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A hotel or an hotel?

(42 Posts)
Melonrunner Sat 18-Jun-16 19:55:20

My dd has been told at school to use 'a' if the next sound is a consonant or 'an' if the next sound is a vowel, with the exception of an hotel. I have never heard of this before but Google suggests this is a thing! It sounds awful when I say am hotel. Who is right me or the teaching assistant?

ChorizoGnocchiPinotGrigio Sat 18-Jun-16 19:57:06

Bit you pronounce "h" so it has to be an "a"!

RedWineLush Sat 18-Jun-16 19:58:25

Well strangely, my mother who is in her sixties and vair well spoken, says 'an 'otel' which is apparently correct pronunciation. I don't say it though!

3luckystars Sat 18-Jun-16 19:58:28


Redbindippers101 Sat 18-Jun-16 19:59:22

It's A Notel.

WhizzPopper Sat 18-Jun-16 19:59:47

I'd only use an if I was being lazy and said "an 'otel" normally it's a hotel though. I was taught a for a vowel and an for a consonant.

DropYourSword Sat 18-Jun-16 20:00:00

I'm sure the correct way is 'an' for hotel. But I'd always actually say 'a'.

MariaSklodowska Sat 18-Jun-16 20:00:19

The teaching assistant has maybe read 'Noblesse Oblige' which discusses class markers in speech, and divides English speakers into 'U' and 'non U'. Or she could just be quite posh.

Saying 'an hotel' with a silent H is a marker of upper class speech I believe.

It is not that important, say what you like, a hotel or an (h)otel. the latter does sound a bit silly doesn't it?

WhizzPopper Sat 18-Jun-16 20:00:21

Oops sorry other way round!

FoxesOnSocks Sat 18-Jun-16 20:00:43

Depends how you say hotel really. I use 'a' because I pronounced hotel with an obvious huh

Scarydinosaurs Sat 18-Jun-16 20:01:11

Is this because it's a French word that shouldn't have the h pronounced? A bit like how Americans say 'erbs for herbs?

For what it's worth, I say a hotel.

Melonrunner Sat 18-Jun-16 20:01:44

An 'otel sounds common to me!

FoxesOnSocks Sat 18-Jun-16 20:02:02

It's the sound rather than the actual letter that determines whether 'a' or 'an' is used.

WellErrr Sat 18-Jun-16 20:03:09

'An hotel' with the 'h' silent is the correct pronunciation.

DianaMitford Sat 18-Jun-16 20:03:13

It is definitely "an"

Floppityflop Sat 18-Jun-16 20:03:47

An hotel. In French there are aspirated and non-aspirated h sounds. We nearly always aspirated even if the equivalent word in French would not be. Hotel is a French word and I assume that is why this "rule" applies. Oddly doesn't seem to apply to hostel.

Melonrunner Sat 18-Jun-16 20:04:06

Yes foxes she has been taught it's the sound not the letter, with the exception of hotel which suggests the teaching assistant is pronouncing the 'h' I'm hotel.

MariaSklodowska Sat 18-Jun-16 20:04:48

wellErr there is no 'correct' or 'incorrect' here. I mean there is no national academy pronouncing what is right and what is wrong is there?

therefore people say what they like....

BeautifulMaudOHara Sat 18-Jun-16 20:05:26

Both are correct IMO

WellErrr Sat 18-Jun-16 20:09:18

wellErr there is no 'correct' or 'incorrect' here

There really is.

MariaSklodowska Sat 18-Jun-16 20:11:41

" There really is."

no there really isn't .

If you think there is, refer us to the academy/organisation/government department that makes rules on language.

Oh yes there isn't one......

allegretto Sat 18-Jun-16 20:11:45

Both are correct. An is a bit old fashioned imo.

CarlGrimesMissingEye Sat 18-Jun-16 20:14:30

I was always tight to say 'an' before H words.

DropYourSword Sat 18-Jun-16 20:15:50

What do you mean Maria? There are definitely correct and incorrect ways in language. People then are free to choose what they do.

BeautyQueenFromMars Sat 18-Jun-16 20:16:45

It's 'an' if you don't stress the 'h', 'a' if you do stress the 'h'.

An 'otel
A Hotel

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