It seems like "A European" is the correct one but why ?

Is this a general rule about Capitalized words?

  • a duplicate of what? please leave a link back to the best source of information...
    – ntg
    Jun 30, 2016 at 12:41

2 Answers 2


Even though European begins with a letter that often represents a vowel sound, phonetically it begins with the consonant /j/. That is why it is preceded by a and not an. The capital letter is irrelevant.


Any word that sounds like it begins with a consonant is preceeded by the pronoun A, even if it begins with the letter E. Since the word EUROPEAN sounds like it begins with a Y, the proper pronoun is A.

If the stress does not fall on the first syllable, then an rather than a is used.

a h i story of England.

an hist o rical timeline.

a eur opean of note

  • is this really important ? can we say whichever we want ?
    – Mrko
    Nov 23, 2013 at 9:10
  • I can't agree with the second example. I certainly just say 'a historial...' Nov 23, 2013 at 9:14
  • @CatwithaFez, It is quite important though. Try saying a few phrases that should have "an" with "a". It feels uncomfortable with the stop. a owl, a apple, a umbrella, a editor, a ice-cream Nov 23, 2013 at 9:17
  • If the stress does not fall on the first syllable and the first consonant in the word is 'h' and you are one of the minority of English speakers who speaks this way, you may use 'an'. It's "a min or ity", "a Eu clid ean space". but "a/an hist or ical". Nov 23, 2013 at 12:27
  • 2
    A is not a pronoun. −1 for that alone.
    – RegDwigнt
    Nov 23, 2013 at 13:00

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