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Using ‘an’ with consonant abbreviations – Free Grammar Lesson

You have learned that ‘a’ is used before a noun with a consonant sound and ‘an’ is used before a noun with vowel.

But what about when we use abbreviations in a sentence ?

See some examples listed below:

Example 01 : John is working with an FMCG company. (use an because ‘F’ when used in an abbreviation, has a vowel sound. But in its full form it would be, a fast moving consumer goods company)

Example 02: He’s working as an HR officer. (use an because ‘H’ when used in an abbreviation, has a vowel sound. But in its full form it would be, a human resource officer)

Example 03: He received an LOA from his boss. (use an because ‘L’ when used in an abbreviation, has a vowel sound. But in its full form it would be, a letter of appreciation)

Example 04: He’s got an MBA degree from the best university. (use an because ‘M’ when used in an abbreviation, has a vowel sound. But in its full form it would be a Master’s in Business Administration degree)

Example 05: He was working with an NGO a few years ago. (use an because ‘N’ when used in an abbreviation, has a vowel sound. But in its full form it would be a non government organization)

Example 06: He always wanted to be an RJ. (use an because ‘R’ when used in an abbreviation, has a vowel sound. But in its full form it would be a radio jockey)

Example 07: He drives an SUV. (use an because ‘S’ when used in an abbreviation, has a vowel sound. But in its full form it would be a sports utility vehicle)

Example 08: He had to get an X-Ray done. (use an because it has the same vowel sound like ‘ex-student’)

When the consonant letters ‘f, h, l, m, n, r, s, x’ are used in abbreviations, they have a vowel sound and hence they are followed by ‘an’.

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2 thoughts on “Using ‘an’ with consonant abbreviations – Free Grammar Lesson”

  1. gilbertoca says:

    human = iuman(sound). So, shouldn’t it be “an human …”?

  2. Hitesh_k says:

    it means can we use letter ‘a’ to abbreviations starting with letter other than those 8?

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