Spelling and pronunciation do not always go hand-in-hand in English. The way a word is spelt does not always give us an indication of how it is pronounced. English has a lot of silent letters and it can be difficult to know which letters are silent and which are not. The pronunciation rule for choosing between the indefinite articles ‘a’ and ‘an’ relies on the pronunciation of the word that follows and not the spelling of the word that follows. Learning when to pronounce letters and when not to will help improve your English pronunciation skills.
Based on spelling and not pronunciation, it may appear as though ‘a hour’ is the correct form, however, this is incorrect. The correct form is ‘an hour.’
What An Hour Means
An hour means one hour. ‘A’ and ‘an’ are indefinite articles so an hour refers to any hour. An hour is equal to 60 minutes and there are 24 hours in one day.
You are watching: A hour or an hour grammar
Why Do We Say An Hour?
The ‘h’ at the beginning of ‘hour’ is silent. If we look at the phonetic spelling of ‘hour’ /aʊr/, we can see that it begins with a vowel sound and not a consonant sound. All words that start with a vowel sound must be preceded by the indefinite article ‘an.’
Grammar Rules for An Hour
Grammatically, the indefinite article we use when a word begins with a vowel sound is ‘an.’ This is easy to identify in ‘an apple,’ ‘an umbrella,’ and ‘an elephant.’ However, there are instances when the written form of the word and the way it is pronounced are different and it’s less obvious which indefinite article precedes the word.
For example, some words that are spelled with a vowel in the beginning take ‘a,’ as in ‘a uniform’ and some words that are spelled with a consonant in the beginning take ‘an,’ as in ‘an hour.’ This is because ‘uniform’ starts with a consonant sound and ‘hour’ starts with a vowel sound in spoken English.
‘A hour’ looks like the correct form when it is written down but it does not sound right when spoken. The written form must follow the spoken form and not vice versa. Knowing these rules will improve your English writing skills. This is true when we are deciding whether to use ‘a’ or ‘an’ with all words. Focus on the pronunciation of the words instead of the spelling of the words.
Is It Correct to Say A Hour
‘A hour’ is not correct. However, not all words that begin with ‘h’ follow this same rule. It all depends on the pronunciation of the word.
An honest man;
Some words, like ‘herb,’ are pronounced differently with different accents. Some English accents pronounce the ‘h’ sound so ‘a herb’ is correct. Other English accents drop the ‘h’ sound so ‘an herb’ is correct too.
Is It An Hour or A Hour
‘An hour’ is correct. We say ‘an hour’ because ‘hour’ is pronounced with a vowel sound in the beginning and the ‘h’ is silent. We also say ‘an honour’ and ‘a horrible movie’ because the ‘h’ is silent in ‘honour’ and voiced in ‘horrible.’
What is English Everyday
English Everyday is an English course with 24/7 live speaking lessons for English learners who want unlimited speaking practice with native speakers, professional teachers, and students from around the world.
See more: Where Not To Hang A Dreamcatcher, Best Places And Ideas To Hang A Dreamcatcher
You have live speaking lessons where you can join an unlimited amount of lessons every day. There"s a lesson almost every hour and you can join all of them and also, you can review all record lessons. You have a lot of conversation practice for each level of English (A2, B1-B2, C1), and also there is a calendar of scheduled lessons so you can see when lessons are and at what time you can join and start speaking.
In the English Everyday program, you have 24/7 support and also you have student chat where you can speak with other students from all around the world. You can look at our feedback page so that you can know from which countries our students are. Before you join our program, we strongly recommend you sign up for our free seminar with Kris Amerikos, where you can learn:What goals you need to have to get better resultsHow to become fluent in English very quicklyWhat you need to do to have perfect pronunciationThe 3 biggest mistakes you need to avoidWhich free resources will help you learn EnglishThe best resource to use to improve your speaking