A <an?> uniformed jailer

Fictional

Senior Member
India - Hindi
Hello everyone!

This, probably is, my last thread related to John Grisham's The Rainmaker. And, I have one last question before I wrap up everything. Almost at the end of the book, I came across the following sentence:

After we say good-bye, and as I'm leaving the visitor's room, a uniformed jailer calls my name.


How can the writer use a instead of an before ​uniformed?
 
  • Florentia52

    Modwoman in the attic
    English - United States
    "Uniformed" begins with the "y" sound, which does not require "an."

    Examples: A yellow balloon, a young friend, a unicorn.

    If it had been an uninformed jailer, that would be another matter.
     

    Fictional

    Senior Member
    India - Hindi
    Thank you so much. You've solved my problem within a few seconds; that must be a record of some kind.:D
     

    Sparky Malarky

    Moderator
    English - US
    Not "A Uniformed" its "An", you should put "An" before vowel "A, E, I, O, U"
    Huntsman, you are incorrect. Florentia has answered this clearly and correctly. Whether you use a or an depends on the sound of the word. Usually vowels require "an" but not in the case of words like "uniform" which have the hard y sound.
     

    Fictional

    Senior Member
    India - Hindi
    Just like everyone, I have also found various examples that support this view; such as, "a one" instead of "an one".
     

    JustKate

    Moderate Mod
    Just like everyone, I have also found various examples that support this view; such as, "a one" instead of "an one".
    It really isn't a "view," Fictional. Really and truly, in English, the choice of a vs. an depends entirely on the sound. When native speakers make a mistake on this, which they seldom do in speech though they sometimes do in writing, it's usually for one of two reasons. Sometimes it's because they start to say one thing and change their minds, e.g., someone starts to say "a mistake," changes it to "error" but forgets to change the article to an. Other times it's because they just forget when writing something like uniform or one that the initial sound is a consonant. But in speaking, every native speaker would automatically and instinctively say "a uniform" and "an umbrella."
     

    Fictional

    Senior Member
    India - Hindi
    I'm sorry I choose the wrong word to state something obvious. I wanted to say that it's necessary to us an if the word(s) start(s) with a vowel sound.:)
     
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