Is It an F or a F?

It’s an F. Since the consonant F begins with a vowel sound (eff), it takes the article "an".

It’s an F. Since the consonant F begins with a vowel sound (eff), it takes the article an.

I got an F on my exam.

I got a F on my exam.

Remember, the choice between "a" and "an" is driven by pronunciation—not spelling, so use "an" with consonants that are pronounced with a vowel sound (F, H, L, M, N, R, S, and X).

The aircraft was followed by an F-16 fighter plane.

Use also the article "an" before acronyms that begin with F and are pronounced as individual letters; for example, we say:

  • an FBI... (Federal Bureau of Investigation)
  • an FDA... (US Food and Drug Administration)
  • an FYI... (For Your Information)
  • an FBR... (Foundation for Biomedical Research)
  • etc.

My father has been an FBI agent since 2011.

Other acronyms, however, are pronounced as words, including:

  • FAANG (Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix, and Google)
  • FIFO (First In, First Out)
  • Fmr. (Former)
  • FOREX (Foreign Exchange)
  • etc.

And they take the article "a" if the initial sound of the word is a consonant.

A FIFO file is similar to a pipe.

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