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    #1

    use of a or an before an abbreviation

    Hello all,

    I would like to ask, what is the appropriate use of a or an before an abbreviation.

    For example, i would say "George provides a AAA service" and would use the preposition "a" instead of "an" although the abbreviation that follows (AAA) starts with a vowel (yes i know that the sound of it also matters).

    Is this correct?

    I sometimes, for a weird unconscious reason, take into consideration how the next word of the abbreviation starts, if the abbreviation characterizes the noun that follows. i don't know if this is correct though..

    Can someone shed a light here?

    thanks a lot!

  1. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: use of a or an before an abbreviation

    Quote Originally Posted by panosgr View Post
    Hello all,

    I would like to ask, what is the appropriate use of a or an before an abbreviation.

    For example, i would say "George provides a AAA service" and would use the preposition "a" instead of "an" although the abbreviation that follows (AAA) starts with a vowel (yes i know that the sound of it also matters).

    Is this correct?

    I sometimes, for a weird unconscious reason, take into consideration how the next word of the abbreviation starts, if the abbreviation characterizes the noun that follows. i don't know if this is correct though..

    Can someone shed a light here?

    thanks a lot!
    It should be "an AAA..."

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    #3

    Re: use of a or an before an abbreviation

    an AAA hah?

    bugger.... and i was sure about that....

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    #4

    Re: use of a or an before an abbreviation

    hold on a minute though... how do you read AAA in the aforementioned sentence?

    in computer science AAA is commonly pronounced as "triple a" is this the reason why it comes more naturally to me to use a instead of an?

    in the end, if i pronounce it triple a what should i use?

    in addition what should i use when i write it?

  2. Raymott's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: use of a or an before an abbreviation

    Quote Originally Posted by panosgr View Post
    hold on a minute though... how do you read AAA in the aforementioned sentence?

    in computer science AAA is commonly pronounced as "triple a" is this the reason why it comes more naturally to me to use a instead of an?

    in the end, if i pronounce it triple a what should i use?

    in addition what should i use when i write it?
    These are the only rules you need:
    1. You use 'an' before a vowel sound.
    2. You use 'a' before a consonant sound.

    an /eI eI eI/
    a /trIpl eI/

    For writing, you write it the way you say it. "an AAA; a triple A."

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    #6

    Re: use of a or an before an abbreviation

    thanks a lot, that makes more sense

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