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When to use 'an' and when to use 'a' with words begining with 'h'?

Which words starting with 'h' need "an"?

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marked as duplicate by Steve Melnikoff, Jonik, RegDwigнt, mmyers, Mehper C. Palavuzlar Sep 2 '10 at 16:26

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This depends on your accent. See english.stackexchange.com/questions/629/… and english.stackexchange.com/questions/896/… –  RegDwigнt Sep 2 '10 at 15:36

1 Answer 1

Your title answers your question. If you start a word with a vowel sound, ignoring spelling, then you use "an". If you start a word with a consonant sound, you use "a". So if you know when an "h" is silent, then you know when to use "an".

(This goes in the opposite direction for words starting with "u". If it starts with an [u] sound or some other vowel sound, then it gets "an". But if it starts with a [j] ("y") sound, like user, it gets "a").

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