Posted in Grammar Check, Inspiration Station

Grammar Check: “A” Vs. “An”

Grammar Check Inspiration Station


–Used before a consonant

1. A dog
2. A lucky man


–Used before a vowel

1. An animal
2. An elephant


–When a word beginning with a silent “h,” use an.

1. An hour
2. An honest man

–When “u” makes a y-sound or “o” makes a w-sound, use a.

1. A unicorn
2. A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity 

Pay attention to the sound and you’ll be good to go.



Born and raised in Massachusetts, Rachel Poli is a writer and blogger. She has an associate’s degree in Early Childhood Education and a bachelor’s degree in English Studies. She enjoys writing young adult novels, middle-grade, and children’s picture books. She is currently working on her first novel.

14 thoughts on “Grammar Check: “A” Vs. “An”

    1. Honestly, I never thought about it until I had to write the word “unique.” “An unique” sounded weird, but I always just assumed you would use “an” before all words that began with a vowel.
      Kris and I ended up discussing it for a long time trying to figure it out before we just went to Google, lol.
      I should know by now that all rules, especially with the English language, are always broken at some point or another.

  1. We were having this discussion the other day but with the word usurp. My Microsoft Word gave “an usurper” that blue squiggle and changed it to “a usurper” and it came down to how you pronounce the word usurp. Is it “u-surp” or “er-surp”. We came to no conclusion at the end haha. An insight?

    1. As I read your comment, before I got to the pronunciation at the end, I was pronouncing it “er-surp.” Whether that’s right or not, I have no idea, lol.

      1. I won’t lie I interchange depending on comfort. Sometimes “er-surp” sounds right, sometimes “u-surp” sounds right. Google translate pronounces it “u-surp” which would then have to be “a usurper” like “a university”…

      2. Honestly, I’ve never heard it pronounced “u-surp” before. I may just live under a rock, though. Especially if even Google pronounces it like that, lol.

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