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

  1. #41

    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!
    Same goes to me. I dont know such thing as missing 'H'... Ha... this is language..

  2. #42

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

    Quote Originally Posted by madmacs View Post
    no.. its all about the sound of the 1st syllable.

    eg...

    an umbrella - "u" sound
    a unicorn - "y" sound
    I was taught that way... an for word starting with a e i o u

    getting confuse

  3. #43
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    Default Re: 'an' HDB flat or 'a' HDB flat.

    Quote Originally Posted by azul123 View Post
    Saw this on second page of today's paper.

    ../azul123
    The 'A, E, I, O, U' thing I thought shld be known to all?

  4. #44

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Yappy View Post
    I was taught that way... an for word starting with a e i o u

    getting confuse
    don't believe all that they teach you

  5. #45

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

    Quote Originally Posted by jsbn View Post
    The 'A, E, I, O, U' thing I thought shld be known to all?
    technically it should be i, I, e, ć, a, ɐ, ɔ, o, ʊ, ə, not A, E, I, O, and U... like previously mentioned, its a sound thing, not a grammar or spelling thing...

    if looked at from the point of view of sounds, there is no real need for exceptions... even for something like "union" which seems to require an exception, we can look at the word's sound to tell us what is required... taking a transcription (into an aural representation) of the word rather than its spelling, the word "union" may be transcribed in the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) as "juniən", and it can be seen, refering to the list above, that it requires an "a' instead of an "an"... doesn't mean everyone should learn IPA, but this is just to illustrate that it is a sound thing and not a spelling thing... use and trust your ear to tell

  6. #46

    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!
    You are right, but it also applies when the word sounds like it begins with an A,E,I,O or U.

  7. #47
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    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 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

    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

    shiver on... more funding for academic research
    great. My formal English education stopped after I completed my secondary school education. It's been a while..
    “How fortunate for leaders that men do not think.” - Adolf Hitler

  8. #48
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    Default Re: 'an' HDB flat or 'a' HDB flat.

    "an" is correct... You use "an" if the next word starts with a vowel SOUND, not necessarily letter...

    So "H" is "ech" in sound, you use "an" in this case...

    Ditto with an S-class Mercedes, since you pronouce it as "es" or an F-18 fighter jet coz you say it with "ef"....

  9. #49

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

    Quote Originally Posted by yanyewkay View Post
    great. My formal English education stopped after I completed my secondary school education. It's been a while..
    mine too... don't ask me about parts of speech and all that sort of rubbish ... I prefer to study society

  10. #50
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    Default Re: 'an' HDB flat or 'a' HDB flat.

    Quote Originally Posted by theveed View Post
    "an" is correct... You use "an" if the next word starts with a vowel SOUND, not necessarily letter...

    So "H" is "ech" in sound, you use "an" in this case...

    Ditto with an S-class Mercedes, since you pronouce it as "es" or an F-18 fighter jet coz you say it with "ef"....
    i still read it as a HDB cos it is H (heitch)
    “How fortunate for leaders that men do not think.” - Adolf Hitler

  11. #51

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

    Quote Originally Posted by theveed View Post
    So "H" is "ech" in sound, you use "an" in this case...
    the "H" can definitely be pronounced as "heich" as well

  12. #52
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    Default Re: 'an' HDB flat or 'a' HDB flat.

    how come i checked oxford dictionary (which is an English dictionary)
    they say H is pronounced as "etch" ?
    Is "Hetch" really correct pronunciation?

  13. #53
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    Default Re: 'an' HDB flat or 'a' HDB flat.

    Quote Originally Posted by madmacs View Post
    no.. its all about the sound of the 1st syllable.

    eg...

    an umbrella - "u" sound
    a unicorn - "y" sound
    you scored an 'ole in one
    Time, is an effortless construction :)

  14. #54

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

    Quote Originally Posted by htthach View Post
    how come i checked oxford dictionary (which is an English dictionary)
    they say H is pronounced as "etch" ?
    Is "Hetch" really correct pronunciation?
    the thing about pronunciations is that its not about absolutes, its about differentiation... and as long as what a person produces can be interpreted correctly that is good enough... would a person get confused if a person uses "heitch" instead of "eitch" or vice versa? probably not... so live and let live

  15. #55
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    Default Re: 'an' HDB flat or 'a' HDB flat.

    Quote Originally Posted by htthach View Post
    how come i checked oxford dictionary (which is an English dictionary)
    they say H is pronounced as "etch" ?
    Is "Hetch" really correct pronunciation?
    Hetch is really funny for me hehe... but it's a localization thing... it's technically wrong but as long as it is understood, who cares... .

    Kinda like Zi, Zed, in HK some folks say "izet" hehe... was listening to a travel agent talking to a westerner one time in HK (he was using speakerphone) and he was trying to spell his name (his name is Bonzen), Bee, Oh, En, Izet, Yi, En...

    I think the American guy was confused for about 10mins trying to get his name... I just told the guy "say Zi, not izet") hehe.

  16. #56

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

    If you look up any dictionary, whether Collins, Oxford or Webster's, thus covering both the UK and US usage... you will find that the pronunciation key of the letter 'H' is: \ˈāch\ (or similar).

    If you pronounce the letter 'H' as 'haitch', then it's quite simply a mistake. It's a very common pronunciation error, so there is no shame it it.

    'An' is used before the phonetic equivalent of 'a', 'e', 'i', 'o' and 'u'... and not necessary the letters 'a', 'e', 'i', 'o' and 'u' themselves.

    Therefore, 'an HDB' is correct.

    Don't get started on Irish-English, Scottish-English, Indian-English, Singlish or any other pronunciation. You can choose to use the language in any way you please. I use Singlish all the time and completely ignore the rules... but that does not mean that it is the correct use of English.

  17. #57
    Senior Member Pablo's Avatar
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    Default Re: 'an' HDB flat or 'a' HDB flat.

    At skool eye waz tort "H" waz spelled "aitch"
    Time, is an effortless construction :)

  18. #58

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

    Quote Originally Posted by nottipiglet View Post
    If you pronounce the letter 'H' as 'haitch', then it's quite simply a mistake. It's a very common pronunciation error, so there is no shame it it.

    Don't get started on Irish-English, Scottish-English, Indian-English, Singlish or any other pronunciation. You can choose to use the language in any way you please. I use Singlish all the time and completely ignore the rules... but that does not mean that it is the correct use of English.
    to say that it is an error is being overly picky (or, in academic circles, what is called overly prescriptivist)... can call it regional colour maybe... as long as no misunderstanding would result, having variations in pronunciation shouldn't be a problem...

  19. #59
    ClubSNAP Idol Adam Goi's Avatar
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    Default Re: 'an' HDB flat or 'a' HDB flat.

    Assuming most of us have figured this out, so here's a pop quiz ...

    'A' mp3 player or 'an' mp3 player?

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