articles: a and an; pronunciation of the

  • We do not usually pronounce /a/ before a vowel (a, e, /’, o, u). So before
    a vowel, the article a {lal) changes to an, and the changes its pronunciation from Compare:
      a rabbit , an elephant , the sea , the air
  • We use an and the before a vowel sound— a pronounced vowel even if it is written as a consonant.
      an hour , the hour
      (the h in hour is not pronounced)
      an MP /an em’pi:/ the MP/t>: em’pi:/
      (the name of the letter M is pronounced /em/)

    We use a and the Ida/ before a consonant sound, even if it is written as a vowel.

      a university , the university
      a one-pound note