In written English, many people make many mistakes, but in speaking these mistakes cannot be caught by many. But when a content is read by someone there are many chances of identifying of the mistakes.
Many learners and kids always get confused in using “a” and “an”. Sometimes they put “an” with consonant sounding words and sometimes “a” with vowel sounding words. When kids or other learners, learn using the difference between consonant and vowel sometimes they get confused between sound and words.
For example- “unit” is a consonant word, but it is starting with “u” then how “a” can be used ahead of it and if it is starting with U then it is vowel word because U is a vowel, right?
U is a vowel word, but in “unit” it sounds as “yoo” which is not a vowel sounding word.So right answer will be – “a unit”.
For putting “a and an” ahead of any singular word we need to see that the word’s initial sound is sounding as vowel sound or consonants.
What are vowels? A simple answer to this question is-
A, E, I, O and U. These are vowels.
No, the answer is not correct, these above words are vowels, but they are not words they are vowel sounding words. “An” can only be put ahead of those words which are not starting with vowels, but the word’s initial letter or first letter has the vowel sound.
For example- “an honor”, the word is starting with a consonant, but the first letter of the word “h” is silent here, so the initial sound of the word is “o” which is a vowel sound, that is why we have put “an” ahead of it.
Why “a one-eyed” and “a Europe”?
In “a one-eyed” one is starting with “O” which is a vowel and similarly in “Europe”, then according to rule “O” and “E” are vowel sounding words then why “a” used head of it. The answer is so simple because one and Europe is might be starting with vowel words, but they have sounded as “W” in one and “Y” in Europe as in “won” and “you”.
There some examples of words which are starting with vowels, but sounds as consonant-
Words have initial sound as “yoo or you”-
_a unit_, (u-you)
_a unique object_, (u-you)
_a utility_, (u-you)
_a useful thing_, (u-you)
_a university_, (u-you)
_a use_, (u-you)
_a one-time thing_, (u-you)
_a one-eyed dog_, (u-you)
_a European_. (u-you)
An H_ (“an” can be use before H)
Yes, “an” can be used before H, if the H is in starting with the word and it is silent, as in-
_an honest man_.
If H is the first letter of any word and it is not silent, then “A” use ahead of it. For example,
” A unique” or “An unique”?
So, the answer to the very first question now may be readers after reading this can understand.
In “unique” U is vowel word, but in this U sound as “yoo” or “you” which is consonant sound. So, unique is not starting with a vowel sound, using “an” ahead of it will be wrong.
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