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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Many thanks. This has been a great help. The argument ended, the bet settled!
Hitchhiker is right, most people us a hotel, but you can also say an hotel!
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!
It sounds awful though!
it really sounds awfull when you say "an hotel". From what i've learned we use "a" if the noun starts with a consonant letter like " a handbag" now, we use "an" if the noun starts with a vowel like" an apple". Please correct me if I'm wrong, thanks!!
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.
The use of the article "a" or "an" before "hotel" is influenced by the usage (i.e. whether American or British); however the conjecture that the usage of "a hotel" indicates the British is incorrect. There is a predilection for the phrase "an hotel" in the Queen's English when compared with the American usage (the Queen's English being the monastic form of British English). In using the Queen's English, the "h" is pronounced when the word "hotel" is spoken exclusively, but dropped when speaking the phrase "an hotel" (i.e. "an hotel" is pronounced: an o-tel'). This predilection is not sui generis to the word "hotel:" polysyllabic words beginning with "h" (e.g. "historic" and "hypothesis") are similarly phrased (e.g. "an historic") in the Queen's English. Whilst scholars argue the Queen's English is correct, the trend favours the 'American' usage ... even in Britain.
Hope this helps,