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Writing Tip

Writer's Digest Book Shipment

Writer’s Digest Book Shipment (Photo credit: AngelaShupe.com)

Taken from  a Writers Digest  Article by Brian A. Klems July 27, 2012

Many people adhere to a belief that you use the article “a” before words that begin with consonants and “an” before words that begin with vowels. But that isn’t the rule, and it’s important to avoid this rookie mistake before turning over your manuscript to agents and editors.

The real rule is this: You use the article “a” before words that start with a consonant sound and “an” before words that start with a vowel sound. For example, He has a unique point of view on the subject and talked about it for an hour. The “u” in “unique” makes the “Y” sound—a consonant sound—therefore you use “a” as your article, while the “h” in “hour” sounds like it starts with “ow”—a vowel sound.


10 comments on “Writing Tip

  1. globalunison
    August 7, 2012

    This is one great confusion even with our English teachers in the high school. Thank you for the great contribution Judy!!
    Much love,


  2. fostrickson
    August 7, 2012

    I am so glad that someone else knows this! Hahaha.


  3. yellowlancer
    August 7, 2012

    Great tip – I know it confuses many people, including teachers who pass it on!


  4. on thehomefrontandbeyond
    August 8, 2012

    thank you for the tip


  5. eniola folarin
    August 19, 2012

    I’ve always known this and it used to bother me when I heard my teacher say ‘an habit’. Useful Post 🙂


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