I always see An HTML editor but surely it would be A HTML editor as the H isn't a vowel nor does it sound like a vowel.

Why is this?

  • because we often write as we speak, with h being pronounced as /eɪtʃ/, that is, sounding like a vowel. We use an before a word starting with a vowel. a fruit, an apple. – anongoodnurse Feb 18 '14 at 12:58
  • Code is uncountable. It's always neither of those. – Matt E. Эллен Feb 18 '14 at 12:59
  • Fixed it for you :) but missed the duplicates – mplungjan Feb 18 '14 at 13:06

Not if you pronounce H as aitch /ˈeɪtʃ/

Aussies may pronounce it as the Irish which seems to be haitch which may make more sense than not

The An/Thee vs A/The has to do with pronunciation/sound, not spelling

Other examples

A eunuch, an hour

It comes down to avoiding vowel/vowel sound clash


Any child learning the alphabet understands that a is for apple and b is for bat. This is a good starting point for capturing the sound of letters, although already quite a lot has been glossed over in the creation of letter-to-sound equivalences. It is intuitively more logical to relate the name of the letter h to the aspirated rather than the unaspirated form. That is to say, h is for hat rather than hour. "Haitch is for hat", the child says. "No! No! No!," we all yell. "You must never, never say haitch. Aitch is for hat". It doesn’t add up but the parental pain is evident so the children add that to the list of extraordinary and pointless things they are supposed to say and do while their parents are around.

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