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  1. #1

    why is this false

    They wanted to join an union, but their bosses were against it
    False , because we use "a" before a cosonant sound and "an" before a vowel sound. Here, the word starts with a consonant sound.

    Why, union starts with "U"- this is a vowel sound...

  2. Philly's Avatar

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    #2

    Re: why is this false

    .
    The letter "u" is a vowel. But the rule for "a" and "an" is based on pronunciation and not on spelling. Some words beginning with "u" are pronounced as though they begin with "y" (a consonant). Likewise, some words that begin with "o" sound like they begin with "w". You use "a" with words that are pronounced as though they begin with consonants:
    .
    - a union
    - a university
    - an umbrella
    - an ugly duckling
    - a one-armed bandit
    - a once-in-a-lifetime experience
    - an option
    - an order
    .
    And some words that begin with "h" sound as though they begin with a vowel and therefore need "an":
    .
    - an hour
    - an honest man
    - a hand
    - a hyphen
    .

  3. #3

    Re: why is this false

    thanks, very complicate ...but you a good teacher, right?

  4. Philly's Avatar

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    #4

    Re: why is this false

    Hi me78
    .
    The "spelling rule" (a+consonant, an+vowel) works most of the time, but not all the time. And the reason it doesn't work all the time is what I wrote in my first post.
    .
    Look at my list, but don't just read it --- say the words with the articles out loud (at a normal speaking speed, i.e. not slowly) and try to "feel" the difference.
    .

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    #5

    Re: why is this false

    There's also 'a European', and we can have 'an' before a consonant (usually in acronyms): an MBA, an SOS.

  5. BobK's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: why is this false

    And to add to the complication, everything's changing. I've heard both 'a hotel' and 'an hotel', about equally often. By the end of this century, I expect 'a hotel' will be much the more common of the two. (As an example of that sort of change, in BE - in my grandfather's time - the pronunciation 'an uniform' was common; but now, I don't think anyone would use it [except, say, in a historical play]. And there's another one: there are still people who insist on saying 'an historical'.)

    b

    ps - and here's another, from 'The Pirates of Penzance' (Victorian, I think)

    "To such an one
    If such there be
    I swear by all the stars above you
    If you'll but cast your eyes on me
    However plain you be I'll love you"
    Last edited by BobK; 26-Sep-2006 at 11:50. Reason: Added ps

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    #7

    Re: why is this false

    I don't mind "an 'otel" or "an 'istoric...", but I don't like it when people aspirate the H and use 'an'. One of my little prejudices.

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