Results 1 to 6 of 6

Thread: 'a 1' vs 'an 1'

  1. #1
    Offroad's Avatar
    Offroad is offline Key Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • Brazilian Portuguese
      • Home Country:
      • Brazil
      • Current Location:
      • Brazil
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    2,819
    Post Thanks / Like

    Question 'a 1' vs 'an 1'

    Dear teachers,

    What is the correct form? While writing a letter I used 'a 1', knowing that before a vowel sound, 'an' should be used insted of 'a'.

    The Corpus of Contemporary American English gives over 1000 entries for 'a 1' and only a dozen for 'an 1'.

    Thank you

    Offroad

    -----

    EDIT: /wʌn/ = one
    Last edited by Offroad; 13-May-2013 at 15:10. Reason: Found the answer, apparently

  2. #2
    SoothingDave is offline VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Interested in Language
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    9,500
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: 'a 1' vs 'an 1'

    Is that a numeral one?

    It's "a one," not "an one." "One" starts with a consonant sound.

    When using the numeral, you would still expect it to be pronounced the same. So "a 1."

  3. #3
    5jj's Avatar
    5jj is offline VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Retired English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • Czech Republic
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    28,168
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: 'a 1' vs 'an 1'

    The word 'one' begins with the sound /w/. This semi-vowel/approximant is considered a consonant when it follows 'a/an' or 'the'.
    Please do not edit your question after it has received a response. Such editing can make the response hard for others to understand.


  4. #4
    Offroad's Avatar
    Offroad is offline Key Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • Brazilian Portuguese
      • Home Country:
      • Brazil
      • Current Location:
      • Brazil
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    2,819
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: 'a 1' vs 'an 1'

    I am faster than you.

    Just kidding. Thank you very much!

  5. #5
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Philippines
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    42,773
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: 'a 1' vs 'an 1'

    I'm slower, but I would also go with COCA- those numbers don't lie.

  6. #6
    BobK's Avatar
    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • UK
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    15,497
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: 'a 1' vs 'an 1'

    I expect the 'an one' hits in COCA are pretty old. 'An one' used to be right. It survives in some poetry. In The Pirates of Penzance Frederic sings

    To such an one, if such there be,
    I swear by all the stars above you,
    If you'll but cast your eyes on me
    However plain you be, I'll love you

    (precision of lyrics not guaranteed; remembered from two school productions 40-50 years ago. But the 'an one' is there )

    But we don't talk like that any more.

    b

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •