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  1. #1
    dkyeung is offline Newbie
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    Default a university student

    From gramma book , "an" should be use before words with first letter with vowels (aeiou) , e.g. an egg , an umbrella .

    But I just read "a university student" , "a duck egg" . It confuse me . What is the rule for use of "a" and "an" for words such as "university student / university uniform / duck egg / eagle egg / vanilla ice-cream" . Thanks for your help in advance .

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    Raymott is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: a university student

    Quote Originally Posted by dkyeung View Post
    From gramma book , "an" should be use before words with first letter with vowels (aeiou) , e.g. an egg , an umbrella .

    But I just read "a university student" , "a duck egg" . It confuse me . What is the rule for use of "a" and "an" for words such as "university student / university uniform / duck egg / eagle egg / vanilla ice-cream" . Thanks for your help in advance .
    No, "an" should be used before a vowel sound. 'University' starts with a consonant sound - /j/. "duck" starts with a consonant sound too, so you use "a".
    Think about the reason for the rule, and it might make more sense to you.

    Does your grammar book really say that?

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    dkyeung is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: a university student

    Dear Raymott ,

    Thanks for your instruction . I am Chinese . I don't know the meaning of vowels sound in the past , expect aeiou . Now I get some idea . Thank you .

  4. #4
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: a university student

    It's affected by the word that follows it:

    An ice-cream
    A vanilla ice-cream

    And if you add an adjective that starts with a vowel sound, you do the opposite and change a to an:

    A book
    An excellent book

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