What about a and an?


Hey, I was talking with one of my friends  who speaks Spanish and is learning English.  She was telling me that in Spanish they have feminine and masculine nouns.  I don’t remember which ones she said, so sorry if these are backwards but lets say for example that a book is masculine and a pencil is feminine.  So they put un for the masculine and unA for the feminine.  And I was like, we don’t have that in English.   But later, I was thinking about A versus AN like a book. ... Sorry, I can’t think of another example for an right now, but sometimes we use that.  I KNOW it is not masculine or feminine, but why do we change them?  When should we use an?

an a asked Sep 01 '13 at 03:10 Lina Newbride New member

1 answer


Actually, many languages have feminine and masculine nouns. But Eniglish does not. "A" or "An" has nothing to do with that. They are articles, not nouns. The way to determine which to use is the beginning sound of the word following. If the word sounds like it begins with a vowel, such as "egg" or "hour", you use "an". If it sounds like it starts with a consonant, such as "table" or "unicorn", then use "a".

link comment answered Sep 01 '13 at 03:33 Patty T Grammarly Fellow

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