[Grammar] Article an / a

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emeraude

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May 13, 2009
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Student or Learner
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Malay
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Malaysia
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Australia
Hi,

I have a question about using "an".

I've seen these sentences written on several sites.
Which is correct?

He is an RSPCA inspector.
He is a RSPCA inspector.

He is an university student.
He is a university student.

Thank you for help!
emeraude
 

emsr2d2

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Jul 28, 2009
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Hi,

I have a question about using "an".

I've seen these sentences written on several sites.
Which is correct?

He is an RSPCA inspector. Correct.
He is a RSPCA inspector. Incorrect.

He is an university student. Incorrect.
He is a university student. Correct.

Thank you for help!
emeraude

With the first example, you have to think about the sound of that first letter of the acronym. The letter "R" is pronounced like "are", so it begins with a vowel sound, therefore takes "an".

In the second example, the first sound of "university" sounds like "You", which is a non-vowel sound, so takes "a".

The trick is to not look at the actual letter, but to think about the sound of that letter.
 

emeraude

Member
Joined
May 13, 2009
Member Type
Student or Learner
Native Language
Malay
Home Country
Malaysia
Current Location
Australia
Thank you to you both for the fast response.
The information was very helpful.:)
emeraude
 
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