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Thread: 'an' HDB flat or 'a' HDB flat.

  1. #21
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    Default Re: 'an' HDB flat or 'a' HDB flat.

    Quote Originally Posted by melvin View Post
    I tot the usage of 'an' will base on A, E, I, O, U of the following word!
    Is that an honourable decision or an honest mistake?
    “How fortunate for leaders that men do not think.” - Adolf Hitler

  2. #22
    Senior Member azul123's Avatar
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    Default Re: 'an' HDB flat or 'a' HDB flat.

    Quote Originally Posted by melvin View Post
    I tot the usage of 'an' will base on A, E, I, O, U of the following word!
    Then it would be:

    a HDB flat
    an URA spokesman.

    Second one sounds wrong.

    ../azul123

  3. #23

    Default Re: 'an' HDB flat or 'a' HDB flat.

    Quote Originally Posted by azul123 View Post
    counter from the first one child who said, an HDB is right.

    "So, you would say, an Urban Redevelopment Authority spokesman = an URA spokesman?" doesn't sound right, should be a URA spokesman.

    Me? I think:
    a Housing Development Board flat = a HDB flat.

    As for the URA piece it would be.. an Urban Redevelopment Authority spokesman = this time 'a' URA spokesman.

    ../azul123
    i think you are correct. whether if you use the acronym HDB its "a HDB" cos we pronounce the "H" with a "hedge" sound. as for URA its "a URA" cos the "U" has a "you" sound. darn the english language

  4. #24
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    Default Re: 'an' HDB flat or 'a' HDB flat.

    Quote Originally Posted by melvin View Post
    I tot the usage of 'an' will base on A, E, I, O, U of the following word!
    Yes. But certain words are an exception to this rule...

  5. #25

    Default Re: 'an' HDB flat or 'a' HDB flat.

    Quote Originally Posted by melvin View Post
    I tot the usage of 'an' will base on A, E, I, O, U of the following word!
    no.. its all about the sound of the 1st syllable.

    eg...

    an umbrella - "u" sound
    a unicorn - "y" sound

  6. #26
    Senior Member melvin's Avatar
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    Default Re: 'an' HDB flat or 'a' HDB flat.

    Quote Originally Posted by Yatlapball View Post
    Yes. But certain words are an exception to this rule...
    I know there are exception but dun know who is exempted, pls Enlighten thks!

  7. #27
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    Default Re: 'an' HDB flat or 'a' HDB flat.

    you can try this... http://owl.english.purdue.edu/handouts/esl/esliart.html

    it's pretty close to what I remember being taught in school...

  8. #28

    Default Re: 'an' HDB flat or 'a' HDB flat.

    the a-an rule is due to pronunciation and not grammar or orthography (spelling)... so "HDB" would be "an HDB", "honourable" would be "an honourable"... the realisations here are not so much an exception to the rule (viewed from the point of spelling) but that they do not follow the guide of spelling but deals with pronunciation...

    to illustrate this further, if a dialect pronounces house as " 'ouse " (the "h" is elided or not produced, as is the case in some dialects in Britain), then the rule would favour the form "an 'ouse"...

    but now, back to sociolinguistic research...

  9. #29
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    Default Re: 'an' HDB flat or 'a' HDB flat.

    theBRK, you da man was wondering when you would come in here to contribute your knowledge.

  10. #30

    Default Re: 'an' HDB flat or 'a' HDB flat.

    Quote Originally Posted by Yatlapball View Post
    theBRK, you da man was wondering when you would come in here to contribute your knowledge.
    not when people misspell my nick...

  11. #31
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    Default Re: 'an' HDB flat or 'a' HDB flat.

    Quote Originally Posted by theRBK View Post
    not when people misspell my nick...
    Oops

  12. #32
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    Default Re: 'an' HDB flat or 'a' HDB flat.

    Quote Originally Posted by theRBK View Post
    the a-an rule is due to pronunciation and not grammar or orthography (spelling)... so "HDB" would be "an HDB", "honourable" would be "an honourable"... the realisations here are not so much an exception to the rule (viewed from the point of spelling) but that they do not follow the guide of spelling but deals with pronunciation...

    to illustrate this further, if a dialect pronounces house as " 'ouse " (the "h" is elided or not produced, as is the case in some dialects in Britain), then the rule would favour the form "an 'ouse"...

    but now, back to sociolinguistic research...
    i prefer the British pronunciation, so it will be ''a HDB flat'' for me instead of ''an HDB flat'' for me, the latter just does not sound right.

  13. #33

    Default Re: 'an' HDB flat or 'a' HDB flat.

    Quote Originally Posted by eikin View Post
    i prefer the British pronunciation, so it will be ''a HDB flat'' for me instead of ''an HDB flat'' for me, the latter just does not sound right.
    and for you, it is correct as well (although I would not really call that British pronunciation becourse Britain is a very diverse speaker community... maybe more BBC or what some would call Received Pronunciation (RP)... like I mentioned, some people in Britain would pronounce "house" as " 'ouse"... just watch Premiership coverage... )... its not a hard and fast rule... like Captain Barbossa said, its "more what you'd call 'guidelines' than actual rules"... and if any school teacher says otherwise you can tell them to go shiver their timbers...

  14. #34
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    Default Re: 'an' HDB flat or 'a' HDB flat.

    Quote Originally Posted by theRBK View Post
    the a-an rule is due to pronunciation and not grammar or orthography (spelling)... so "HDB" would be "an HDB", "honourable" would be "an honourable"... the realisations here are not so much an exception to the rule (viewed from the point of spelling) but that they do not follow the guide of spelling but deals with pronunciation...

    to illustrate this further, if a dialect pronounces house as " 'ouse " (the "h" is elided or not produced, as is the case in some dialects in Britain), then the rule would favour the form "an 'ouse"...

    but now, back to sociolinguistic research...
    Quote Originally Posted by theRBK View Post
    and for you, it is correct as well (although I would not really call that British pronunciation becourse Britain is a very diverse speaker community... maybe more BBC or what some would call Received Pronunciation (RP)... like I mentioned, some people in Britain would pronounce "house" as " 'ouse"... just watch Premiership coverage... )... its not a hard and fast rule... like Captain Barbossa said, its "more what you'd call 'guidelines' than actual rules"... and if any school teacher says otherwise you can tell them to go shiver their timbers...
    that was exactly my point. didn't it occur to you those people who pronounce 'ouse' did so because they were being though that way? those who were though H(eitch) should use 'an' and those who were taught H(haitch) will use 'a'. If you were to notice a lot of confusion these days because of our british education root mixed with US influence has created a whole new dialect with people saying a H(eitch)-D-B flat or an H(heitch)_D_B. This dialect took up a name of its own I believe now called "Singlish" which have total disregard for any basics of english.

    Although just "guidelines than actual rules" you can see the impact on working adults when it comes to the negotiating tables and report writing. Although not much of an a-an problem but the basics of English is totally lost and very often many man-hours are wasted on trying to convey a simple point across.

    More so when it comes to parenting, the parents tries to give the kid a good start in english by speaking to them in English, but their English is intertwined with excerpts from all 4 major languages in Singapore. The poor child ends up speaking Singlish eloquently and his mom couldn't figure out what went wrong.

    Another friend who speaks proper English at home, finds his 3 kids speaking far better English and more outspoken than the former.

    FYI, I witnessed this for she is a close friend of mine.

    Guidelines or actual rules? Probably one would need to shiver a lot more timbers to find out.
    “How fortunate for leaders that men do not think.” - Adolf Hitler

  15. #35
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    Default Re: 'an' HDB flat or 'a' HDB flat.

    It is [a] if the acronym is pronounced.

    not [an]

    It is a "sound" rule not a grammar rule.
    See this.

    http://www.english-zone.com/grammar/a-anlessn.html

  16. #36

    Default Re: 'an' HDB flat or 'a' HDB flat.

    Quote Originally Posted by yanyewkay View Post
    that was exactly my point. didn't it occur to you those people who pronounce 'ouse' did so because they were being though that way? those who were though H(eitch) should use 'an' and those who were taught H(haitch) will use 'a'. If you were to notice a lot of confusion these days because of our british education root mixed with US influence has created a whole new dialect with people saying a H(eitch)-D-B flat or an H(heitch)_D_B. This dialect took up a name of its own I believe now called "Singlish" which have total disregard for any basics of english.
    if people who use "a" with "house" and those who use "an" with " 'ouse" learnt it and applied it thus, then good for them, they have correct usage... I think the problem would come if people used "an" with "house" or "a" with " 'ouse"... that would be when the "guidelines" are clearly broken... but the choice to use a certain pronunciation system should certainly be open to the individual as long as they are consistent... ... and I daresay this is a worldwide issue and not a problem faced only by Singapore... and I don't believe Singlish has total disregards to any basics in English... Singlish, as in any dialect of English, has its own rules and thus do not have to follow the rules of other dialects as long as these rules that they adhere to are consistent... there is Singlish and there is broken English: they are not the same, and I think if there are deficiencies in usage as with regards to the current topic in question, it is the latter that is the problem

    Quote Originally Posted by yanyewkay View Post
    the basics of English is totally lost and very often many man-hours are wasted on trying to convey a simple point across.

    More so when it comes to parenting, the parents tries to give the kid a good start in english by speaking to them in English, but their English is intertwined with excerpts from all 4 major languages in Singapore. The poor child ends up speaking Singlish eloquently and his mom couldn't figure out what went wrong.
    this is an issue of incomplete competence of English, not the influence of Singlish... and in a way, I believe this situation arises because of the extra emphasis on technical (not meaning "engineering" technical but as in "expertise-centric" technical) and scientific education but a limited emphasis on language skills that is present in the education system... honestly, I do not remember much about learning English in school (not to put down the efforts of teachers of English... I guess I just wasn't a particularly attentive student in English class)... I learnt English the good old fashion way, by listening and using it, and what better source of good English language usage than well made television and well written novels if good English language use is not present at home (I come from a family that converses in Hokkien so that runs true for me, although my father does speak good English)... that's where I had picked up my English

    Quote Originally Posted by yanyewkay View Post
    Probably one would need to shiver a lot more timbers to find out.
    shiver on... more funding for academic research
    Last edited by theRBK; 13th January 2008 at 05:09 PM.

  17. #37

    Default Re: 'an' HDB flat or 'a' HDB flat.

    Quote Originally Posted by theRBK View Post
    if people who use "a" with "house" and those who use "an" with " 'ouse" learnt it and applied it thus, then good for them, they have correct usage... I think the problem would come if people used "an" with "house" or "a" with " 'ouse"... that would be when the "guidelines" are clearly broken... but the choice to use a certain pronunciation system should certainly be open to the individual as long as they are consistent...
    And you are absolutely correct.

    It is all about the spoken form rather than the written vowel - first syllable is a vowel sound, use an "an".

    Or you could try saying a "an" - and twist your tongue all around.

  18. #38

    Default Re: 'an' HDB flat or 'a' HDB flat.

    What about "an" hour later or "a" hour later?

  19. #39
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    Default Re: 'an' HDB flat or 'a' HDB flat.

    an hour later is correct.

  20. #40

    Default Re: 'an' HDB flat or 'a' HDB flat.

    link



    how do you pronounce h?

    "A" goes before all words that begin with consonants.

    * a cat
    * a dog
    * a purple onion
    * a buffalo
    * a big apple

    with one exception: Use an before unsounded h.

    * an honorable peace
    * an honest error

    "An" goes before all words that begin with vowels:

    * an apricot
    * an egg
    * an Indian
    * an orbit
    * an uprising

    with two exceptions: When u makes the same sound as the y in you, or o makes the same sound as w in won, then a is used.

    * a union
    * a united front
    * a unicorn
    * a used napkin
    * a U.S. ship
    * a one-legged man
    even google will tell you.. through the mystical voice of wikpedia:

    link

    is the eighth letter in the Latin alphabet. Its name in English is spelled aitch[1] (pronounced /eɪtʃ/) in most dialects, though in Irish and Indian it is generally haitch /heɪtʃ/. (See the discussion below on the two pronunciations.)
    based on all these, there is no right or wrong answer lor. i guess most people must be irish or indian (no, this is not a racist slur).
    Last edited by night86mare; 14th January 2008 at 01:07 AM.

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