a/an SFC student


Senior Member
Hi all,

I understand the rules behind a vs an, but I'm wondering, if a native English speaker sees "SFC student", are they more likely to say "a SFC student" or "an SFC student"?

SFC stands for St Francis' College.

I guess my question is really this: Is a native speaker who knows nothing about SFC sees it, are they more likely to pronounce it by saying the letters individually (i.e. ess-ef-see), or by saying something like "sfik"? Because that determines whether to use "a" or "an".

Many thanks! :)
  • For me personally, who wouldn't know it was "St Francis' College", I'd say "an ess-eff-see student". (Probably on the analogy of KFC and NFC, too.)

    Similarly, but here I know the abbreviation:

    The SFA - pronounced as 'thee ess-eff-ay'
    The Scottish Football* Association - pronounced as 'thuh SCOT-tish FUT-bohl uh-soh-see-AY-shun'

    * 'soccer'