a / an University

Discussion in 'Spanish-English Grammar / Gramática Español-Inglés' started by viom76, Jan 15, 2009.

  1. viom76 New Member

    Mexican Spanish
    I want to say: "The land is going to be used for the construction of a technical institute and a university". Is it correct to say a university or an university?
    Thank you
  2. D'ark~en~ciel Member

    Retiro lo dicho, Hoppy tiene razon :)
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2009
  3. Hoppy Member

    UK Wales
    In fluent everyday speech I would say a university. One could reason that there is an invisible "yoo" at the beginning of the English pronunciation, hence the word does not sound as if it begins with the vowel "u" (pronounced "oo") but with the consonant "y" pronounced "yoo". Very careful English speakers might say "an"; certainly you will find both in written English: with a and an.
  4. pegatina Senior Member

    Buenos Aires, Argentina
    Argentina Spanish
    If you google it you will see that "a university" has more results than "an university". On the other hand I was taught that you use "a" because the first sound in "university" is not a vowel. But now I see what hoppy from UK Wales says and it must be right. It's great to learn this these things.
  5. Sprache Senior Member

    United States
    Careful English speakers will not say an because it is definitely incorrect. The only way to say it is a university, since this particular word actually begins with a consonant sound. It doesn't matter whether the word is written with a vowel or consonant, but whether it is pronounced with a vowel or a consonant.

    I spent an hour at a university.
    (an our, a yooniversity)
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2009
  6. xqby

    xqby Senior Member

    Santa Maria, CA
    English (U.S.)
    Yeah, sorry Hoppy, there are no dialects of English in which "an university" is correct.
    You occasionally see words for which a and an are both valid if the pronunciation varies regionally, as with herb, but university never does.
  7. Hoppy Member

    UK Wales
    xqby is correct. Personally I only hear it pronounced "an university" by certain first language Welsh-speakers where the "u" is pronounced "oo" and emphasized rather dramatically!
  8. Alexander-dz New Member

    I guess that the appropriate term is to say %a university % because phonologically speaking /j/ is a consonant

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