Using my words gooder

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StVandal
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Using my words gooder

Post by StVandal »

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.
Conundrum!
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m246

Post by m246 »

i think its the U vowel because an unicorn doesnt sound quite right either somehow .

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Post by bermbits »

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)
"Veritas et probitas super omnia."

StVandal
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Post by StVandal »

Thanks, bermbits, I had a feeling you'd know the answer to this. :D
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Post by bermbits »

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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StVandal
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Post by StVandal »

People say "an historian"? Not around here..
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Post by Yogi »

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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Sarah
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Post by Sarah »

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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Post by mdkilmer »

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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Sarah
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Post by Sarah »

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