Cover Page ofThe Mayfield Handbook of Technical & Scientific Writing
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Section 11.8.2.1

Choosing between a and an

Use a before consonant sounds and an before vowel sounds. Notice that some words whose first letter is a consonant (for instance,hour) actually begin with a vowel sound, and other words whose firstletter is a vowel (for instance, unit) actually begin with a consonantsound.


Unacceptable

a electron, a oxidant, ahour

Acceptable

an electron, an oxidant, anhour

Unacceptable

an chromatograph, an human gene,an unique solution

Acceptable

a chromatograph, a human gene,a unique solution


Make your decision between a and an according to the firstsound of the word that immediately follows a or an,regardless of the word's function.


Unacceptable

a electric circuit, an very powerfulexplosive

Acceptable

an electric circuit, a very powerfulexplosive


Reference Link Text
## A or an? ##
Reference Link Text

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