Guidelines to English grammar, Tips for better English Writing


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Vowels & Consonants in English Grammar

Vowels: A vowel is a letter which makes a distinct
sound by itself.

The vowels in the English language are:

A, E, I, O, U

Consonants: The word consonant is used to refer to a
letter of an alphabet that denotes a consonant sound.
It forms a syllable only in combination with vowel.

Consonant letters in the English alphabet are:

B, C, D, F, G, H, J, K, L, M, N, P, Q, R, S, T, V, W, X, Y, Z

The Rule:

The rule states that “a” should be used before words that
begin with consonants while “an” should be used before
words that begin with vowels. However, the usage is
determined by the pronunciation and not by the
spelling, as many people wrongly assume.

You should say, therefore, “an hour”, because
hour begins with a vowel sound and “a history”,
because history begins with a consonant sound.

Similarly you should say “a union” even if union begins
with a “u.” That is because the pronunciation begins
with “yu”, which is a consonant sound.

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