The words a and an are considered articles, and each of them has its own particular rules for when they are used. An article is a word that comes before the subject of a sentence. So when it comes to the word hilarious, do you use a or an before it?
The proper article to use in front of the word hilarious is a. Knowing the rules for articles will help this make much more sense.
Why Is It A Hilarious?
A is the correct article to use in front of hilarious because the article a needs to come before a subject that starts with a consonant. This allows for easier pronunciation when speaking.
Here are a couple of examples of a hilarious used in a sentence:
Jamie thought that hiding Jessica’s keys would be a hilarious joke, but Jessica didn’t find it very funny.
Watching a cat pounce on your hand as it moves under a blanket is a hilarious display of its hunting prowess.
If you were to use the article an, it wouldn’t make grammatical sense and it would be harder to pronounce. An example of this is below:
Sarah wanted to plan an hilarious surprise for her fiance at their engagement party.
When Do You Use An?
The article an is to be used in front of a subject word that starts with a vowel. This is also true about words that may not start with a vowel, but are pronounced with a vowel sound at the beginning.
Why Would An Go In Front Of A Word That Starts With H?
There are some words that start with the letter H where you might see the article an before h. This is because there is an exception to the vowel versus consonant rule; when a word starts with a silent consonant, the article an goes in front of it. This is because when you say that particular word, the word sounds like it starts with a vowel.
Some examples of words that start with a silent H include honor, hour, and honest.
Grammar can be a finicky thing, but the rules are in place to make both writing and speech more cohesive forms of communication. Trying to use the article an in front of the word hilarious, especially in speech, would be… well, hilarious. It’s not easy to say, which is usually an indication that you’re not using proper grammar.