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  1. Key Member
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    #1

    An or a h

    Suppose somebody says like "My name is cathy with a c". So my question is if somebody says this then what we have to use before the letter " a or an". I have seen people say "with an h or x". So do we need to use a or an?

  2. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: An or a h

    We use "a" because the first sound you hear when you say the letter "c" out loud is "s".

    Before "h" and "x", we use "an" because the words sound as if they start with a vowel. They are pronounced "aitch" and "ex".

    "A" before a consonant sound.
    "An" before a vowel sound.

    Remember to capitalise people's names. It's Cathy.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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    #3

    Re: An or a h

    Some people pronounce the name of the letter H as "haitch." I've read that in Australia, how you pronounce H reveals where you attended elementary school: "aitch" means public school, "haitch" means Catholic school. The sidebar to this article says "Haytch is a standard pronunciation in Irish English...." ("Haytch" is an alternate spelling for "haitch.")

    In any case, those who pronounce H as "haitch" would say "a haitch."
    I am not a teacher.

  3. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: An or a h

    In BrE, pronouncing it "haitch" is simply viewed as incorrect.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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    #5

    Re: An or a h

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    In BrE, pronouncing it "haitch" is simply viewed as incorrect.
    You are apparently not alone in that reaction. According to the BBC article I linked to, "...the pronunciation haytch is... attested as a legitimate variant. We... do not ask broadcasters who naturally say haytch to change their pronunciation but if a broadcaster contacted to ask us, we would tell them that aytch is regarded as the standard pronunciation in British English, people can feel very strongly about this and this pronunciation is less likely to attract audience complaints." (My bolding.)
    Last edited by GoesStation; 11-Jan-2016 at 18:54. Reason: To choose a more precise verb.
    I am not a teacher.

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    #6

    Re: An or a h

    The aitch/haitch issue causes more heat than any other issue in the language that I can think of, and I have been on a language forum that has regularly discussed modal verbs for over a decade. You can see a sample of responses here: https://www.usingenglish.com/poll/654.html

    My nephew told my mother that aitch is the way old people pronounce it, which may be a small indication of which way the battle is going.

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    #7

    Re: An or a h

    Haitch seems much more logical to me. Sadly, it doesn't exist here in the States.
    I am not a teacher.

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    #8

    Re: An or a h

    It exists in the UK, but it far from universal.

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