An Historic vs. A Historic: When to Use Each Correctly

When it comes to using “a” or “an” before the word “historic,” there is often confusion about which one is correct. In this article, we will explore the differences between these two phrases and provide clarity on when to use each one. By understanding the nuances of these terms, you can confidently navigate the intricacies of the English language and communicate effectively in both spoken and written forms.

The Main Difference Between An Historic and A Historic

An Historic vs. A Historic: When to Use Each Correctly

An Historic vs. a Historic: Key Takeaways

  • Always use “a historic” and never “an historic”
  • The correct choice depends on the sound of the word that follows, not the initial letter

An Historic vs. a Historic: The Definition

What Does An Historic Mean?

The phrase “an historic” is a variation of the phrase “a historic”, in some dialects and historical forms of English, the “h” at the beginning of words was often not pronounced, leading to the use of “an” before words that begin with “h.” However, “an historic” is not considered standard English and therefore should be avoided in your writing.

What Does A Historic Mean?

A historic” is a phrase used to describe something that is significant or important in history. The use of “a” in this phrase is determined by the pronunciation of the following word.

In standard English usage, “a” is used before words that begin with a consonant sound, and “an” is used before words that begin with a vowel sound. In the case of “historic,” the initial sound is a consonant sound, so “a” is the appropriate article to use.

  • For example, “a historic event” or “a historic building” indicates that the event or building holds historical importance or significance.

Tips To Remember The Differences

  • Reserve “an historic” for archaic usage
  • When in doubt, opt for “a historic” as the standard and widely accepted form in modern English.

An Historic vs. a Historic: Examples

Example 1:

  • Correct: A historic event took place in this building.
  • Incorrect: An historic event took place in this building.

Example 2:

  • Correct: A historic figure like Abraham Lincoln is always remembered.
  • Incorrect: An historic figure like Abraham Lincoln is always remembered.

Example 3:

  • Correct: A historic building is being renovated downtown.
  • Incorrect: An historic building is being renovated downtown.

Example 4:

  • Correct: A historic battle was fought on this ground.
  • Incorrect: An historic battle was fought on this ground.

Example 5

  • Correct: The museum housed a historic collection of artifacts from the ancient civilization.
  • Incorrect: The museum housed an historic collection of artifacts from the ancient civilization.

Example 6:

  • Correct: We visited a historic site where a famous battle took place centuries ago.
  • Incorrect: The museum housed an historic collection of artifacts from the ancient civilization.

Example 7:

  • Correct: The town’s main square was adorned with a historic statue commemorating a renowned leader.
  • Incorrect: The town’s main square was adorned with an historic statue commemorating a renowned leader.

Example 8:

  • Correct: The library contained a historic manuscript dating back to the medieval era.
  • Incorrect: The town’s main square was adorned with an historic statue commemorating a renowned leader.

Example 9:

  • Correct: The team made a historic discovery that reshaped our understanding of ancient civilizations.
  • Incorrect: The team made an historic discovery that reshaped our understanding of ancient civilizations.

Example 10:

  • Correct: The city celebrated a historic milestone with a grand parade and fireworks display.
  • Incorrect: The city celebrated an historic milestone with a grand parade and fireworks display.

Related Confused Words

A Hotel vs. An Hotel

“A hotel” is the standard form used because the “h” in “hotel” is pronounced as a consonant sound.

  • Correct: I stayed at a hotel near the airport.
  • Incorrect: I stayed at an hotel near the airport.

A Hour vs. An Hour

“A hour” is incorrect; “an hour” is the correct form due to the silent “h” at the beginning of “hour.”

  • Correct: It takes an hour to drive to the city.
  • Incorrect: It takes a hour to drive to the city.

A Honor vs. An Honor

“A honor” is incorrect; “an honor” is the correct form due to the vowel sound at the beginning of “honor.”

  • Correct: It was an honor to meet the president.
  • Incorrect: It was a honor to meet the president.

An Herb vs. A Herb

“An herb” is the standard form in American English due to the silent “h” at the beginning of “herb.”

“A herb” is used in British English where the “h” in “herb” is pronounced.

  • Example: She planted a herb garden in her backyard to grow fresh herbs for cooking.