Guest:Could someone please tell us whether we say and write 'a hotel', or 'an hotel' or whether either is correct depending on the 'h' being pronounced.?
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The reason people use an is because the first syllable is unstressed in hotel, much like the word hierloom or historic.
If the first syllable is stressed like in hospital or househusband, then you can only use a.
So, if you use a or an, you are technically right!
Guest:I think this may be influenced by whether it is American or British English (but I could be wrong).
The 'h' in hotel is pronounced in British English, therefore you use 'a'.
There are words beginning with h where the h is not sounded, for example, heir. In that case you use an heir, not a heir.
I know the Americans drop more h's than we do, so possibly they say 'otel and would use an but I'm not sure.
I know they say 'erb instead of herb, which sounds really odd to Brits.
Just adding my two cents, I'd vote for the "a hotel" version.
Here is an article dealing with this specific question (including hotel) at [url="http://www.askoxford.com/asktheexperts/faq/aboutgrammar/hotel?view=uk "]AskOxford.com: Ask the Experts[/url].
If you look at Google search results:
"a hotel" - 6,600,000 hits
"an hotel" - 600,000
Thus, both versions are common, but "a hotel" is far more commonly used.
In summary, I agree with the Guest's post above.
Hope this helps,
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