Is it A hour, or AN hour?

Is it A hour, or AN hour?

The English language may not be as complicated and as intricate when compared to other languages such as Mandarin or Arabic, but that does not mean that it doesn't have its fair share of tricky rules and complicated guidelines.
Even native English language speakers experience confusion when it comes to using their mother tongue, some not even conforming to the correct ways of grammar usage and spelling. The proper use of "you're" and "your" could be deemed as one of the widely misused words in the English language and still seems like an enigma to many.

A simple rule in English taught at the earlier stages of learning is the usage of the articles a and an.
Use the article A before words beginning with a consonant, and AN before words beginning with a vowel.
Simple as it may seem, take note that the sound of the word or how you pronounce it would decide if the word is considered as a consonant or vowel, and whether it is applicable for an article a or an usage. In short, the sound of the word following the article would be considered, not the letter.

There are a few words that start with a consonant but are pronounced as a vowel and all of them start with the letter H.
Hour, heir, honor, and herb are some examples. In this case, how you pronounce the word will prevail and will be considered as a vowel sound. Therefore, use the article _an. _An hour, an honor, an heir, an herb... and so on. Now for the other words that start with the letter H but pronounced as a consonant, use _a. _A horse, a house, a Hobbit. The trick is in how you pronounce the word.
There is no word that starts with a vowel but sounds like a consonant, thankfully, but if ever there is one, I'm pretty sure it would be preceded by the article _a_, to follow the rule. Also, the way the words fit together and sound aesthetically when combined would give you a clue in your gut whether you are using the correct grammar rule. It sounds a bit weird and off when you say a hour or a heir, anyway. And when you're unsure, it's always better to open a rule book or check it out on the internet.

The English language is a beautiful and rich language influenced by different cultures from all over the world, shaped by time and history. This _an _and _a _question is one of the confusions and enigmas in this language that makes it beautiful. It reminds us of how flexible language rules are and how these rules can be interchanged in accordance with the context and usage. It is always fun to learn languages because you don't only learn about words and letters, but also the culture and history behind them, the story of the words and how they came to be, and also how rules are made, changed, and bent through time.

Are you at the beginning of your journey of becoming an English speaker? There are plenty of online courses you can choose from to expand your English knowledge and whether you're just starting out or you're on an intermediate level, you can surely find one that fits your current skills and goals.

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