a or an'' before h acronym
Reviewing applications can be fun and only takes a few minutes. However, the indefinite article an is still encountered before the h in both British and American English, particularly with historical: in the Oxford English Corpus around a quarter of examples of historical are preceded with an rather than a, These Foreign Words And Phrases Are Now Used In English. Copyright © 1999-2020 ProZ.com - All rights reserved. Words like historic, with a pronounced "H," can use either a or an. For instance, most people refer to those tests that high school Juniors and Seniors in the U.S. take as "S-A-T", that is, "Ess Ay Tee," so you would write "An SAT score that was barely acceptable.". Use “an” before words that begin with a vowel as in “an apple,” “an editor,” or “an eager beaver.” However, words that start with the letter “H” do not follow the rule for consonants. ! Use “an” before vowel sounds: an energy crisis, an honorary degree (the “h” is silent), an NFL record (sounds like it starts with the letter “e”). †Or he or she speaks a language (e.g., German or French) in which the letter “u” is pronounced starting with a vowel sound. Required fields are marked *. The general rule is that the choice depends on how the abbreviation would be pronounced BizWritingTip reader: “I would like to know whether to use ‘a’ or ‘an’ before an acronym. If you have to use an acronym with an indefinite article, the way an acronym is read aloud determines which indefinite article precedes it. Read more about acronyms. I just checked with my father, a GP here in Scotland, and he says that they usually refer to FOBs as "EF-OH-BEEs". a, e, i, o, u) - 'an' before words that you start spelling with 'h' HOWEVER, THIS IS NOT 100% CORRECT!! Although you might be able to get readers to read it in its spelled out form (North Atlantic Treaty Organization), you’d have a hard time getting them to read it as letters simply by using “an” instead of “a”: that is, most readers will simply see “an NATO coalition” as an error rather than read it as “an N-A-T-O coalition.”. If the word begins with a vowel sound, use an, such as in "an honorable man," and with spoken acronyms like "an FBI agent." It grates on my nerves when TV news people say that something is concerning. Today the h is pronounced, and so it is logical to use a rather than an. The ACS Style Guide calls for the element symbol to be pronounced before the number (e.g., “14C” is pronounced “c fourteen”), and thus the pronunciation of the element symbol should determine the choice of article: As N-1 becomes pyramidal, an 15N [pronounced “en fifteen”] isotope effect of up to 2–3% is observed. HIPAA (pronounced "hippa") begins with a consonant sound, so a HIPAA form is correct. I would just go by the initial sound of the acronym (as it is pronounced): Thanks for the replies, now it is getting clearer. Isotopes are treated differently. The blocked copy can then be replaced with an UTR-specific primer pair. Glamor or Glamour – What’s the Difference. Letters and sounds do not always correlate in English. The most common cause of the loss of hepatic CYP3A5 expression is a SNP [pronounced “snip”] at nt 22,893 in intron 3 of CYP3A5*3. The general rule is that the choice depends on how the abbreviation would be pronounced There is still some divergence of opinion over which form of the indefinite article should be used before words that begin with h- and have an unstressed first syllable. Privacy - Print page. a MRSA infection). An exception would be an acronym that is commonly pronounced as a word. Initialisms are abbreviations that you pronounce as a string of letters. Hi! Your email address will not be published. The contents of this post will automatically be included in the ticket generated. For example, I have seen both ‘a Law Society of Upper Canada form’ and ‘an LSUC form.’ Are they both written correctly?” BizWritingTip response: Before I begin to deal with this issue, let’s discuss acronyms versus initialisms. on “A” or “An” with abbreviations? The form of the indefinite article used before words beginning with a vowel sound. Here are some more examples of acronyms that might trip you up, depending on whether they are pronounced as words or as a series of letters. Some abbreviations are pronounced as words by some people and letter-by-letter by others; SNP (for single nucleotide polymorphism) is an example, and you’ll find both “a” and “an” used in the literature: Here we report the results of an SNP [pronounced “s-n-p”] survey of 21 maize loci. A good example I heard the other day was from the American TV soap House, when a doctor referred to MRSA as "mersa" (e.g. “As a result” as a conjunctive adverbial phrase. All correct. You might have better luck with an abbreviation, such as NMR, which is pronounced as the letters, N-M-R. Normal usage calls for “a nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometer” and “an NMR spectrometer, but if you used “a NMR spectrometer,” that might encourage readers to read it as “a nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometer,” but, again, some readers will simply see “a NMR spectrometer” as an error. Your email address will not be published. Some of the most famous people in the world don’t use the rules properly. KmycJ are K562 cells with a MYC gene [pronounced “mik gene”] inducible by ZnSO4. It depends. HIV (pronounced "aitch eye vee") begins with a vowel sound, so an HIV patient is correct. Some of the most famous people in the world don’t use the rules properly. It depends on the abbreviation and what you mean by “read in long form.” Normally, custom (not writer’s preference) determines how abbreviations and acronyms are read/pronounced by readers. Below is a summary of the AP Style a-an guidelines. It’s an acronym — that is, it’s always pronounced as if it were a word (nā-tō) rather than as the individual letters: N-A-T-O. An Historical or A Historical? For example, I have seen both ‘a Law Society of Upper Canada form’ and ‘an LSUC form.’ Are they both written correctly?” BizWritingTip response: Before I begin to deal with this issue, let’s discuss acronyms versus initialisms. Thanks a bunch! When you come across an acronym you are unfamiliar with note which article the author uses, this will tell you whether he says the letters individually or pronounces it as a word. It certainly sounds feasible when the acronym is pronounced as a word to use the corresponding article, but many acronyms are consonant only and don't lend themselves to this. The cells show L3 morphology. 2020 Shearson Editorial Services, Copyediting and Substantive Editing since 1991, BELS Certified. a FASB rule; an FOB airfield But remember the exceptions I often talk about with regard to the English language. Here’s what the style guides say: Prentice Hall Reference Guide to Grammar and Usage says that “a” is used before consonant SOUNDS, not just consonants. Thank for your post. Use “an” when the word following it starts with a vowel or an unsounded “h.” BizWritingTip reader: “I would like to know whether to use ‘a’ or ‘an’ before an acronym. Jul 18 2005 06:45:05. khoff; You might want to note that there are sometimes options. https://ontariotraining.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/OntarioTrainingNetwork.png. In the 18th and 19th centuries people often did not pronounce the initial h for these words, and so an was commonly used. b, c, d, f, g, h etc) - 'an' before words that spell beginning with vowels (e.g. Here “UTR,” pronounced letter-by-letter, starts with a consonant sound (\y\ as y in yet), so “a” is the best choice. 'A' Or 'An' For Acronyms And Abbrevation? Thanks! Perhaps most people read this as if the element name were spelled out—“a nitrogen-15 isotope”—in which case “a” is in fact correct. ‘ A hotel’ or ‘ an hotel’? .with coexpression of TdT and surface light chains in addition to an MYC gene [pronounced “m-y-c gene”] translocation. Have you ever been confused about when to use “a” and “an” before words beginning with “h”? Jul 18 2005 02:13:58. Note, however, that a Google Scholar search of “an UTR” turns up a number of hits (about 1/6 as many as “a UTR”): for example. I found that “a 15N isotope” is much more common than “an 15N isotope”: for example, Reaction of hydroxide ion with the neutral phosphotriester exhibits a 15N-isotope effect consistent with only 25% bond fission. BizWritingTip reader: “I would like to know whether to use ‘a’ or ‘an’ before an acronym. By definition, an acronym is pronounceable and pronounced as a. Required fields are marked *, © However, the indefinite article an is still encountered before the h in both British and American English, particularly with historical: in the Oxford English Corpus around a quarter of examples of historical are preceded with an rather than a.
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