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  1. #1
    b737driver is offline Newbie
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    Default Consonants and vowel

    Hi! I've passed test just now (Articles an & a)and I didn't understand why is "U" (in "university") related to consonant?

    Question #: 2: Is there a university there?
    User's answer: False
    Correct answer: True
    Additional Notes: We use a before a consonant sound and an before a vowel sound.

    Thank you.

  2. #2
    Verona_82 is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Consonants and vowel

    Hi.
    The sound [j] is a consonant.
    You should look at the sound, not the letter.

    [ˌjuːnɪˈvɜː(r)səti]

    a university
    a UFO
    a young child [jʌŋ]
    but an umbrella [ʌmˈbrelə]

  3. #3
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    5jj is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: Consonants and vowel

    Quote Originally Posted by b737driver View Post
    We use a before a consonant sound and an before a vowel sound.
    Precisely. The sound at the beginning of 'university' is almost identical to that at the beginning of 'youth'.

    the /j/ 'sound' of this phoneme leads us, by feeling rather than rule, to treat it as a consonant.

  4. #4
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    5jj is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: Consonants and vowel

    Sorry Verona.
    You posted your reply seconds before I posted mine. If I had been able to read yours first, I wouldn't have bothered with mine.

  5. #5
    Verona_82 is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Consonants and vowel

    In Russian [j] is a consonant too; they sound almost identical. But we don't have words that begin with a vowel letter that in fact represents a consonant sound.

  6. #6
    b737driver is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: Consonants and vowel

    Thanks to all, I've found all info in FAQ on this site. Obviously I confused vowel sound and vowel letter.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Consonants and vowel

    Quote Originally Posted by b737driver View Post
    Obviously I confused vowel sound and vowel letter.
    You are not the first. It's an understandable mistake. So many children are taught at school that A,E,I,O and U are the English vowels, that they find it hard to accept such things as:

    a European, a university, an hour, an M.A. (or an MA), a U.F.O. (or a UFO).

  8. #8
    wrkhanmehsud is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: Consonants and vowel

    Dear it is very simple.if a noun start with such a word which gives the sound of "A" then you will use An.

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