I've seen many people who say:

This is a HTML page.

Yet I've also seen many people who say:

This is an HTML page.

Are both usages equally correct?

Or, which is the grammatically correct one?

Possible Duplicates:
“A” vs. “An” in writing vs. pronunciation
Do you use “a” or “an” before acronyms?


It depends on whether you say aitch or haitch.

  • An aitch tee em el page
  • A haitch tee em el page
  • You can hear both of them here: forvo.com/word/html – GEdgar Jul 15 '11 at 13:40
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    ...what do you put down when you're writing, then? – Standback Feb 8 '14 at 20:18
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    @Standback I say aitch so I write "an HTML page" – Henry Feb 8 '14 at 22:44
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    HUT-MUL made my day ))) English lacks letters to describe the sounds that are used to pronounce it the way it's done at my origin, something like ha t m[u-e] l[u-e] which is fun to compare – Lu4 Jun 11 '15 at 19:35
  • This answer is not very helpful to me, because I don't know whether people reading my texts will say "aitch" or "haitch". I just want to know the most correct/common form, so I stick to it when writing (either "an H" or "a H"). – OMA Aug 20 '19 at 14:27

The choice between a and an is determined by the initial sound, and not the initial letter, of the following word. Most people pronounce 'h' as 'aitch', making an appropriate. (I say 'most', because some people pronounce it as 'haitch'.)


An html (echh-tee-em-el) but a hyper text...
Similarly, an MBA but a Masters of Business....


"An HTML snippet" is correct. The reason we have two versions of the indefinite article ("a" and "an") is to help with pronunciation - what the French call liaison. "An" is used when the following noun begins with a vowel sound, so it would be perverse to use "a" simply because the next letter is a consonant. For the same reason "an hotel" used to be correct, as it was customary to drop the H.

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    Note that this means different pronunciation dialects may make different -- but equally correct -- choices about a/an. – zwol Sep 25 '13 at 23:34

When you read it aloud, it's "Aitch Tee Em El". The first sound is a vowel. So it should be "an HTML".


"H" stands for "hyper..." ; the "h" of all the words starting by hyper is never aspirated (an hyperbol, etc.).

Then : an HTML.

  • 1
    Please review this answer to understand why your answer misses the point. Pronunciation of HTML has nothing to do with the pronunciation of hyper-. – Matt E. Эллен Oct 8 '13 at 10:12
  • @Matt Эллен. Please could you explain my mistake ? The "H" refers to "Hypertext", whereas it has nothing to do with the pronunciation of HTML ? – ex-user2728 Oct 8 '13 at 12:54
  • Your answer seems to state: the H of HTML mean hyper, so the article used in front of HTML should be an. This reasoning is flawed as the expansion of an initialism (that is pronounced as the initialism, such as HTML) does not affect what article is used. – Matt E. Эллен Oct 8 '13 at 13:00

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