I'm just a bit unsure: Do you write "send me a SMS" or "send me an SMS". I thought the latter was correct because the indefinite article depends on how the next letter is pronunced. If it's a consonant sound you write a, if it's a vowel sound you write an (e.g. a university student but an umbrella). So it should be an SMS. Is this correct? Interestingly google yields results for both an SMS and a SMS.
Advice of grammar expert appreciated! Thanks in advance.
Last edited by kameier; 29-Jan-2007 at 13:22.
Yes, "an SMS" is correct in both spoken and written English for exactly the reason you wrote.
Native speakers generally do not make an error such as "a SMS" in spoken English. This sort of error is most likely to occur only in written English.
I googled "a MBA" and one of the first results was this. The title is incorrectly written as "What is a MBA?" But if you read further, you will see that they wrote it correctly ("an MBA") throughout the text.
Then what about 'special gift'?
a special gift/an special gift?
as once one of my teachers said, we should rely on what we hear not what we see.
in words like SPECIAL or SMS, we hear an (e) before (s). so we should use AN
@Asad & Matilda
The pronunciation of the abbreviation 'SOS' begins with an "es" sound (not "s") and the abbreviation 'MBA' begins with an "em" sound (not "m"). That's why you need to use the article 'an'.
As Bob noted, the first sound you hear when you pronounce the word 'special' is 's' -- so you have to say "a special gift".
Last edited by Philly; 29-Jan-2007 at 20:50.