Should individual letters be preceded with “an”?

I was reading a comic book and I noticed that the author used “an A” and “an N” in a particular phrase (screenshot below). While I understand the usage of “An A” here (A being a vowel and what not) and “N” having a pronunciation which has a sound similar to “A“.

Since most of English alphabets have pronunciations which start with a syllable similar to one of the vowels or semi-vowels; is it OK to prefix the letters using “An”?

For eg. An X, or An Y.


Zenescope’s Grimm Fairy Tales – Werewolves: The Hunger, page #8 (Click to enlarge)


The a/an rule is based solely on pronunciation, not the actual letter that follows.

So it’s…

  • An eye for an eye
  • An LSD drug user

But note:

  • An honorable death
  • An honest answer
  • but… A human reaction

(don’t get me started on an hotel)

So, yes… your example would be written out:

an ‘A’.

Source : Link , Question Author : hjpotter92 , Answer Author : Robert Cartaino

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