Pronunciation of Vowels and Articles



Pronunciation of Vowels and Articles :



Article : Pronunciation of the, a and an

In English, it is not usual to pronounce AN before a vowel.
Before vowels, A changes to AN.

A car
A rabbit
An ant
An elephant
An aeroplane
The air
The Indians
The mail
The sea


Note : The changes depend on the pronunciation of words that follow the articles, not their spelling.

A European
A ewe
A one-eyed man
A one-man band
A one-rupee note
A unicorn
A uniform (not - an uniform)
A union
A university
A useful article
Such a one


Note : The choice between A and AN is determined by sound (i.e.) pronunciation before a word beginning with vowel sound (a, e, i, o, u) AN is used.

Examples :

An ass
An ant
An enemy
An inkstand
An orange
An umbrella
An hour
An honest man
An heir


Note : It may be noticed that the words (hour, honest & heir) begin with a vowel sound as the initial consonant 'h' is not pronounced.

Before a word beginning with a consonant sound A is used.

A woman
A boy
A reindeer
A girl
A yard
A house
A horse
A hole


Note :

A university
A union
A European
A ewe
A unicorn
A useful article

These words begin with a vowel, but the beginning sound is consonant. Hence A used before them.


Before the words beginning with 'h' and not accented on the first syllable, AN is often used.

An historical novel
An hotel
An hour
An heir



Note also….

An MP
An MLA

M gets pronounced em.

Hour, honest and heir are exceptional.

An hour
An honest man
An heir

Pronunciation of Vowels and Articles



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