An R is for rain.

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koudai8

Member
China, Chinese
"An R is for rain" from Isaac's Storm, page 101.

Can anyone tell me why it's necessary to put "an" in fron of "R".

Thanks
 
  • koudai8

    Member
    China, Chinese
    Hi koudai8,

    It isn't necessary at all. In BrEng we say, simply, "R is for rain".
    yeah, that's a better expression.(<---Am I suppose to use "an" for this sentence as well?)

    But in the novel, it used the word "an"... I'm just wondering why...
     

    GreenWhiteBlue

    Senior Member
    USA - English
    If you are asking about the use of articles with the names of letters of the alphabet, yes, it is common and correct to use them:

    If you want to go to Yankee Stadium, look for the train that has a sign with a "D" in an orange circle.

    The teacher wrote an "A" on the top of the boy's paper, and returned it to him.

    In the middle of the medallion was an "R" made out of rubies.
     

    The Scrivener

    Banned
    England. English
    If you are asking about the use of articles with the names of letters of the alphabet, yes, it is common and correct to use them:

    If you want to go to Yankee Stadium, look for the train that has a sign with a "D" in an orange circle.

    The teacher wrote an "A" on the top of the boy's paper, and returned it to him.

    In the middle of the medallion was an "R" made out of rubies.
    Agreed GWB, but surely you don't say "An R is for rain" in AmE. Or do you :confused:

    Thanks.
     

    notdominique

    Senior Member
    France, French
    But in the novel, it used the word "an"... I'm just wondering why...
    I am not a native speaker... but my guess is that when you pronounce R, it begins with a vowel actually, the phonetic spelling being /a:/
    Then it's just the usual rule to say "an" instead of "a".
    If that was the question ?
     

    tomandjerryfan

    Senior Member
    English (Canada)
    I might -- it would depend entirely on the circumstances and the context. What is the context of this line?
    Interesting. I might say "An R for rain," but I can't think of any context in which I would say "An R is for rain." It seems to imply that the only word in the English language that starts with the letter R is "rain."
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    This thread is a good illustration of speculation caused by lack of context.
    Perhaps Koudai, or someone else, could explain the background to this sentence and perhaps quote more of the text (up to a maximum of four sentences, of course).
     

    Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    This thread is a good illustration of speculation caused by lack of context.
    Perhaps Koudai, or someone else, could explain the background to this sentence and perhaps quote more of the text (up to a maximum of four sentences, of course).
    An Amazon search of Isaac's Storm (p. 101) shows that this is a part of a list of letters that stand for various weather conditions:

    "An R meant rain, S snow. An M stood for missing .... "

    Amazon won't reveal the complete context, but this seems sufficient.
     

    Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    koudai8, did you also want to know why an article is used at all?

    Now we have the context:

    This is a part of a list of letters that stand for various weather conditions:

    "An R meant rain, S snow. An M stood for missing .... "
    So we see that the usage is like that GWB illustrated in an earlier post.

    If you are asking about the use of articles with the names of letters of the alphabet, yes, it is common and correct to use them:

    If you want to go to Yankee Stadium, look for the train that has a sign with a "D" in an orange circle.

    The teacher wrote an "A" on the top of the boy's paper, and returned it to him.

    In the middle of the medallion was an "R" made out of rubies.
    Does that answer your question?
     
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