Answered By: Writing Center
Last Updated: Nov 10, 2015     Views: 0

The word 'a' and 'an' technically mean the same thing, the only difference that exists is when to properly use them. We use 'a' when the following word begins with a consonant sound.
Example:
A black cat
We use 'an' when the following noun begins with a vowel sound.
Example:
An automobile
The exception to this rule is when the vowels actually sound like consonants.
Example:
A European country (sounds like 'yer-o-pi-an,' i.e. begins with consonant 'y' sound)

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