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Beginning English - Lesson 2 - School
This page: The difference between "an" and "an," how to form plurals, and telling time.
Pages in this lesson: Vocabulary - Grammar - Listening - Dialogue - Reading - Pronunciation - Dictation - Game


a vs. an


Watch the "The English Minute" video below to learn how to use the articles "a" and "an" in English. The English Minute ( is website designed for mobile phones that has short English lessons with videos.

The words "a" and "an" are articles to indicate one thing. We use "a" when the word starts with a consonant.

a book    a man    a game

We use "an" when the word starts with a vowel.

an apple    an orange    an eraser

There are words that start with a consonant but the first SOUND is a vowel sound.

an hour (We don't pronounce the "h" in this word.)

There are also words that start with a vowel but the first SOUND is a consonant sound.

a university (We pronounce this word as if it started with the letter "y," a consonant sound.)

Select the correct article.

1. bank   

2. hospital   

3. elephant   

4. desk   

5. school   

6. umbrella   

7. city   

8. beach   

9. island   

10. order   

11. house   

12. antenna   

13. computer   

14. university *    

15. hour *    

* Exceptions - See explanation above.