Learn the rules for using “an” in English and get examples of how to use it correctly in sentences. This article covers the definition of “an”, its proper use, and includes 20 sample sentences for reference.
Definition of An
AN is a word used in English grammar as an indefinite article that is used before a noun beginning with a vowel sound or a silent “h”. Its main function is to indicate that the noun it precedes is not specific or known to the listener/reader. For example, “an apple”, “an hour”, “an honest man”. It is often used as a counterpart to the indefinite article “a” which is used before words that begin with consonant sounds.
How is “An” used in English? What are the rules of use of “An”?
“An” is an indefinite article used in English before a singular noun that begins with a vowel sound or a silent “h”. The primary function of “an” is to indicate that the noun it precedes is not specific or known to the listener/reader. Here are some general rules for the use of “an”:
- Use “an” before a singular noun that begins with a vowel sound:
- An apple, an orange, an umbrella, an hour.
- Use “an” before a singular noun that begins with a silent “h”:
- An honor, an hour, an heir, an honest person.
- Use “an” before acronyms and initialisms that begin with a vowel sound:
- An MRI, an FAA, an NGO, an RSVP.
- Use “an” before a singular noun that begins with a vowel sound, but the first sound of the word is a consonant sound:
- An uniform (pronounced “yoo-ni-form”), an unicorn (pronounced “yoo-ni-corn”).
It’s important to note that “an” is used before words that begin with vowel sounds, not necessarily words that begin with vowels. For example, “an hour” is correct because the “h” is silent and the word sounds like it begins with a vowel sound. Conversely, “a unique idea” is correct because even though “unique” begins with a “u”, it is pronounced with a consonant sound at the beginning.
How to use the word An in a sentence?
here are 20 sample sentences using the word “an” correctly:
- He needs an apple for his snack.
- Can you please hand me an umbrella? It’s raining outside.
- She is an honest and trustworthy person.
- The concert starts in an hour.
- He gave me an envelope to mail the letter.
- I need to buy an orange for the fruit salad.
- The charity is an NGO dedicated to helping refugees.
- She received an MRI to diagnose her injury.
- He is an heir to the family fortune.
- The book has an interesting plot.
- Can you give me an example of how to use this word?
- I am an American citizen.
- The company is an industry leader in innovation.
- An unforgettable experience awaits you at the amusement park.
- He gave her an engagement ring to propose.
- The art exhibit showcases an eclectic mix of styles.
- She’s wearing an expensive necklace.
- Can I have an extra napkin, please?
- He’s an accomplished musician and songwriter.
- An unknown artist painted the mural on the building.