Re: Use of A and An

Subject: Re: Use of A and An
From: John Fleming <johntwrl -at- hotmail -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Sat, 22 Nov 2003 09:55:04 -0700

On Fri, 21 Nov 2003 19:21:45 +0530, while chained to a desk in
the scriptorium, Anandhg -at- India-Life -dot- com (Anand H G) wrote:

> $Is it correct to say "an irony" or should it be "a irony" ?
> $What are the rules of using "an" before words starting with vowels ?

I pulled out my copy of the Canadian Writer's Handbook to check
the rules.

Generally, use 'a' when the following word begins with a
consonant (a dog, a cat), Use 'an' when the following word
begins with a vowel (an irony).

Now for some special cases.

With the letter 'h', use an if the 'h' is pronounced (a horse),
but use 'an' when the 'h' is silent (an honour).

Use 'an' with 'u' and 'o' when the following word is pronounced
as if it started with a 'y' or a 'w' (a one-sided contest).

John Fleming
Technical Writer
Edmonton, Alberta



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Use of A and An: From: Anand H G

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