I received legal documents pertaining to hiring in which every use of the word 'hire' was proceded by the indefinite article 'an'. Example:

An hire takes place once...

Is this correct or acceptabel usage of 'an'. If so can you explain when it is correct and why?

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  • 2
    In what country/city was the document produced and can you give the entire sentence (without any personal info.)? – KarlG Apr 10 at 12:26
  • Are you asking: 1) whether the article should be "a" or "an"; OR 2) whether it should be there at all? – TrevorD Apr 10 at 23:04

That would only be correct in a dialect that pronounced hire like 'ire, dropping the initial h sound. In general use an if and only if the next word starts with a vowel sound (an hour, an essay, an MOT test).

  • No, this is not necessarily true—although it's likely. I grew up (in Canada), hearing an his-torical, with the h pronounced rather than being silent. Even though that goes against common usage, there are some exceptions. For some people, that might be idiomatic. – Jason Bassford Apr 10 at 19:01
  • @JasonBassford: The first syllable of "historical" is unstressed, which is important for one version of the a/an rule. But "hire", being a monosyllable, is stressed on the first syllable. – sumelic Apr 10 at 22:05

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