The Crazy Sounds of A Versus An

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Crazy EmoteI received an email from a listener. He criticized my use of “an” versus “a”. I have always thought the usage was based on whether the next word in the sentence began with a vowel or a consonant. As it turns out it is a bit more complicated. Let’s look at an example:

John waited on the corner for an hour. While he waited a historic event occurred.

You will notice that “an hour” works. Why is that? Well, it is because “hour” starts with a vowel sound. In the case of historic, it uses the h sound and therefore uses an “a”. Yes, I am quite aware of how crazy that sounds. Here is another example:

John was thinking about how he wants to work as a missionary. However, before he will do that he wants to get an MBA.

The letters o and m can be tough to determine usage for. The reason is the “o” can be used as a “w” like in the word “onetime”. So, the bottom line to this is simple. The rule of whether to use “a” or “an” is actually determined by how the word is pronounced not the letter used.

How about that!


This Week’s Podcast: On the show this week we begin a new journey with the story The Diamond Thunderbolt. Also, we have two reactions to Charlie’s tale from last week that you won’t want to miss. You can listen to this podcast on Thursday at Ron’s Amazing Stories, download it from iTunes, stream it on Stitcher Radio or on the mobile version of Spotify. Do you prefer the radio? We are heard every Thursday at 10:00 pm and Sunday Night at 11:00 PM (EST) on AMFM247.COM. Check your local listing or find the station closest to you at this link.

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