Is It an S or a S?

It’s an S. Because the pronunciation of the letter "S" begins with a vowel sound (it sounds like "ess"), we use the article "an".

It’s an S. Because the pronunciation of the letter "S" begins with a vowel sound (it sounds like "ess"), we use the article "an".

Where can I buy a T-shirt with an S on it?

Where can I buy a T-shirt with a S on it?

Remember, the rule for using a or an is based on pronunciation, not spelling.

Can you name a large city beginning with an S?

The population shows an S-shaped growth curve.

Follow the same convention with other consonants that are pronounced with a vowel sound:

We also use the indefinite article "an" before abbreviations and acronyms that begin with the letter "S" but are pronounced as separate letters, including:

  • an SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
  • an SLA (Service-Level Agreement)
  • an SMS (Short Message Service)
  • an SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol)
  • an SSD (Solid-State Drive)
  • an STD (Sexually Transmitted Disease)
  • an SUV (Sport Utility Vehicle)
  • an SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics)
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