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A or An?

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‘A’ and ‘an’ are both indefinite articles used before nouns or before adjectives that modify nouns. To determine if you should use ‘a’ or ‘an’ before a word, you need to listen to the sound the word begins with.

Use ‘a’ if the word begins with a consonant sound and use ‘an’ if the word begins with a vowel sound. Below are some examples.

  • a book
  • an apple
  • a card
  • an upside down picture

It is important that you listen to the sound, and not only look at the letter. For example, ‘unicorn’ begins with /j/ (the y sound) so you should use ‘a’ before it. The word ‘honor’ begins with /ɑ/ so you should use ‘an’ before it. Below are some examples.

  • The name ‘Matt’ starts with an M.
  • She wore unique dress to the party.
  • He was an honorable man.
  • He needed USB charger

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To further improve your students knowledge of using “a” or “an”, here are some activities that you can download.

A or An?

Activity 1
Activity 2
Activity 3


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