- When you should use affect and when effect is right
- Whether you should you say purposely or purposefully
- The difference between hilarious and hysterical
Packed with clear explanations, fun quotations showing the word used in context, and the quick and dirty memory tricks Mignon is known for, this friendly reference guide ends the confusion once and for all and helps you speak and write with confidence.
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A Versus An
Sadly, a lot of people were taught the wrong rule for using the articles a and an. It’s the sound of the next word that determines the word choice, not the first letter.
If the next word starts with a vowel sound, use an. If the next word starts with a consonant sound, use a. That means a word starting with u or o, for example, can require a or an depending on the pronunciation: a unicorn, an uncle, a onetime deal, an owner.
QUICK AND DIRTY TIP
To remember that words starting with certain letters can go either way, set the image in your mind of a man playing a ukulele under an umbrella—an image that uses two u-words that require different articles.
Copyright © 2011 by Mignon Fogarty, Inc.