Tiulpan
An elephant, A European, An umbrella, A useful ... and something else like it? An elephant A European An umbrella A useful ... I would like to know which one should I write "A European" or "An European". I learned that normally we use "an" in front of a word beginning with a vowel. So based on this knowledge, I wrote "An European" in a paper, but someone told me that I should have wrote "A European". I am all confused now. Hope anyone can help me. Does someone know any example of this rare case?
Apr 8, 2011 12:26 PM
Answers · 8
The use of a/an depends entirely on spoken English, not written English. If you pronounce a word (ie. a noun or adjective) with an open vowel, then use "an". ...a European, a university, a euphemism... (all begin with a 'y' sound) BUT: an hour, an heir, an 'M', an 80th...
April 8, 2011
although "European" is spelt with a vowel (E), phonetically speaking, the word starts with a semivowel /j/, as in "You" /ju:/. Words that start with a semivowel are preceded by the article "a".
April 8, 2011
The usage of 'a' and 'an' is determined by the pronunciation and not by the spelling, as many people think. You should say, therefore, “an hour” (because hour begins with a vowel sound) and “a history” (because history begins with a consonant sound). Similarly you should say “a European” even if Euroean begins with a “u.” That is because the pronunciation begins with “yu”, which is a consonant sound.
April 8, 2011
When there is sound of vowel always use an. But sound of a,e,i ,o and u must be a like apple, e in elephant, u in umbrella etc. In these four words; With European- a european as sound came first is u as in you.. With Elephant- an elephant as sound came first is aa as the sound came of e With Umbrella- An umbrella as sound came first is a as the sound came of u With useful- a useful as the sound came first is u as in you.
April 8, 2011
April 8, 2011
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Tiulpan
Language Skills
Chinese (Mandarin), English, German, Japanese, Russian, Spanish
Learning Language
Chinese (Mandarin), German, Japanese