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文法跟讀 In-Tense #026: When to use "a" and "an"

什麼時候才要用"a" 或 "an"

· 文法跟讀單元 In-Tense

Welcome to 15mins.today the home of English Shadowing. I'm your host Gavin and this is inTense Episode 26. Well guys, today we're going to be looking at something quite interesting.

We are going to be looking at “a and an.” Now most of you were probably taught, like I was that, if you want to know the difference it is basically, you look if a word starts with a e i o u so then you use “an” and those are the vowels.

If you use a consonant then it starts with “a.” So technically what we've been taught all these years, even myself is wrong, it is not whether it's starts with an A E I O U that designates whether to use an or a. It is actually whether it has the phonetic sound of a e i o u, so it is very interesting, even I have been taught wrong for all these years and that is amazing.

So it is the phonetic sounds that decides whether a word is a e i o u and that is the key. So for instance, “It is an MP3.” Even though the word “ MP3” starts with an “m” it sounds like “em.” Conversely if you look at a word like “ University” it sounds like a “ y” so we would say, “It is a university.” There you go, so let's get going with the questions!

Drill Sentences:

Did Jane get a university education? Yes, she got a university education.

Did Jane get a university education? No, she did not get a university education.

Did the lunch take an hour? Yes, the lunch took an hour.

Did the lunch take an hour? No, the lunch did not take an hour.

Did you copy an MP3? Yes, I copied and MP3.

Did you copy an MP3? No, I did not copy and MP3.

Does his name start with an F? Yes, his name starts with an F.

Does his name start with an F? No, his name does not start with an F.

Did Jeff join a union? Yes, he joined a union.

Did Jeff York join a union? No, he did not join a union.

Is it a light water reactor? Yes, it is a light water reactor.

Is it a light water reactor? No, it is not a light water reactor.

Is it an LWR? Yes, it is an LWR.

Is it an LWR? No, it is not an LWR.

Is John an NBC reporter? Yes, he is an NBC reporter.

Is John an NBC reporter? No, he is not an NBC reporter.

Is John a NATO member? Yes, he is a NATO member.

Is John a NATO member? No, he is not a NATO member.

Is it a one ton truck? Yes, it is a one ton truck.

Is it a one ton truck? No, it is not a one ton truck.

Did Mary spend a Euro? Yes, she spent a Euro.

Did Mary spend a Euro? No, she did not spend a Euro.

Great guys! I hope that helps, as you know it is quite confusing sometimes. You can check online if you're not sure, but the key is to remember if it sounds like a consonant, which are the other letters, it is “ a” and if it sounds like a vowel then we use “ an.” I hope that helps you guys, keep practicing and practice the questions. Catch you next time, bye bye!

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