's pronounced as IU: therefore A Union, but AN Umbrella. On the other hand, I see that it's "a university", "a uniform"... I guess all comes from the fact that U (pronounced IU) is not a basic vowel but combination of two vowels + an effect of palatalization (coming from the I), which give it some "consonant" characteristics, at least that's what I read. wave
and article "an" is used before some consonants. For example it would be gramatically correct to say an FBI but not a FBI :)
I am not an innate speaker of English and to be frank I have not talked to anybody in English for many years already but I think it is not correct explanation of English articles
It's an FBI, because you pronounce it with a vowel in front of the abbreviation: "an efbiai". wave
yes, I know and that is why I was telling that the explanation the blogger did here is not quiet correct
The defining factor is the pronunciation, for example: A ONE-NIGHT STAND, because it's pronounced with w-sound (a wan...)

Rider, thank you for this grammatical topic! Looking forward to another one! thumbs up
An interesting comment from the link above:

John Meehan
9/8/2011 6:46:36 PM
President Obama doesn't use the conventional a or an. Instead he uses "eh" that rhymes with hay solely before vowels and consonants. He does something similar with the definite article when he pronounces it "thuh" before vowels and consonants. He appears to have excised "thee" and "an" from his speech. I wonder if his writers include these unconventional quirks when they prepare his remarks?
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Motorcycles are my lifestyle NOT my hobby. I enjoy throwing my leg over my bike and taking the road less traveled sometimes turning down a country road just to see what's there. Personally I am very laid back and easy going but believe in saying what [read more]

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