A vs. An

A precedes all words that begin with a consonant. For example:
  • a car
  • a movie
  • a snake
  • a lantern

The only exception to this rule is when an h is unsounded. For example:
  • an honest man
  • an herbal garden
  • an hour

An precedes all words that begin with a vowel. For example:
  • an order
  • an alligator
  • an elephant
  • an udder

There are two exceptions to this rule: When a u makes a y sound (as in united), and when a o makes a w sound, as in one. For example:
  • a utopia
  • a used towel
  • a one-star movie

Last modified: Thursday, 14 June 2012, 4:19 PM