Using my words gooder

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Using my words gooder

Postby StVandal » Tue Jul 11, 2006 11:57 pm

I'm confused about the usage of one word in a certain instance. "an".
Ok, when the subject starts with a consonant, you use the word "a" in front of it.. like; "A baseball" or "A flower" or "A murder weapon". Alright, but if the subject starts with a vowel, you preceed it with "an" e.i. "An apple" or "An opposite" or "An outraged customer".
So what about "ukulele"?

"An ukulele" sounds retarded.
"A ukulele" wouldn't be correct by the rules.
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Postby m246 » Wed Jul 12, 2006 3:11 am

i think its the U vowel because an unicorn doesnt sound quite right either somehow .
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Postby bermbits » Wed Jul 12, 2006 4:39 am

From the Online Writing Lab (OWL):

# a + singular noun beginning with a consonant: a boy
# an + singular noun beginning with a vowel: an elephant
# a + singular noun beginning with a consonant sound: a user (sounds like 'yoo-zer,' i.e. begins with a consonant 'y' sound, so 'a' is used)
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Postby StVandal » Wed Jul 12, 2006 4:43 am

Thanks, bermbits, I had a feeling you'd know the answer to this. :D
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Postby bermbits » Wed Jul 12, 2006 4:46 am

It's often more the sound than anything else...

(There are also things like "historian." The rule says "a," but "an" is used by many and sounds just fine. Go figure.)
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Postby StVandal » Wed Jul 12, 2006 7:15 am

People say "an historian"? Not around here..
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Postby Yogi » Wed Jul 12, 2006 7:15 am

I've alway had a problem with the word "unique"
It sounds good either way; an unique item, or a unique item.
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Postby Sarah » Sun Aug 06, 2006 10:26 pm

yeah, it's that whole yooo sound.
I was questioning the "an historian" thing a few weeks ago when I saw it in print... I don't know, I'm confused.
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Postby mdkilmer » Sun Aug 06, 2006 11:26 pm

Again, it's the consonant-sound thing.

If you say "istorian" (silent "h"), it's "an istorian". If you pronounce the "h", it's "a historian". I don't pronounce the "h", so I say "an historian".
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Postby Sarah » Wed Aug 09, 2006 6:16 pm

thank you for playing "wise-boy" kilm :D
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