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  1. #1
    Odessa Dawn's Avatar
    Odessa Dawn is offline Senior Member
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    a vowel letter/a vowel sound

    I am confused since I don’t know which reason I should state here. Should I go with a vowel letter or a vowel sound, please?


    We use the indefinite article an before words that begin with a vowel letter or a vowel sound, which one should I choose here, please? To me, if I pick up a vowel letter here then I commit a grave mistake since the spelling doesn’t indicate the pronunciation.

    EX:

    The word hour begins with a consonant letter, but it takes an not a.

    The word university starts with a vowel letter, but it takes a not an.

    To sum it up, using a vowel letter makes no sense here. If I use it, I contradict myself.

  2. #2
    MikeNewYork's Avatar
    MikeNewYork is offline VIP Member
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    Re: a vowel letter/a vowel sound

    Quote Originally Posted by Odessa Dawn View Post
    I am confused since I don’t know which reason I should state here. Should I go with a vowel letter or a vowel sound, please?


    We use the indefinite article an before words that begin with a vowel letter or a vowel sound, which one should I choose here, please? To me, if I pick up a vowel letter here then I commit a grave mistake since the spelling doesn’t indicate the pronunciation.

    EX:

    The word hour begins with a consonant letter, but it takes an not a.

    The word university starts with a vowel letter, but it takes a not an.

    To sum it up, using a vowel letter makes no sense here. If I use it, I contradict myself.
    You are correct. It is the vowel "sound" that makes the difference.

    a university
    an hour

    But be careful about different pronunciations.

    In AmE, an herb (vowel sound); In BrE, a herb (consonant sound).

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