How to pronounce the indefinite article 'a'?


Hello everyone,

I just listened to the grammar lesson called ‘Articles — both definite and indefinite’ which was written by Alan and read by Brandee Sweesy. In this recording, Brandee Sweesy pronounced the indefinite article ‘a’ in two ways–[ei] and [ə]. I’d like to know if both pronunciations are acceptable? Is there any difference between them?

Many thanks,
Shi Weiqiang


I’m a native speaker and an EFL teacher. Both [ei] and [ə] are correct, although [ei] is usuaully used when refering to the letter while [ə] is generally used as an article.


Thank you very Mike. :smiley:


Hello Infin1ty,

I know Alan’s essay . It is very good than the other ones. You are not the first who ask why the reader say “ei”
When she reads ‘a’ than a letter she can say “ei” but when it is indefinite article the most people say than Jennifer, and of course Alan also. Only unfortunately not him read out this very good essay.
Here Jennifer lessons about the article.

Kati Svaby


Hello yesterday evening when I wrote this letter I couldn’t remember the name of the “schwa”. I wanted to write this word when I had spoken about the pronunciation of the indefinite article of “a”. Today morning I didn’t think of it and it came to my mind. It is interesting how our mind works.Isn’t it?