LINGUISTICS & CULTURE
|Data:||23/MAR/2005 7:42 PM|
|Assunto:||Re: A e AN|
Forget for a moment how the word is written. How is it pronounced? Concentrate on spoken English, not on written English. "An" is used before a word that begins with a vowel sound. This is also true of letters of the alphabet.
"University" begins with a vowel but not with a vowel sound. It is pronounced more or less "yuniversity", right? The "yu" sound is not a vowel sound. Therefore, you say "a university".
"Uncle" begins with a vowel sound, doesn it? You say "an uncle", right? Can you hear how the "un" of "university" is pronounced differently from the "un" of uncle?
a united front ("yunited"), an undergraduate student
a hat, an hour (note that the "H" is not pronounced, leaving the sound of a vowel)
a hot day, an honorable man (note that the "H" is not pronounced, leaving the sound of a vowel)
a European car ("yuropean"), an ear
Many letters of the alphabet begin with a vowel sound. The following will make little sense to you unless you read it aloud.
An A, a B, a C, a D, an E, an F, a G, an H, an I, a J, a K, an L, an M, an N, an O, a P, a Q, an R, an S, a T, a U, a V, a W, an X, a Y, and a Z. Do you see that U and Y are vowels but they do not begin with a vowel sound? H, L, M, N, and others are consonants, but they begin with vowel sounds.
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