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Old 08-12-2010, 04:54 AM   #196
brianL
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Like MrCode said:
a useful
a uniform
a usual

an unusual
an unanything

Usually an before any other vowel.

Can't think of anything else regarding a/an before vowels at the moment.
There's a problem what to use before words beginning with h (spelled aitch). If you drop your aitches, as I do, it's an: "an ospital", "an orse", "an ouse". Whereas if you speak (or write) "proper" English it's a.

Last edited by brianL; 08-12-2010 at 05:04 AM.
 
Old 08-12-2010, 04:59 AM   #197
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Are there no set rules defined for the usage of "an". Do you always first pronounce and then write ?
 
Old 08-12-2010, 05:01 AM   #198
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Brian is a natural and native english speaker. So it should be coming to him naturally. We as non native speakers find it difficult.
 
Old 08-12-2010, 05:40 AM   #199
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brianL View Post
a useful
a uniform
a usual

an unusual
an unanything
This should be OK then:

A unfriendly friend instead of An unfriendly friend

An unoccupied chair instead of A unoccupied chair

This needs a lot of practice !!
 
Old 08-12-2010, 05:40 AM   #200
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anishakaul View Post
A unfriendly friend instead of An unfriendly friend
I'd say "An unfriendly friend".
 
Old 08-12-2010, 05:47 AM   #201
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Yes, an unfriendly friend.
 
Old 08-12-2010, 05:49 AM   #202
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But 'f' is not a vowel, so what about your previous post ?
 
Old 08-12-2010, 05:50 AM   #203
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un-anything is preceded by an.

Edit: except uniform. That's a uniform. It's to do with the pronunciation of the word. This link makes a good job of explaining the difference: http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/591/01/

Last edited by pwc101; 08-12-2010 at 05:56 AM.
 
Old 08-12-2010, 06:02 AM   #204
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pwc101 View Post
This link makes a good job of explaining the difference: http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/591/01/
That is a very nice link, but I couldn't understand
Quote:
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
How is the example 'union' related ?
 
Old 08-12-2010, 06:03 AM   #205
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The u in union makes the same sound as the y in you, so it's not preceded by an "an".
 
Old 08-12-2010, 06:16 AM   #206
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Ok, can I have an example where u is not pronounced as you ?
 
Old 08-12-2010, 06:16 AM   #207
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Amitabh Bachchan rightly said, English is a phunny language.
 
Old 08-12-2010, 06:20 AM   #208
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Union = yoo-nion (long u sound)
Onion = un-ion (short u sound)

So, "a union" and "an onion".
 
Old 08-12-2010, 06:23 AM   #209
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I meant where u is present at the start but still there is no you sound. In onion I don't find any you sound !! May be your pronunciation is different, that's why !
 
Old 08-12-2010, 06:30 AM   #210
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The on part of onion is pronounced as un. How about an unfriendly nation? That has a short u sound at the start and the u is treated as a vowel.
 
  


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