View Full Version : A/an

12-02-2003, 01:54 PM
I have a english grammar question ;)

Which of the these sentences is correct

An open case - because the next letter in the sentence is a vowel

or is it

A open case - because the a/an depends on the noun and that starts with a consonant

Thanks :)

oh and I anticipate only serious answers :P

(... if that is possible in the lounge...) :D

12-02-2003, 01:56 PM
:angry: an

12-02-2003, 01:56 PM
An open case I think.

Sometimes you can have 'a' when the next word stars with a vowel though, but I can't think of an example right now.

Evil Gemini
12-02-2003, 02:01 PM
Yep its An

12-02-2003, 02:04 PM
definitely an open case

12-02-2003, 02:05 PM
For the sake of convenience, many teachers tell their students that the indefinite article a is used before consonants, while an is used before vowels. In most cases, this is true:

    * A cat
    * A dog
    * A house
    * A man
    * A woman

    * An apple
    * An elephant
    * An ice-cream
    * An orange
    * An umbrella

However, the choice between a and an actually depends on pronunciation, not spelling. Thus, a is used before a consonant sound, even if it is written as a vowel, and an is used before a vowel sound, even if it is written as a consonant:

    * A uniform
    * A one-sided game
    * An hour
    * An NCO

Some people say an, not a, before words beginning with h when the first syllable is not stressed:

    * An hotel (a hotel is more common)
    * An historical novel (a historical is more common)

When an abbreviation takes an article, it depends on the pronunciation of the first letter of the abbreviation:

    * An NCO
    * A UN spokesman.
yep, an open case

12-02-2003, 02:10 PM
Thanks all :)

12-02-2003, 05:27 PM
It's glottal stop time again. :lol:

The whole point about saying an rather than a is to prevent the glottal stop which would otherwise occur.

The case of the letter h starting the next word is an interesting point. Using an does not particularly change the flow where the h is pronounced. But using a when the h is dropped again produces a glottal stop.

See here (http://klboard.ath.cx/index.php?showtopic=77096) for more information.