A vs. An

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Use the indefinite article a / an before singular count nouns. Use a before consonant sounds, and use an before vowel sounds.

  • an apple
  • a bear
  • an ostrich
  • a camel
  • an awful sound
  • a rotten egg
  • an ugly cat
  • a small elephant
  • an elephant

Words That Start with H or U

Be careful of words that start with h or u. Some words that begin with these two letters start with a vowel sound and some start with a consonant sound.

  • umbrella umbrella
  • university university
  • helicopter helicopter
  • hour hour

For words that start with h, we use a when the h is pronounced, and we use an when the h is silent.

  • a helicopter
  • an honest politician
  • an hour
  • a hopeful dreamer

For words that begin with u, we use a when the u is pronounced as a consonant, and an when the u is pronounced as a vowel.

  • an umbrella
  • a unicorn
  • a university
  • an unusual gift

Test your knowledge

Directions: Choose the correct answer to fill in each blank. (10 problems)

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