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When should I use “a” vs “an”?
Do you use “a” or “an” before acronyms?

Consider the following sentence:
"This is a one-time deal" sounds right
"This is an one-time deal" sounds wrong

"One" is pronounced the same as "won", which wouldn't require an "an".

Is it proper/required to use the 'an' before a vowel rule when it just sounds wrong?

  • 1
    Please read our blog post on the subject. – Matt E. Эллен Dec 10 '12 at 14:30
  • Matt- great post, did not realize it was purely a phonetic rule. Thanks – Yarin Dec 10 '12 at 14:33

There is no rule that says you must use an before a vowel, only before a word that begins with a vowel sound and takes the indefinite article. University begins with a vowel but not a vowel sound, so it's always a university. The same is true for a one-time deal.


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