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    #1

    When to use 'an' and 'a'

    I was reading the bews on Yahoo today and came across this sentence which I felt was wrong,'The jury also heard the tape from an police interview(...)'. I would use 'a' instead of 'an' for exampla 'a police interview' or 'an interview by the police'. I've always believed 'a' is always used before words that don't start with vowels and 'an' for words that start with vowels, take for example ' an apple, an African, an argument, an affection...' and not 'an baby, an policeman, an book' but ' a person, a yoyo, a joy' etc. Are there and exception perhaps?

  1. Harry Smith's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: When to use 'an' and 'a'

    an honour, an hour.

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    #3

    Re: When to use 'an' and 'a'

    Yea..yea Harry, I get the point ! The 'H' in that type of words is silent hence qualifying for 'an'. Thanks!

  2. Philly's Avatar

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    #4

    Re: When to use 'an' and 'a'

    Hi Agnes
    .
    In both spoken and written English, 'an' precedes words that sound as if they begin with a vowel when pronounced:
    • an apple
    • a green apple
    • an umbrella
    • a unique umbrella
    • a master's degree
    • an MBA

    .
    There are very few words that don't follow this rule.

  3. Harry Smith's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: When to use 'an' and 'a'

    Quote Originally Posted by Agnes View Post
    Yea..yea Harry, I get the point ! The 'H' in that type of words is silent hence qualifying for 'an'. Thanks!
    You are welcome, Agnes! Denmark is a fascinating country. I've been there several times.

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    #6

    Re: When to use 'an' and 'a'

    Then you can speak Danish!!!! They have interesting grammar rules too! Kind of chocks my English to be honest!!

  4. Harry Smith's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: When to use 'an' and 'a'

    Quote Originally Posted by Agnes View Post
    Then you can speak Danish!!!! They have interesting grammar rules too! Kind of chocks my English to be honest!!
    A little bit. I'm trying hard though I have very little free time. Their grammar is a mixture of German and English, isn't it?

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    #8

    Re: When to use 'an' and 'a'

    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Smith View Post
    A little bit. I'm trying hard though I have very little free time. Their grammar is a mixture of German and English, isn't it?
    Very true Harry! Can be frustrating at times; most especially when translating from Danish to English and vice-versa. Sometimes I wonder if I will ever get it right . Anyway, it's great to be a member of this site, because then I can polish up my rusty english! !! How do you get by when you are visiting Denmark sans knowing their language? It's almost impossible!! Anyway, tourists always find their way!

  5. Harry Smith's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: When to use 'an' and 'a'

    Quote Originally Posted by Agnes View Post
    Very true Harry! Can be frustrating at times; most especially when translating from Danish to English and vice-versa. Sometimes I wonder if I will ever get it right . Anyway, it's great to be a member of this site, because then I can polish up my rusty english! !! How do you get by when you are visiting Denmark sans knowing their language? It's almost impossible!! Anyway, tourists always find their way!
    I must say that they gladly speak English with foreigners which I can't say about Germans. When I visited Germany two years ago I could hardly communicate with them with my poor German.

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    #10

    Re: When to use 'an' and 'a'

    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Smith View Post
    I must say that they gladly speak English with foreigners which I can't say about Germans. When I visited Germany two years ago I could hardly communicate with them with my poor German.
    It depends on where you are of course. Out in the country, not many can. Those that can don't dare! Copenhagen and other big cities are easier, and you are right about Germany too...proud nation!!!

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