View Full Version : A or AN

04-17-2005, 08:00 PM
"She is a RN." ? or "She is an RN."?

Which is correct?

Hunter Hawk
04-17-2005, 08:07 PM
The second one; it's determined by the sound of the beginning of the following word. So it would be "She is a registered nurse" ("registered" starts with a consonant sound), but "She is an R.N." ("R" is pronounced with a vowel sound even though the letter itself is a consonant).

04-17-2005, 08:09 PM
I'd say "an" is correct here. It's the initial sound that matters. You say an hour even though hour starts with a consonant since the H is silent there. You pronounce RN as ah-r eh-n so it starts with a vowel sound.

Besides, saying "a RN" particularly if you say "ay" rather than "uh" is very confusing as you seem to be saying she is A R N as in her name is Arn and I'm spelling it for you.

04-17-2005, 08:14 PM
Yeah, it's definitely "an."

I had something of a strange moment with this issue today. I'm learning Structured Query Language, the main language used by databases, and i was reading a book on the subject. This language is usually abbreviated SQL.

I was surprised to see the following:

"The difference between a SQL statement..."

Then i realized that, while i pronounce SQL as "ess queue ell," some people actually refer to the abbreviation SQL by the word "sequel," and that the authors of the manual i was reading must be among those people.

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