Wednesday, April 9, 2014

A/An special cases

Every English noun  that is singular, must have a Article, either "The" the definite article, that refers to a certain thing, or a / an that is indefinite, that is it can refer to an item, but not a particular item.

The basic rules I have discussed in this blog post:

There are a few special cases in English, or exceptions. 

If you have a noun, or an adjective that comes before the noun that starts with h,  we use "an" if you don't hear the h. 

an hour 

an hourly worker

an honest man

We don't hear the "h" so we use the word an instead of a 

a hospital 

a hungry man

a hamburger 

In these words, we hear the h so we use 'a' 

Another unusual case is the letter "u" 

an unhappy camper 

an underground parking lot 

These phrases follow the rule, that we use an before a vowel, a, e, i, o, u 

But these examples don't

 a union 

a university student 

The sound of the u is long, so we use "a" for the article. 

a European tour 

The word European takes the "a" as a special case

Numbers can be tricky, because the a or an goes by how you spell the word. 

an 8  (eight)

a 9   (nine) 

an 87  (eighty-seven)

When you are spelling letters, whether you use a or an is how the letter is "spelled" 

an S  (ess) 

an H  (eiche) 

a B   (bee)

R is a special case because it is a guttural letter and a R is hard to say, so we say

an R  

Exercises: Write the proper article in the blank!

Would you like to be ____________ honest man and tell the truth?

I don't want to join __________ union!

Shouldn't I take you to ____________ hospital now?

We have been waiting for __________hour.

I want to buy ____________hamburger!

Is there ____________ S in your name?

How do you write ___________ 8?

_________ university student helped the old lady cross the street!

The band is returning from ________European tour. 
Good luck in learning English! 
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Lesson Plan by Rachael Alice Orbach, Professional English Teacher 

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