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A or An before nouns?

An should be used before nouns that talk about one person or thing, and begin with a vowel sound (a, e, i, o, u).

An elephant has put its trunk on top of a car.

An elephant is next to my car.

• Do you want an apple or a banana?
(Apple, a-pel – vowel sound. Banana, bah-nan-a – no vowel sound)
• I have an egg. (eh-g)
• She is eating an ice-cream. (eye-scream)

Pronunciation is important not spelling.
• She is an hour late.
(h is silent – pronounced our)
• A European country.
(your-roh-pe-an)
• An umbrella.
(um-brell-a)
• A university.
(you-ni-ver-sity)

Remember: Pronunciation is important not spelling.
  • Exercise 1

    Remember: Pronunciation is important not spelling.

    Write a or an in each space.

    Remember: Pronunciation is important not spelling.

    Write a or an in each space.

    Exercise 2

    Write a or an in each space.

    Note: when we put an adjective before the noun the pronunciation of the adjective is important NOT the pronunciation of the noun.
    Compare:
    A book.
    An old book.

    Write a or an in each space.

    Note: when we put an adjective before the noun the pronunciation of the adjective is important NOT the pronunciation of the noun.
    Compare:
    A book.
    An old book.

  • A before nouns
    A should be used before countable nouns that talk about one person or thing. (3:15)

    Using A and An
    A or An are used before nouns to talk about something the listener or reader does not know about. (1:45)

    Vocabulary Video Lesson: Obsession 
    This vocabulary lesson will help you define crush, adore, passionate, obsession, self-obsessed, fixation, infatuation, intoxication and besotted. (8:00)