"a Ubuntu notebook" or "an Ubuntu notebook"?

Discussion in 'Smalltalk' started by falko, Nov 24, 2006.

  1. falko

    falko Super Moderator Howtoforge Staff

  2. edge

    edge Active Member Moderator

    Thats a hard one...

    Normaly "an" is used when the next word starts with an "a", "e", "i", "o" or "u" (as you allready know)

    So theoretical it should be "an Ubuntu notebook", BUT as it's a name, I'm not 100% sure!
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2006
  3. sjau

    sjau Local Meanie Moderator

    I tend to "an" also because "ubuntu" starts with a vowel..
  4. falko

    falko Super Moderator Howtoforge Staff

    I learnt in school (many years ago :D ) that it's important how you pronounce it, not how you write it. But what's the correct pronounciation of Ubuntu in English? :confused:
  5. sjau

    sjau Local Meanie Moderator


    ote: The choice of article is actually based upon the phonetic (sound) quality of the first letter in a word, not on the orthographic (written) representation of the letter. If the first letter makes a vowel-type sound, you use "an"; if the first letter would makes a consonant-type sound, you use "a." So, if you consider the rule from a phonetic perspective, there aren't any exceptions. Since the 'h' hasn't any phonetic representation, no audible sound, in the first exception, the sound that follows the article is a vowel; consequently, 'an' is used. In the second exception, the word-initial 'y' sound (unicorn) is actually a glide [j] phonetically, which has consonantal properties; consequently, it is treated as a consonant, requiring 'a'.

    And now you can listen to Nelson Mandela on how he pronounces it:
    /usr/share/example-contetn/Experience ubuntu.ogg
  6. falko

    falko Super Moderator Howtoforge Staff

    At least I know now that I learnt it right at school. :D
  7. Daniel15

    Daniel15 New Member

    But "An Ubuntu Notebook" just sounds weird :p. "A Ubuntu notebook" sounds much better;)
  8. falko

    falko Super Moderator Howtoforge Staff

    I see you're from Australia. So are you a native speaker? :)

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