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Tuesday, 23 January 2007

Ask About English Q3: an or a

Hello Matt,

Is it an hotel or a hotel? I ask some people but they all say me different things.

Thankyou

L



Hi L

The rule for a and an is that we use an when the word sounds like it starts with a vowel (a,e,i,o,u).

For example: an orange (starts with a vowel)
an hour (starts with a vowel sound because we do not pronounce the h)

In the case of hotel it should be written: a hotel. However it can be pronounced in both ways ('otel or hotel). therefore in spoken English you can say an 'otel or a hotel.

It is quite common for people in the UK to not pronounce h at the beginning of the word, if it is followed by a vowel: appy, otel, ot, ard etc

Thanks for your question

Matt

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