What is the difference between using "a" or "an"?

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The indefinite articles a and an differ in usage based on the next word in the sentence.

General Rule:

Use a before a word that begins with a consonant and an before a word that begins with a vowel.

Examples:

a blanket
a dolphin
a volcano
a country
a heron

an idea
an Australian
an elephant
an iPad
an unrestrained child

Exception #1:

If the word begins with a consonant h that you really can't hear, and the first sound you actually hear is a vowel sound, use an as the indefinite article.

Examples:

an honor
an hour
an heir

Exception #2:

If a word begins with a u sound that sounds like the y in you, you should use a as an indefinite article. In this case,...

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sokamoka | Student

an is used for the 5 unconstant letters like:a,o,i,e,u , but notice the first letter in the word must be pronounced exactly like the constant i mean for example: an umbrella, but a uniform . we also say an hour although the letter h is not from the constant letters but the it is pronounced as the first letter is a so it takes an ,but we say a horse. thats all its very simple.