An Honor or A Honor? Grammar rule explained (10+ Examples)

Sometimes, the English language seems to have confusing rules, especially when we look at putting “a” or “an” before a word. Let’s take “honor” as an example. Is it a or an honor? Are we supposed to put a or an before honor? Everything seems to tell us “a” works because it starts with a consonant (“h”), but is that still the case here?

Is It An Honor Or A Honor?

The correct spelling is “an honor” and is the only way it should be spelled. “A honor” is grammatically incorrect and does not flow in a sentence, so you should not use it. It’s an easy mistake to make for many people getting used to learning the language, but there’s a simple rule that covers it that might make it easier to understand for you.

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Which Rule Applies To The A Honor Or An Honor Grammar?

Generally speaking, you use “a” before words that start with consonants (b, c, d, f, etc.) and “an” before words that start with vowels (a, e, i, o, u). That’s how almost all words are written in English, but there’s a funny exception that comes with words that start with the letter “h.” Sometimes with “h,” you use “an” before it, and other times, you use “a.”

The reason for this is pretty simple. We use “an” and “a” before words based on how they sound when spoken rather than how they are written down. So, when we say “a cat,” it’s clear that the consonant is a hard sound that needs “a” to start it. When we say “an apple,” we again notice how the “an” accompanies the vowel “a” in apple. So, when we say “honor,” it’s actually pronounced “onor,” meaning that a vowel is actually starting the word and not a consonant.

It’s not that hard to remember once you’ve had a bit of practice with it. Just say the words out loud together, and you’ll notice how it should work out. If you say “a apple,” you’ll notice how abrupt the pause is between the words. Similarly, if you say “an cat,” you’ll hear how strange it sounds to combine them. The same applies to words starting with “h,” so remember that!

Examples Of An Honor And A Honor

Now let’s look at a few examples of using “an honor” in a sentence. We’ll include both correct and incorrect versions so you can compare them. Say them out loud so you can hear the differences.

Correct:What an honor it has been to serve you.

Incorrect:What a honor it is to receive this award.

Correct:It is an honor to call you my family.

Incorrect:It truly is a honor.

Correct:This is such an honor, I can’t accept.

Incorrect:This is a honor I can’t overlook!

Correct:What an honor you have given me.

Incorrect:Being welcomed into this family is a honor.

As you can see, we’ve included the correct and incorrect sentences between each other to give you an idea of which is right. Hopefully, you’ll notice how wrong it sounds to say “a honor” over “an honor” in any context, and remember not to use it in the future. Make sure you remember the simple “a” and “an” rules before every word while you learn as well. The sooner you can work it out, the better understanding of the language you’ll have!

Other Ways To Say “It Is An Honor”

To finish up, let’s take a look at a few other ways to say “it is an honor.” If you still don’t quite grasp the rules about “a” and “an” before words and would rather not risk getting it wrong, then an alternative might be the solution for you! There are plenty out there. That’s one of the joys of English! There’s always another word with less reliance on rules that’s easier to say while conveying the same meaning.

  • I am honored.

While still using the word “honor” in the phrase, you won’t have to worry about beginning it with “a” or “an.”

  • I am pleased.

Not quite as powerful as saying “honored,” but it still works as a good replacement.

Another way to say that you are overwhelmed by whatever has just happened.