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  1. daveh

    use of an

    when you use an are there any exceptions to the rule ie an is used before a vowel sound but what about before sms / std
    Last edited by Tdol; 28-Mar-2006 at 05:19. Reason: email removed

  2. Casiopea's Avatar

    • Join Date: Sep 2003
    • Posts: 12,970

    Re: use of an

    Welcome, David.

    The rule doesn't apply to a word's written form. It applies to a word's spoken form. "sms" and "std" are written with a consonant-initial, yes, but that consonant, "s", is pronounced with a vowel. Say the alphabet, a b c d . . . s t u . . .

    Note, United States is written with a vowel, "U", but that vowel is pronounced [ju:], with consonant-initial [j] <y>. So, a United States member, not an United States member.

    Hope that helps.

  3. rewboss's Avatar

    • Join Date: Feb 2006
    • Posts: 1,552

    Re: use of an

    It simply depends on how you pronounce the word. Look at this:

    An NBC journalist asked a NATO spokesman for his views.

    "An NBC journalist" because we pronounce "NBC" as letters -- "en, bee, see". But "A NATO spokesman" because we pronounce "NATO" as if it were a word: "nay-toe".


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