A lot of students have trouble remembering the difference between 'a' and 'an.' These are known in English grammar as ARTICLES. They tell us something about a noun. Articles are very common in English and if you don't really speak or write enough in English, it's easy to forget these things even if it's something used so frequently.
First look at how 'a' and 'an' are used below.
When we use 'a' and 'an,' they both also describe an unspecific noun. When we say 'a dog' we are talking about any dog, not one specific or particular dog. (To refer to a specific dog we must use 'the' instead of 'a' but I will talk more about this later this week).
Then what's the difference between the two? Using the same example, take a look at the underlined letters below.
Both 'a' and 'an' are used with singular nouns (a car, a burger, a phone)
If the word begins with a vowel (A,E,I,O, U) then we use 'an'
If the word begins with a letter that is NOT a vowel then we use 'a'
There are a few exceptions however!
If a letter makes a sound like sounds like it's a vowel then we use 'an'
For example, 'hour' and ' honest' (even though the 'h' is not a vowel but the letter sounds like a 'o' in this word)
If a letter makes a sound like a consonant then we use 'a'
For example, 'user' and 'university' (even though the 'u' is a vowel but it sounds like 'y')
Do some practice!
(1) a (2) an (3) a (4) an (5) a (6) a (7) an (8) a