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  1. Alexis99
    Guest
    #1

    Using A and AN

    Hi,

    Someone pointed out that the sentence "Today is a historic day" is wrong, because "an" should be used, making the sentence "Today is an historic day". As far as i know "an" is only used if the word after it begins with a vowel.
    What am I missing here, is this why we say "It will only take me AN hour"? As for that, we do not pronounce the "h" therefore it sounds like the word begins with a vowel. I do not see that happening with "Historic".

    Help please. Thank you.


    • Join Date: Mar 2006
    • Posts: 671
    #2

    Re: Using A and AN

    Quote Originally Posted by Alexis99
    Hi,
    Someone pointed out that the sentence "Today is a historic day" is wrong, because "an" should be used, making the sentence "Today is an historic day". As far as i know "an" is only used if the word after it begins with a vowel.
    What am I missing here, is this why we say "It will only take me AN hour"? As for that, we do not pronounce the "h" therefore it sounds like the word begins with a vowel. I do not see that happening with "Historic".
    Help please. Thank you.
    Oh dear. People can be so tiresome can't they ?

    It centres on the controversy between the aspirated 'h' (voiced as in "historic"), and the unaspirated 'h' (unvoiced as in "hour"). Traditionalists will tell you that a is used for the former, and an is used for the latter. Fowler's 3rd Edition ducks out of it as usual as says you can use either. I go along with that - I like a quiet life.

    Anyway, tell "someone" that they're wrong .

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