A or An?

A or An?


 

When to use the indefinite article a or an? The use of the indefinite article depends on several important things.

Rule 1.1: The indefinite article a precedes a countable noun that is singular, indefinite, and begins with a consonant sound


consonant: b, c, d, f, g, h, j, k, l, m, n, p, q, r, s, t, v, w, x, y, z


singular: one in number


indefinite: has not been mentioned before and is new to the listener or speaker, i.e. not known


countable: a noun that can be counted


I read a book yesterday.
Ben is looking at a cat.
There’s a farm down the road.

A mouse moved my cheese.
They bought a desk for $1000.
What a story he told!


 indefinite-article-image

Rule 1.2: The indefinite article an precedes a countable noun that is singular, indefinite, and begins with a vowel sound


vowel: a, e, i, o, u


singular: one in number


indefinite: has not been mentioned before and is new to the listener or speaker, i.e. not known


countable: a noun that can be counted


Fred ate an apple.
I saw an elephant at the circus.
The children are going to build an igloo.

You need an umbrella when it rains.
The customer broke an egg.
An owl is an animal that hunts at night.


 

a or an

Exercise 1: A or An? Fill in the blanks

Exercise 2: Correct or incorrect?