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I am having a problem with this.

He is _______ CPA, and his sister is_________ M.D.

A. an;a
B. a;an
c. a;a
d. an;an

I chose the answer B

Thanks TK
Comments  
I think B is correct.

Generally, whether to use "a" or "an" in English is decided by the first letter of the word it is modifying. If the word it is modifying begins with a consonant (anything except a,e,i,o,u), you would use "a". If the word begins with a vowel (a,e,i,o,u), you would use "an".

The reason I think that B is correct here, even though both words in this sentence begin with consonants (or rather are ALL consonants, as they're really not words), is because of the way the letters themselves are pronounced.

C is pronounced "see"

and

M is pronounced "Em"

Since the pronunciation of C begins with a consonant sound, I would use "a"....Since M begins with a vowel sound, I would use "an".

I hope that helps, and I hope it's right. I'm honestly not sure what the official rules are on this, but that's how I've always done it in my life.
You're right, Haogide. You explained this very well. The rules state that you use 'A' before a consonant sound (and not just/necessarily a consonant) and 'An' before a vowel sound (not just/necessarily a vowel).

Some examples:

For 'A'

This isn't just a college it's a university.

James is a U.S. Marine.

I have a one-dollar bill.

For 'An'

He bought an LG television yesterday.

It's an honor to meet you.

You have about an hour left.

This isn't an herb.
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[url="http://www.EnglishForward.com/ShowPost.aspx?PostID=4201 "]Here[/url] is a classic a vs an post, in case you need more information.
I agree with other observers that B is the correct answer. Rulewise, I've read somewhere that it's the phonetic (sound) quality of a word's first syllable that determines the modifying article -- not the word's orthographic (written) character.

Though seldom mentioned, it seems to me that the basis for the rule is mechanical, an admission that "it's just to accommodate the way your mouth works when forming adjacent words."

Pardon me if I'm not on-the-money with this explanation, for I haven't though about it in years, but it goes something like this:

1. All vowel sounds are "orals," or formed in the oral cavity.
2. Some consonants are gutterals, or formed deep in the back of the throat; some are labials, or formed by the lips; some are dentals, or formed by the teeth.
3. G as in gun is a gutteral; B as in bed is a labial; T as in tent is a dental.
4. The article "a" is always oral, making it easy for the mouth to transition from its sound to words that begin with one of the other syllable forms -- a gun, a bed, a tent.
5. The article "an" engages the tongue/teeth, making it awkward to transition to consonant syllable forms. Hence, an gun, an bed, and an tent are not only against the rules, they simple feel wrong when a person attempts to say them that way.
6. CPA is pronounced sea pee aye. "A sea pee aye" is therefore correct. Transition from oral "a" to dental "sea" is comfortable. M.D. is pronounced em dee. "An em dee" is therefore correct. Transition from dental "an" to oral "em" is also comfortable.
7. The rule was formed because of the way our mounths form adjacent words.

Phew!

CS
a, b, c, d, e, f, g, h, i, j, k, l, m, n, o, p, q, r, s, t, u, v, w, x, y, z

ay, bee, see, dee, ee, eff, jee, aitch, eye, jay, kay, ell, em, en, owe, pee, cue, ar, ess, tee, you, vee, double-you, ex, why, zee

an ay, a bee, a see, a dee, an ee, an eff, a jee, an aitch, an eye, a kay, an ell, an em, an en, an owe, a pee, a cue, an ar, an ess, a tee, a you, a vee, a double-you, an ex, a why, a zee

an A, a B, a C, a D, an E, an F, a G, an H, an I, a K, an L, an M, an N, an O, a P, a Q, an R, an S, a T, a U, a V, a W, an X, a Y, a Z

0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

zero, wun, too, three, four, five, six, seven, ate, nine

a zero, a wun, a too, a three, a four, a five, a six, a seven, an ate, a nine

a 0, a 1, a 2, a 3, a 4, a 5, a 6, a 7, an 8, a 9

$, &, *, +, !, :

a dollar sign, an ampersand, an asterisk, an exclamation mark, a colon

an : A, E, F, H, I, L, M, N, O, R, S, X, 8, &, *, !

a: B, C, D, G, J, K, P, Q, T, U, V, W, Y, Z, 0, 1, 2,3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, $, +

Emotion: smile Emotion: smile
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A million thanks to you, finally my problem's solved. Your double confirmations on my earlier question has really make my days.
You are replying on the link you were referred to.

For the future, note that it is better to reply on the original thread where you asked the question.

Nevertheless, I'm glad to know that the link was helpful for you.

CJ
Pero X from Zg - Croatia
I just have began to learn the English and I guess I need a help since don't understand if this sentence is correct, even is everything explained above my post. I have a big dilamma about correct writing with an and without an. My question would be it is right to wrote something like this:
"Reblochon is a soft, disk shaped, slightly pressed washed-rind cheese (smear ripened) with a nutty taste and an herbal aroma. Being originally produced from an uncooked pate made of cow's milk in the Alps region of Savoie, Reblochon granted glamorous AOC Status in 1958."
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