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Thread: Articles


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    #1

    Question Articles

    The article an is used in front of words that start with vowels but have a look at the following sentence:

    England is a European country.

    Why isn't it

    England is an European country.

    Thanks,

    Ron

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    #2

    Re: Articles

    Quote Originally Posted by rn5a View Post
    The article an is used in front of words that start with vowel sounds.

    England is a European country.

    Why isn't it

    England is an European country.
    because although "European" begins with the vowel "E", that "Eu" has a "y" sound, as in 'you'. You have to decide on the basis of the sound, not on whether it is a vowel or not.
    Thanks,

    Ron
    2006


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    #3

    Re: Articles

    But Eu has a u sound....so why it shouldn't be England is an European country. Why should one consider Eu having the you sound rather than the u sound?

    Thanks,

    Ron

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    #4

    Re: Articles

    Quote Originally Posted by rn5a View Post
    But Eu has a u sound....so why it shouldn't be England is an European country. Why should one consider Eu having the you sound rather than the u sound?

    Thanks,

    Ron
    The name of the letter "u" and the word "you" have the same sound. Both of those sounds start with a 'y' sound, as in 'yellow' and 'young'.
    So as we say 'a young person', we also say a European'.

    The letter u, the word 'you' and the 'Eu' in 'European' all have the long u sound. The short u sound is what the word 'uncle' starts with. So we say 'an uncle'.
    You have to remember that the vowels have different long and short sounds. I hope it's clearer now.

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    #5

    Re: Articles

    long and short vowel sounds

    long a make, short a cat
    long e be, short e set
    long i fine, short i skin
    long o go, short o not
    long u use, short u uncle

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