A Versus An: Correct Usage

Look at the sentences below:

Mary bought a book.
John ate an apple.

Both words in bold above mean “one” but what is the difference between the two? Do you ever wonder why sometimes a is used and other times an is used?

It’s simple. Here is the explanation. We use an when the following word starts with a vowel and a when the following word starts with a consonant.

So what is a vowel and what is a consonant? The English alphabet has five vowels, they are: a e i o u. All other letters in the English alphabet are called consonants.

Here are some examples of how to use a and an.

I bought a book. (Following word starts with consonant)

John peeled an orange. (Following word starts with vowel)

We watched a movie. (Following word starts with consonant)

He broke an egg. (Following word starts with vowel)

I gave her a candy. (Following word starts with consonant).

He saw an owl. (Following word starts with vowel)

More on the very basics:

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Article Location: Patrickcarpen.com >> English >> English Language >> The Very Basics

Keywords: a, an, usage, articles in English language, grammar, language, a vs. an

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