Determiners ('a' or 'an'): bonobo
The Grammar Bit!
Read the three sentences opposite. You’ll notice that the words ‘a’ and ‘an’ are highlighted in bold. They belong to a family of words called determiners.
The general rule is that ‘an’ is used before a word that starts with a vowel sound. If the word does not start with a vowel sound, the word ‘a’ should go before it.
You’ll remember from previous years that the 5 vowels are a, e, i, o and u. Use this opportunity to quickly rehearse with your talk partner both the short and long vowel sounds that these letters make.
Take extra care with words that have silent letters e.g. an honest person. Remember – it is the starting sound of the word (whether this is a noun, adjective or adverb) that you need to think about and NOT its spelling!
1) A bonobo will soon appear – swinging from hand to hand and making a loud hooting sound.
2) In the depths of the jungle, an infant is examining an earthworm.
3) The small group of primates had taken more than an hour to construct a sleeping nest from branches and leaves.
Did you know?
Although bonobos live together in large groups, arguments are very rare. They spend much of their time grooming each other. Grooming removes dirt, insects, parasites and dead skin and helps to keep their hair in good condition.