In Australian English, which term is correct

I went to a hospital
I went to an hospital
1 2
"I went to a hospital",
is correct because "hospital" begins with a consonant.
I would guess that around 5% percent of Australians (those of lesser education) would say;
"an ospital", as would a similar percentage of British people.
Note that if there is such a thing as Australian English it is identical (grammatically) to British English, as are New Zealand English and South African English.
Other opinions?
I never came across ' an hospital ' before. ' A hospital ' goes well with English from any countries I guess.
Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.
There are plenty of examples of the silent-h phenomenon. I have certainly seen written down "an hotel", "an historic occasion", and so on. (Pronounced "an otel", "an istoric occasion", etc.).

But I think the spelling is supposed to be based on the accepted pronunciation, not on regional dialect, which is why it gets confusing. Cockney Londoners would certainly say things like "an 'ospi'al", "an elicopter", and so on, but I'd be surprised if they changed the spelling.

And as for the odd ones out like "hotel", I have a sneaking suspicion that the "h" was officially silent at some point in our past. Nowadays, it's not really considered correct to write "an hotel", but that usage hasn't died out yet entirely, so it can't really be considered truly wrong either.

But I'd have to go along with "a hospital", even for Australians and Cockneys. It would be a different matter if the material were inside quotes, of course (as opposed to narrative). Then you should really report what was actually said - in which case, if they say "an", you write "an".

PS. I take issue with Mike in Japan. I don't accept the assertion:
(those of lesser education)

A dropped aitch is a regional variation - an accent, no more. I know many highly educated Londoners who don't pronounce, 'h' because that's how they grew up saying it. I imagine the same to be true for Australians also.

interestingly , i am here because i doubted my knowledge of 'a' and 'an' usage from university, people (even lecturers) there get this wrong time and time again.
Teachers: We supply a list of EFL job vacancies
Yep. Many people of many persuasions get many things wrong everyday.
I am no exception.
I appreciate the discussion. In the US, the correct usage would be determined by the consonant at the beginning of the word. Except for "historic" which would be preceded by "an." In this situation, I've been told, the determination is by the more appropriate sounding method - "an historic building" sounds better when spoken than "a historic building."

On the question of hospital, when/where did the usage of "go hospital" in a spoken sentence come from? I hear it routinely now on US news reports - "the man was taken to hospital," instead of "the hospital." I've noticed the British using it (BBC World News), but it seems awkward. If the language is evolving to eliminate the "a" and "an" and "the" soon we will going hotel, as well.
In UK English I know that an hospital and an hotel are 100% correct grammer, although is is very formal, it's always used in the news. Infact I swear I have heard in the news "an 'ospital" which you would think sounds common but apparently not! I think is used to be silent H even in english.

But in speach or informal writing, I'm sure a hospital is correct too.

We are told that if the words first prounouced letter if a vowel an is used but there rest are "a".

But I think for Hospital, hotel and a few other words where the "H" is pronounced an is historically correct because they are loaned to english via French. I think for for Hospital both an and a are correct, but an hospital is deffo used in the News, just sounds old fashioned.

Yeah English needs it's rules uncomplicated! I think ist's not even a rule to use an for hospital, but just use precedence: an hospital is historically correct and formally correct-I know that for sure.
Students: Are you brave enough to let our tutors analyse your pronunciation?
Show more