Exceptional Cases of Articles in English Grammar

Exception 1: If a noun starts with ‘h’ but the ‘h’ sound is silent or not stressed, indefinite article ‘an’ is used before this type of nouns. e.g.

  • He is an honest man. 
  • It’s an honour to meet you. 

Exception 2: If a noun starts with a vowel, but does not have vowel sound, the article ‘a’ is used before the noun. e.g.

  • The workers formed a union. 
  • I enrolled in a university in Delhi. 

Exception 3: The definite article should be used before the name of a country or location if it is suggested that other separate areas or regions are part of it. e.g.

  • Thar Desert is situated on the Indian subcontinent. 
  • He lives in the United States. 
  • Amsterdam is the capital of the Netherlands.