Thursday, December 09, 2010

"An" or "A"

Saw a sign on the back of a bus telling people not to attack "an uniform".
Should this say a uniform?  The "an" just doesn't sound correct, but grammar is not my forte.

(I never get tired of Rockefeller Center Christmas tree.  It was great seeing it a dusk.)


Tim said...

"An" goes before all words beginning with vowels EXCEPT for the following:

"u" words that begin with a "y" sound like uniform, union, united, unique

"o" words that begin with a "w" sound like "one"

So yes, the sign was incorrect.

Special bonus content: use "a" before all words that start with consonants EXCEPT for those that begin with a silent "H" -- honesty, honorable, etc.

Now can I have a Packemin blog password, please?

Anonymous said...

from what I remember from English class it should be an "an". "Use an where needed before a vowel". But who knows anymore with the way English is taught and allowed!

Lsquared said...

You are correct. The pronunciation of uniform, starts with the sound "yu", rather than "uh" (the letter is a vowel, but the pronunciation is the consonant version of "y"), so it should be "a" rather than "an"

Anonymous said...

If the word following begins with a vowel--use "an".
an umbrella not a umbrella.

Anonymous said...

yes, it should be A uniform.

An is not used before words beginning with a u and having a "you" sound, such as uniform, university, universe

Mrs. Chili said...

What Tim said...

PDS8232 said...

Then of course, there's the whole issue of how to pronounce the A.

'Uh uniform?'

'Aye uniform?'