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A European or An European - Which is the correct usage?

Can someone help me understand what is the correct English usage - is it "A European" or "An European"? There seem to be mixed answers to this.


The correct English usage is "A European". Let me quickly explain the simple English grammar rule to avoid confusion. 

There are five vowels in the English language: A, E, I, O, U. With that in mind, always remember -

  1. Use 'An', if the word starts with a vowel. For example 'an ant', 'an elephant', 'an idol', 'an object', 'an umbrella'. But there are a few exceptions. Let me explain in point #2.
  2. If the word begins with "U", but makes the sound of "Y" in "you", then we'll have to use "a" instead of "an". For example "a union", "a unicorn", "a University".
  3. Use 'an', if the word starts with a vowel pronunciation. For example, "it's an honor" (notice the pronunciation). Another example is "an honest man".

In our case, even though the spelling starts with "E", it's pronounced as "you-ro-pean", which means, we will have to use "a". Hence the correct usage is "A European". I hope this is clear.


"A European" is the correct English usage. Although the word starts with 'E' which is a vowel, it's pronounced as 'y'. Therefore the right usage would be "A European country" and not "An European country". A lot of people make this mistake. 


'A European' is correct. In English language, a lot of emphases is given to the way words are pronounced. It's the sound that the letters make in a word than the actual sound of the letter. 

For example -

  • A European Vs
  • An Egg Vs
  • An Ink-pot

In the first word, the letter 'E' is pronounced differently than that of in 'Egg'. Also, in the last word, the letter "I" is pronounced as "E" which is a vowel; hence we attach it with 'An' instead of 'a'. 


Just sat through an entire lecture where my teacher kept pronouncing "an European". Thank you for the explanation. English is an amusing language. 

I advise installing the Grammarly plugin in your web browsers. It quickly underlines the errors and offers the correct spelling fix. I checked it for "A European or An European", and it correctly pointed out the error.

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