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Good Day,
I was just won­der­ing as one was hav­ing a lit­tle debate with one’s aque­in­tance. What, may i ask goes before “H” or “S”. Is it “an” or “a”. Also how is the Letter H pro­nounced.
Kind Regards,
David

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  1. It depends. Whether you are in the U.S. or a coun­try that uses British English. But even in the U.S., there are areas that have their own way of pro­nun­ci­a­tion. So I will give gen­eral rules for the U.S.

    In most cases, how you use “a” and “an” depends on how the word fol­low­ing is pro­nounced, not spelled.

    Which arti­cle goes before the let­ter “H”?

    Usually you use “an” before all vowel (a,e,i,o,u) sounds except long “u” and before a SILENT “h.”

    Examples: hon­est, honor, hour, heir.

    Some words begin­ning with “h” are pro­nounced with a silent “h” or a sibi­lant (hiss­ing sound) “h.” When it is silent, you say “An herb.” When it sounds breathy, you say “A herb.”

    Usually, if the word fol­low­ing starts with a con­so­nant sound (includ­ing “h”), you use an “a.”

    Examples: hair, hotel, holy, high

    The rules regard­ing using arti­cles in front of abbre­vi­a­tions depend on whether you pro­nounce the acronym or ini­tial­ism or spell it out.

    Here’s a good web­site from APA that addresses this issue. http://blog.apastyle.org/apastyle/2012/04/using-a-or-an-with-acronyms-and-abbreviations.html

    Which arti­cle goes before the let­ter “S”?

    This is a lit­tle less com­plex. Use an “a” in front of sin­gu­lar nouns begin­ning with a con­so­nant sound.

    Because these are such strong areas of con­fu­sion and dis­sen­sion, it may be best to go to a gram­mar site like https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/540/1/ or check out usage in an up-to-date dictionary.

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