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...
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...
theBRK, you da man was wondering when you would come in here to contribute your knowledge.
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
It is [a] if the acronym is pronounced.
It is a "sound" rule not a grammar rule.
Last edited by theRBK; 13th January 2008 at 05:09 PM.
What about "an" hour later or "a" hour later?
an hour later is correct.
how do you pronounce h?
even google will tell you.. through the mystical voice of wikpedia:"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
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).is the eighth letter in the Latin alphabet. Its name in English is spelled aitch (pronounced /eɪtʃ/) in most dialects, though in Irish and Indian it is generally haitch /heɪtʃ/. (See the discussion below on the two pronunciations.)
Last edited by night86mare; 14th January 2008 at 01:07 AM.