The indefinite articles a and an are grammatically the same. They both mean ‘one of many’. There are two facts about indefinite articles:
- They are used only with singular nouns.
- They are rarely used with proper nouns.
When to use indefinite articles
a/ an is used to refer to a non-specific member of a group.
Here is another way to think about it.
Using a or an
We have already reviewed that the indefinite articles a and an are grammatically the same. However, when to use either a or an depends on the sound of the next word. Use a when the word that follows begins with a consonant sound.
Use an if the next word begins with a vowel sound, even if the letter is not a vowel (eg. an hour).
Sometimes, it is not so straightforward.
Even though ‘u’ is a vowel and ‘y’ is often a vowel, they are not vowel sounds in these sentences.
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