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'A Historic' Versus 'an Historic'

By
Mignon Fogarty
1-minute read
a historic an historic

 

So many of you asked whether a historic should have been an historic that I thought I'd better answer the question here, even though it was the topic of last week's Grammar Girl podcast and there was a link to it in the newsletter.

The choice between a and an is governed by the first sound of the next word. If it's a consonant sound, choose a; if it's a vowel sound, choose an. Although there are regional variations, the standard American pronunciation of historic starts with a consonant sound (just like the words hit and hipster), so the correct choice is a historic. There's nothing special about historic that exempts it from the standard rule. (Read the whole article.)

 

a historic tip from the grammar devotionalGet more tips like this in The Grammar Devotional:

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About the Author

Mignon Fogarty

Mignon Fogarty is the founder of Quick and Dirty Tips and the author of seven books on language, including the New York Times bestseller "Grammar Girl's Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing." She is an inductee in the Podcasting Hall of Fame, and the show is a five-time winner of Best Education Podcast in the Podcast Awards. She has appeared as a guest expert on the Oprah Winfrey Show and the Today Show.

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