Is it ‘a usual’ or ‘an usual’? Why?

is it ‘a usual’ or ‘an usual’? ‘A usual’ sounds more correct in my head (‘Today was a usual day.’) than ‘an usual’, but u is a vowel. Which one is correct and why?


Usual (pronounced /ˈjuː.ʒu.əl/ as in you) begins with a consonant sound and, as such, it should be preceded by a not an.

As an aside, I cannot help but point out that the sentence

Today was a usual day

is not usually heard in regular conversation.

Today was an unusual day

is what one might hear, instead!

Indeed, I rarely hear the construction a usual. The definite article is more commonly used, in my experience:

That’s the usual thing.

In place of a usual, one would also be more likely to hear not an unusual:

  • Today was a usual day / Today was not an unusual day
  • This is a usual occurrence / This is not an unusal occurrence or This usually happens

You are right in saying that a usual sounds weird. As speakers, we tend to avoid constructions which, though correct, do not flow easily from the mouth. In sum, the following are valid and commonly used alternatives:

not [an] unusualthe usualusually

Source : Link , Question Author : JFW , Answer Author : Jimi Oke

Leave a Comment