A and an, what's the difference?
A and an are called indefinite articles.
I will explain how to use them in another lesson.
But for this lesson, we'll talk about the difference between the two.
Well, it depends on the word that comes after.
Actually, it's not just the word, it's the first letter of the word.
Do you remember consonants and vowels?
A vowel is A, E, I, O, U.
The dark letters in the right box.
Consonants are the other letters, which are not vowels.
Look at the dark letters in the left box.
If the words starts with a consonant sound like b, c, d, then you should use a.
For example, bookmark b, /b/ is a consonant sound so it should be a bookmark.
Also, telephone, t, /t/ is a consonant sound, so it should be a telephone.
If the word starts with a vowel sound A, E, I, O, U, then you should use an.
Application has the /a/ vowel sound, so it should be an application.
Also, eraser, e is a vowel sound, so it's an eraser.
Focus on the sound of the first letter, not the spelling.
There are some special cases of words that start with a vowel letter, but a consonant sound.
Here are some examples, eulogy, university, uniform, utensil, utopia.
All of these words start with a vowel when you spell it, so maybe you think that it should be an.
But actually, it's a.
Why? It's because when you actually say it, you notice that you are saying you.
In this case the first sound is a /yuh/ sound, which is a consonant.
That's why you use a not an.
This happens to a lot of words that start with the spelling of eu, uni, or ut.
This situation happens to words that start with consonants too.
Mainly, with the silent h.
With words like hour or honor.
The h is silent, and you hear a vowel sound at the beginning.
You do not hear the ha, h sound.
That's why people say an hour or an honor.
Don't get confused.
Always check the first sound.
A word like head has a /hu/ h sound so
we use a head or hippo is a hippo.
That was pretty easy to understand right?