When to use “A” vs “AN”

Articles are an important part of English Grammar. An article is a word that we use to modify the noun.

What is a noun?

A noun is a person, a place, an object, a thing or an idea. Nouns are split into common nouns such as words for animals, places, things, or people:

  1. doctor
  2. horse
  3. beach
  4. car

Proper nouns are names we use for particular places, people or things:

  1. John
  2. China
  3. Hollywood
  4. Mount Everest

(They’ll always start with a capital letter)

What is an article?

An article is an adjective used before a noun. Normally we use adjectives to describe a noun, but an article is used to refer directly to the noun.

When to use A

A is an indefinite article, which means we use it to refer to a general noun rather than a specific item. We use A when before a single noun when the first letter of the noun is a consonant:

  • A book
  • A car
  • A dog
  • A flag
  • A giraffe

When to use An

An is an indefinite article, which means we use it to refer to a general noun rather than a specific item. We use An when before a single noun when the first letter of the noun is a vowel:

  • An apple
  • An elephant
  • An igloo
  • An octopus
  • An umbrella

Exceptions A vs AN

There are a few exceptions to the general rules.

For example, in some words where we use a consonant as a first letter which has a vowel sound, we then use An:

  • An hour
  • An honor

And in reverse, in some words where we use a vowel as a first letter which has a consonant sound, we then use A:

  • A United States citizen
  • A university

This also happens with any acronyms:

  • An LCD screen
  • A ULR


So the most important thing to remember in A vs AN is the first sound of the following noun. If the noun starts with a consonant sound, use A. If a noun starts with a vowel sound, use An.

Quote – There are three classes of authors

There are three classes of authors—those who write without thinking, those who think while writing, and those who think before writing.

— Arthur Schopenhauer

Quote – The ultimate rule (in writing)

The ultimate rule (in writing) is: Learn so far as possible to be intelligible and transparent—no notice taken of your style, but solely of what you express by it.

— Thomas Carlyle

Why Freewriting Is Important

Perhaps you feel like writing. You know deep within you that you have something you would like to share. Perhaps it is your own personal story. Maybe it is a book that will help you get your message out. But you ignore this feeling. There is no doubt that writing is tough. It is a skill developed on self-discovery and deep thought, both of which are time-consuming and emotionally draining. Just like proofreading, plotting, editing, and character development, and writing is a skill. Learning freewriting takes some patience and the ability to accept correction. Even a badly written piece can be educational. It can teach you the act of thinking deeply and clearly. Freewriting is, therefore, to the mind what yoga is to the body. 

Freewriting is one of the most important forms of writing. The idea is to write some things down for a time period, or to fill up some pages, and not stop until you’re done writing. The topic you write on doesn’t matter much – only that you write, till the timer’s second stops. But there is more to freewriting than just to get a story for your novel. It is used in therapy and counseling as a means of handling trauma. It can help bloggers and writers deal with issues they are too scared to deal with in real life, and it gives an avenue to channel that nervous energy.

Benefits of Freewriting

Some reasons try freewriting are:

  • It can help you develop your writing abilities
  • Train your self to write without self-censorship
  • It can drive inspiration
  • It builds honesty in your writing
  • Helps you find topics to write about. If you are not quite sure the subject to write about, whether a blog post, a personal experience, or as a journalist, freewriting can help you figure the right topic. Think of a place, person, feeling, or event that you value so much and write about it.
  • It helps get rid of emotional barriers on a deeper level. For instance, if you find yourself always upset or annoyed by something, and you intend to figure out what the cause of that annoyance is, free write about it. Set a time limit and just begin writing.
  • Accept yourself just the way you are. If you can learn to accept the topics you write about without judging yourself, you can accept the person behind the story without judgment. 

Psychologically, freewriting is beneficial because:

  • It can be relaxing

It is a form of meditation. While at it, you get to a trance where only your writing matters, and nothing else. Freewriting is all about getting the story out of your body. When psychologists and counselors recommend it, it is done to get rid of emotions that have built-up, such as anger. 

  • It is a good practice

You don’t edit or fix grammatical errors when freewriting. This way, your initial idea is not interrupted, which is the reason behind your writing. Editing is done after the writing is completed.

  • It strengthens muscle memory and good habits

You are inherently creative as a writer. When you free-write for a period of time, you are tapping into your creativity, and flexing your creative muscles. They become stronger, the more you flex them. It is impossible to get good at writing without practice. Same way people lift weights to increase strength; you also write more to become a better writer. 

  • It develops self-confidence and trust.

As you write, you’re ultimately training yourself to have confidence. It is incredible when you learn to trust yourself in that way. And as earlier mentioned, this skill comes with much practice. Writing the first page is the most difficult aspect of writing, but when you decide to write, you’re telling yourself that you have an idea worthy of being written down. This sense of self-confidence will eventually find its way to other parts of your life.


Freewriting is similar to getting into a car and driving, without any destination or goal to attain – It is all about the process. If you have never given freewriting a shot, maybe because you feel intimidated writing for ten minutes or more without stopping, or you think it is a total waste of time, Give freewriting a try and do so without using technology. Get a notepad and a pen, which will change your focus and the way you think and work.

Organizing Your “To Do” List Using The ABC Method.

A “To do” list refers to the list or table of the tasks that need to be done in a given time, and the duties arranged according to their priorities. To ensure all the jobs are organized according to the priorities, it is essential to use the ABC method to categorize the task. The ABC methods assign the most important and urgent task letter A and those are the things which require completion first. Letter represent tasks that are not urgent, but they are essential. C refers to the jobs that are not important nor urgent and get the least priority.

Therefore there are several benefits of using the ABC system in your working area or your activities. By using the ABC method, you will be able to attend to the most urgent task before doing the others. Some task needs to be done before the time expires because after the time is over, you will not be able to do them again. Therefore in this article, we are going to look at how to use the ABC method of organizing your “to-do” list. Some of the top tips include  

1. Ensure you keep an excellent ongoing record each day

If you are a very busy person with a lot of things to accomplish every day. It is essential to ensure you prepare a “to-do” list that will guide you on what to do each day. When you do not have a “to-do” list each day, there will be higher chances of doing things that are not essential in that day. Therefore the first thing to consider is to ensure you have an ongoing “to do” list. Since some vital task can arise, ensure you always update your list daily or weekly. 

2. Include the essential things in your list

Some of the essential things that you should include in your list are such as due date of the tasks, name, a brief description of the job, the required time to complete, date and the task name. Those details are essential to ensure you give the right task the needed priority. If you are dealing with office work that involves different people, ensure you indicate the person required to handle a particular job and at what time.

3. Review your “to-do ”list

It is essential to consider your “to do” list before you begin to categorize the list according to the ABC system. The purpose of reviewing the “to do” list is to ensure you have included all the task in your list. Therefore if you are preparing a “to-do” list for one week, assure that the list contains all the functions that you are required to do throughout the week. Also here you can break the immense task into the smaller jobs and indicate the time needed to complete them.

4. Prioritize your list

At this step, it is now the time to prioritize the tasks in the list to ensure you work on them according to their priorities. Make a table which is assigned letters A to C. The table should include the time needed to do specific work. Also, the due date should be included on the table.

What priorities should you assign to letter A?

The task that should be assigned to letter A should be a very urgent one. These kind of jobs are the ones with minimal time and are very important. Also, the tasks which should be included in the A table should be done very urgently.

Priorities assigned letter B.

The tasks that are in the table named B are the ones which are essential but not very urgent as compared to the job in A. the task in this category is not very time-critical. They can wait for some time before their completion. For instance, if you are a business person who needs to deliver customers’ orders, you should start with the ones that need to be performed within the shortest time possible. The duties with few remaining days can be put on table B while the ones with few hours on A.

Priorities assigned letter C.

The kind of task that is included in this category are not urgent and also are not necessary, but they should be done. Some of the things to assign here include the party invites, interruptions, and some social invitations. 
However, if you have several tasks in each of the three tables, AB and C, you can arrange them as follows. In A, you can have A1, A2, A3, and many more. The A1 should be the task that needs to be done urgently, and others can follow. The same thing can be done on the other tables. 


Therefore after considering the above discussed ABC method of organizing your “to-do” list, now the other essential tips you should know to include estimating the time for each activity, ensuring you follow your ABC method in your list, follow your schedule, learn to reject some offers, be accurate and do everything as planned unless unavoidable circumstance arise. Therefore by considering the above-discussed tips, you will be able to organize your “to do” list and succeed personally or professionally.

Related References

Peek, Peak, And Pique – What’s the Difference?

Often Misused Words

The English language can be a bit tricky, especially with a lot of words that sound the same but have a different meaning. These words are known as homophones. Even though peek and pique share the same pronunciation, they both have their unique meaning and usage.


The word peek can be used as either a verb, adjective or a noun. The word Peak is by definition as reach the highest, the topmost point something, or a sharp or pointed end of something. For example:

  • There is a bird sitting on the peak of the barn roof.
  • The mountain peak is covered in snow.
  • Our web site saw its peak traffic today in the noon hour.


The word peek can be used as either a verb or a noun. Peek is by definition a quick glance or a look at something. It usually refers to a quick glance from a hidden location at something that shouldn’t be seen. For example, it’s often used when kids are trying to have a look at hidden Christmas presents:

  • The kid was able to peek at the presents since the door was slightly ajar.

It is often used in conjunction with the word “sneak”, in which cases it can be misspelled as “peak”.

  • Did you watch the sneak peek of that new TV show?

When used in verb form, peek is used without an object.

  • Ben peeked behind the curtain.


On the other hand, pique is a completely different word that can have multiple meanings. Pique originates from a French word that means to prick/sting someone. It’s most often used as a verb that means to excite or stimulate someone’s interest and curiosity. 

  • That new movie really piqued my curiosity. 

You will often see the sentence “pique a person’s curiosity” misspelled as “peek a person’s curiosity”. This is wrong, as you are piquing/exciting someone, not taking a quick glance at his interest.

The noun pique can also denote a feeling of irritation or resentment. 

John found himself in a pique after disliking the movie.

When used as a verb, it means to displease or anger someone. Whatever the case, pique can be used both with or without an object.

  • Out of pique, I can become a really unpleasant person.


Knowing the differences between these words is crucial to avoid misuse. While peek is connected with sight, pique refers to interest/displeasure, Peak is to be or achieve the top or tip of something.

Poetry- Feelings About Words

Some words clink
As ice in a drink.
Some move with grace
A dance, a lace.
Some sound thin:
Wail, scream and pin.
Some words are squat:
A mug, a pot.

— Mary O’Neill