Possible Duplicate:
Is it supposed to be a HTML or an HTML
When should I use “a” versus “an” in front of a word beginning with the letter h?
How does one correctly pronounce the letter 'H': “Aych” or “haych”?

While not strictly a programming question, it does appear when talking about programming and in documentation, etc.

It is proper to say a href or an href? (This anchor has (a/an) href element.)

I am familiar with the English rule of using an iff the next word starts with a vowel, but many blogs are saying an href. I was wondering if href is an exception or those blogs have incorrect usage.

marked as duplicate by RegDwigнt Aug 22 '12 at 17:56

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.

migrated from stackoverflow.com Aug 22 '12 at 17:40

This question came from our site for professional and enthusiast programmers.

up vote 6 down vote accepted

An href would be correct, because it's correctly pronounced as aitch-ref. Since this gives it the sound of a leading vowel, you use an.

  • 1
    I agree - Even though it starts with a consonant, it is a vowel sound. Saying "a href" is awkward (try it). I can't do it without saying "an". – Tom Pietrosanti Aug 21 '12 at 17:43

The proper way to say it is an href.

The usage of a/an is dictated by the sound of the word following the article. Generally, if the word is pronounced with a vowel sound at the beginning, then you use an. If the word following is pronounced with a non-vowel sound, then you use a.

For abbreviations, the same rule applies: you just use the pronunciation of the abbreviated form. In this case href is pronounced ayh-ref, the ay part being a vowel sound; hence the use of an.

If you say hyperlink, then the first sound of the word is h, which is not a vowel sound; hence the a.

Source

It depends on how you pronounce href — which is basically a matter of how you pronounce H. If you start it with a vowel sound, like aitch, then it is an; if you start it with a consonant like haitch, then it should be a. Aitch is the most normal. but haitch is common in some accents.

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