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  1. #1
    The French is offline Senior Member
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    Default Indefini article (a or an)

    Hello, I'm The French, new member.

    I made a test article "A and An" (twenty-five questions) on the "Beginner English Quizzes), but I'm wrong on three questions.

    My mistakes:

    A x-ray (Why it's An x-ray?)
    An one-day (Why it's a one-day?)
    An euphemism (Why it's a euphemism?)

    I know the rules, I put "a" before vowel and "an" before consonant.

    Can someone on the topic explain me why I'm wrong.

    Thank.

    Bye

  2. #2
    konungursvia's Avatar
    konungursvia is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: Indefini article (a or an)

    It is an oral liaison for euphony, not based on spelling or orthoepy.

    Semi-vowels are considered the same as semi-consonants in English: /w/ and /j/ count as consonants in such cases for liaison, because they are easy to pronounce after a vowel: a euphemism [jufemIzm]; a one-day event [w^n deI] ....

    X-ray is pronounced ['eks reI] so the initial [e] qualifies it as a vowel beginning.

  3. #3
    bhaisahab's Avatar
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    Default Re: Indefini article (a or an)

    Quote Originally Posted by The French View Post
    Hello, I'm The French, new member.

    I made a test article "A and An" (twenty-five questions) on the "Beginner English Quizzes), but I'm wrong on three questions.

    My mistakes:

    A x-ray (Why it's An x-ray?)
    An one-day (Why it's a one-day?)
    An euphemism (Why it's a euphemism?)

    I know the rules, I put "a" before vowel and "an" before consonant.

    Can someone on the topic explain me why I'm wrong.

    Thank.

    Bye
    Hi The French, we put an before a vowel sound. 'An ex-ray; 'A won day'; 'A youthanism'.

  4. #4
    The French is offline Senior Member
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    Question Re: Indefini article (a or an)

    Quote Originally Posted by bhaisahab View Post
    Hi The French, we put an before a vowel sound. 'An ex-ray; 'A won day'; 'A youthanism'.
    Thanks for you reply, but I'm French and for me it is a little difficult to know the right sound for words like these.

    Is there one way to know if one word is pronounced "W" or "J" ?

    Thank for your fast reply.

    Have a nice day.

  5. #5
    bhaisahab's Avatar
    bhaisahab is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: Indefini article (a or an)

    Quote Originally Posted by The French View Post
    Thanks for you reply, but I'm French and for me it is a little difficult to know the right sound for words like these.

    Is there one way to know if one word is pronounced "W" or "J" ?

    Thank for your fast reply.

    Have a nice day.
    Can you give me some examples of words? I teach English to French people every day.

  6. #6
    The French is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Indefini article (a or an)

    Quote Originally Posted by bhaisahab View Post
    Can you give me some examples of words? I teach English to French people every day.
    Good morning,

    I give you an exemple, in English you say, "A youthanism" but in writting form you have "e" for the beginning of the word.

    In French, when we speak, the sound it's E, and basically, we put indefini article an before the word euphemism.

    The trouble for me it's, that I don't know if the word in English begins with wovel sound or consonnant sound, and I refer for the writting form to put the good indefini article.

    Do you understand what I mean?

    If we don't know the pronounciation of the word it's easy for us to make a mistake.

    Have a nice day.

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    konungursvia's Avatar
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    Default Re: Indefini article (a or an)

    Quote Originally Posted by The French View Post
    Good morning,

    I give you an exemple, in English you say, "A youthanism" but in writting form you have "e" for the beginning of the word.

    In French, when we speak, the sound it's E, and basically, we put indefini article an before the word euphemism.

    The trouble for me it's, that I don't know if the word in English begins with wovel sound or consonnant sound, and I refer for the writting form to put the good indefini article.

    Do you understand what I mean?

    If we don't know the pronounciation of the word it's easy for us to make a mistake.

    Have a nice day.
    Just consult a good dictionary with pronunciations.
    Il suffirait de consulter un bon dico muni de prononciations.

  8. #8
    The French is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Indefini article (a or an)

    Quote Originally Posted by konungursvia View Post
    Just consult a good dictionary with pronunciations.
    Il suffirait de consulter un bon dico muni de prononciations.
    Hello, (Bonjour)

    The only way it's the "Dico" or to know all of them by heart.

    Thank for your reply. (Merci pour votre réponse).

    Have a nice day.

  9. #9
    orangutan is offline Member
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    Default Re: Indefini article (a or an)

    Bonjour.

    To take your examples:

    X-ray begins with a vowel because the first element is the name of the letter "x", which begins with a vowel sound (also in French?).

    euphemism - the combination "eu" is usually pronounced "yu". So for that matter is the letter "u" in English when long (usually - the main exceptions can be learnt). The "y" here counts as a consonant because it is in the onset position in the syllable (you could replace it by a consonant). So "a unicorn", "a universal truth".

    The pronunciation of "one" happens to be irregular (welcome to English), but it is an irregularity most learners should be familiar with. It is homophonous with "won", where the "w" counts as a consonant for the same reason that "y" does in the previous example.

    So there are rules, though you have to think a bit about them. The most important thing, as others have said, is to go by the actual sound, not just by counting certain letters as "always vowels" or "always consonants". Unfortunately, being English, there are then also exceptions.

  10. #10
    The French is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Indefini article (a or an)

    Hello, here is The French,

    I understand what do you mean, but the X in x-ray for French is a consonant sound and we put a but the right it's an.

    The only way for French, is to learn all exceptions by heart.

    We are a lot of exceptions in our language too

    Thank for you reply. Have a nice day.

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