Take the 2-minute tour ×
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

marked as duplicate by KitFox, JSBձոգչ, psmears, FumbleFingers, kiamlaluno Jun 30 '11 at 20:15

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

2 Answers

up vote 6 down vote accepted

It's "an XML report", because which form of the indefinite article to use is decided by how its noun is pronounced. In this case, it's pronounced:

An ex-emm-ell report

And as 'XML' begins with a vowel sound, 'e', so 'an' is used rather than 'a'.

share|improve this answer
    
+1 - Even if the reader expands the abbreviation to "Extensible Markup Language", it would still take "an". With some abbreviations, you'd need to consider what's being abbreviated and whether the abbreviation is normally pronounced in its abbreviated form or in its expanded form; with XML it works out the same both ways. –  bye Jun 30 '11 at 19:53
add comment

"An XML report" - because it is eXeMel - the sound starts with a vowel.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.