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  5. "Hoy es un día histórico."

"Hoy es un día histórico."

Translation:Today is an historic day.

January 31, 2013

84 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/brandlord

An historic is also correct.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/circumbendibus

"An" is used if and only if the next word starts with a vowel sound. In some dialects, the "h" is silent, so you would say (and spell) "an historic." In American English (which I think Duolingo is geared toward), the "h" should be pronounced, and so you should always say and spell "a historic."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/spangloid

Forgive the essay... This 'a/an historic' debate is not a UK/US difference. It's just an old school language rule that most English speakers either ignore or don't know about.

Yes, some accents (notably some British ones) drop 'h's when they speak, and would naturally use 'an' rather than 'a' in those cases, but this is not correct English, because it is incorrect to drop the 'h' in the first place. Eg. Correct (verbally and written): a horse, a hot dog, a hospital... Incorrect (but not uncommon verbally): an 'orse, an 'ot dog, an 'ospital...

Essentially, in English, the correct time to use 'an' is where is it needed to prevent an awkward glottal stop, i.e. before a vowel sound, and the correct time to use 'a' is everywhere else, i.e. before a consonant sound. Eg. an elephant, an avocado, an hour, an honour.... a dog, a house, a university...

That's the rule all English speakers tend to follow - if it sounds like a consonant when you say it, use 'a', if it sound like a vowel, use 'an'.

BUT, there is an (archaic) exception, which states that when a word begins with 'h' and is stressed on the second syllable, you use 'an'. Presumably this reflects how words used to be pronounced back in the day, but who knows. Eg. an historic, an heroic, an horrendous... (yes Annwenn I just stole all your examples)

HOWEVER, as I said, most people don't know or don't care about that rule, and just keep it simple. You're certainly not wrong if you say 'an historic' but nobody reasonable will complain if you use 'a historic', as the vast majority would!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/skibo21776

I especially like the "nobody reasonable" observation.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Espeonage24

Then again, there is the exception when u is at the beginning of a word and it makes a yoooo sound. Then you say a instead of an.

So instead of an ukelele or an unique person, you would say a ukelele or a unique person.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Andrew48

There is no exception, as ukelele and unique do not start with vowel sounds, but rather semi-vowel (often just considered consonantal) sounds.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mskycc3

For what it's worth, I believe the Hawaiian pronunciation is oo-koo-leh-leh, which starts with a vowel sound :) But I guess we're speaking English and not Hawaiian :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MarkDiez

An proceeding a viwel is correct but not restricted to just that use. In British English 'an' before h is mixed in use. A hotel, an hour. The h in historic is not silent in British English.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Janson699154

In British English as well, the h is not silent.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Iago

That's what I typed and it marked me right.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Imaobong_Jones

Yes and also It is a spanish day


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rachyb638

Really? It doesn't sound quite right to me.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AlpacaGodess

wow really?? That's weird!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jbtaylor

Not to wander too far from Spanish, but I was taught that during WWII (or maybe WWI), when we got news about the European front from the British, our journalists picked up their very British "an historic event", as they don't pronounce the "h" over there. So now that's the one "h" word in American English that people (esp. journalists) precede with "an". It drives me crazy.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/circumbendibus

Huh, that's true! I've never heard anyone say "an hospital," only ever "an historic."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Andrew48

That's because "hospital" has the emphasis on the first syllable. "An" is used before H words that either have a silent H or are emphasized on the second syllable.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/circumbendibus

What words in American English start with silent H's that aren't borrowed from other languages? I think it's just about whether the word starts with a vowel sound.

Do you have any other examples of words that - start with the letter H - start with an /h/ sound - have the stress on the second syllable - anyone would actually say 'an' in front of ?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Andrew48

I'm merely describing the rule, not claiming that it's in common use, which it isn't.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BobZ1

Didnt know that, interesting! "An historic ..." Is common in news articles.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/skepticalways

JB, you & others are right about journalists picking up the Brit pronunciation & misusing the article "a" in Am. Eng. newscasts. Journalism & Eng. were my degree majors, & just because an uninformed public "accepts" their error, because they don't know the rule governing it, doesn't make it correct. The vowel sound dictates the use of "an," a "hard 'h' sound" requires "a," as in horse, hat, hotel, etc. Trust me; many journalists are NOT experts in grammar, but just read teleprompters. To be correct in Spanish, we must accept their rules, & that applies in reverse. It is NOT "street" or "ignorant" speech to say A historic day; it follows the rule of American English. Also, no one I know says "herb" with a hard "h" sound except for the man's name "Herb," otherwise it's pronounced "'erb."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/pgraham28

Herb is pronounced with the H by everyone that speaks English outside the US. A herb. Not an 'erb.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/circumbendibus

Aw, I really wanted your explanation to be true. This chart seems not to reflect the notion though. https://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?content=an+historic%2Ca+historic&year_start=1900&year_end=2008&corpus=17&smoothing=3&share=&direct_url=t1%3B%2Can%20historic%3B%2Cc0%3B.t1%3B%2Ca%20historic%3B%2Cc0 Granted, I don't know exactly what content Google sifts through (just books?), but it would be really weird if the phenomenon just hit journalists and stopped there.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/skepticalways

Circumbendibus, thanks for the chart. It showed that American English has overwhelmingly supported the "a" with the hard "h" since 1936-ish. :-)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Aeromester

Today is hysterical


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JoshSan95

According to the history channel everyday is a historic day


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sallyann_54

But I do wonder if ´a historic` is correct.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Iago

Yes, it is. They both are :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DmytroShkr

historic=important, history-making


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/greatlanguages

Why is "Today it is an historic day" wrong yet Duolingo makes me translate "Ahora es muy tarde" as Now IT is too late." ???


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mskycc3

Maybe because "hoy" is a noun, but "ahora" isn't.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Annwenn

I left my earlier comment in haste. This should clarify when to use "a" vs "an." This was taken from Mirriam Webster: http://wordinfo.info/unit/3431/ip:1. It has to do with consonant sounds vs vowel. That is how you decipher the usage.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/spinwing

Why is "this" in staed of "today" wrong? Since the verb form is "is" the object should also be taken from the subject.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BasslineJo

The one thing that has hit me boggled, is why nobody questions the "historic" vs "historical" bit... Or is it indeed just me being wrong there?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mskycc3

Depending on what you're asking, I think that they're two different words with different meanings: "historic" means that something is or will be very important in history; "historical" is just something that happened at some time in the past.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GeekyGiraffe

Did anyone ever stop to consider that it really doesn't matter. Whether you drop your hs or not or whether you say a or an in the grand scheme of things is really not important. I'm gonna get a lot of fownvotes for this!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/bomorton

A historic is correct!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/btc2102

"Today is an historic day." - Why is this wrong???


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MystyrNile

They probably marked it wrong because "historic" generally starts with a consonant and the N is usually dropped in that case.

Just report it.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/fauna1

I think could be either


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/noderoom

I said, "This is a historic day." and it marked it wrong. Come ON man... If it wants us to do direct word for word translations why even put them in complete sentences?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/skepticalways

"Hoy" means "Today," not "This," so if spoken, everyone would have understood you perfectly, but in a workbook exercise, they would want you to know the word "today." Yeah, I know --picky, picky, picky!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/skepticalways

I also wrote that I like your avatar, and it didn't print that for some reason.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rach.Chadwick

Today is historic. Scottish referendum


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TamFerg33

I was incorrect with ... Today, it is a historic day. Can someone tell me why?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/repairviteSE

You probably don't care anymore but I believe the reason this was wrong was because you introduced an "it" that should not be there...in fact an intention of comma then "it".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/parked91

This is appropriate. Today's the Fourth of July!!!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Karma734492

An historic day doesn't mean it's history it just felt like history


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SamKevin

could someone explain what is the difference between historic and historical?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/pgraham28

Merriam-Webster says 'A' historic is up to 4 times more common than 'AN' historic in US English and that 'AN' is used commonly enough to be considered correct.

Majority is 'A' historic as the 'h' is pronunced unlike in the words 'hono(u)r' and 'hour' where it is not pronounced.

Go with 'A' historoc and accept that 'AN' is being allowed through as a typo.

Side note... I will always say herb vs 'erb. 'erb sounds too much like a child learning to speak that still says 'free' instead of 'three'.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CountessOfOle

What's interesting and a little bothersome to me is that I wrote "a historic", and it told me I have a typo, correcting it to "an historic". I came here to find everyone complaining of the opposite problem.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ZoeB1005

It would not be 'an', it would be 'a'.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mmdaniela

Why can it not be histórica?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/garrboysw

today is Halloween here in honduras


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JemmaHussey

Does historical also work with this sentence?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Alexis_1243

If it was historic, how would they know it? Like, when the San Fransisco Earthquake happened, did they wake up and say, "This is a historic day!" And what if nothing happened that day? :-P


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Andrew48

I imagine one might have been able to say that when the armistice was signed at the end of World War I, or when a nuclear bomb was dropped on Hiroshima.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PepeTheFrog2022

Why would, "Today is historic not be accepted?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/HansStaffo

I think "today is historic" beautifully shows off the economy of english vs. spanish. If I was spanish and trying to learn english or translate into english, I would definitely value the removal of redundancies


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JuniorCornejo

I put this is a historic day but I got it wrong help


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GiovanniSantucci

Duo Lingo wants to hear Today is a historic day; hoy = today. In many cases, you can translate it using "this" or "it" instead of "today" if the rest of the sentence makes it clear that you're talking about a day, but it's hard to make general rules. In this particular case, it is my opinion that "This is a historic day" is valid. From what I can think of, "it" is more commonly used, but the best pattern I can come up with is that "it" is used when you're specifying which day is today, especially either by the date or by something that can be used to identify the date or else is tied with the specific date. Examples: "It's my birthday!" "It's Friday." "It's November 5th." "It's Valentine's Day!" "It's National Sundae Day!" "It's the first day of classes." Whereas "this" is used when saying something about today that is not being identified specifically with the date. Examples: "This is the worst day of my life." "This is the kind of day where schools usually close." "This is the day that I will [verb]!" But sometimes "it" is better even when it has nothing to do with the date: "It's a great day for golf!" And sometimes people use "it's" but then end the sentence with "today" as in, "It's a hot day today." So it's hard to come up with a general rule, besides the fact that in every case (as far as I can think of), "today" works as well as anything. (Examples: "Today is my birthday!" "Today is a great day for golf!" "Today is the worst day of my life.")


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mskycc3

I think you're hitting very close to the mark, if not spot-on.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jubbasing

AN AN AN AN ANNNNN

There. The creepy crawlies have stopped crawling my spine now :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CinnamonChurros

Could you say "Today is historic." ?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/shreya_saxena

Shouldn't it be "una" cause it's used before "dia"??


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Danielconcasco

Dia is actually masculine.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kangaroo121

I am only an eleven year old but you use A when the start letter of a word is a conestant like " a dog“ and use AN when the start letter is a vowel (a e i o u) like "an elephant“. This is what i learned in school.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/pheonixstrike

What historic day!!!!!????


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jim40

what is wrong with "it is a historic day today"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/agbtongues

Considering all the discussion, I would suggest that Duolingo count both as correct.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AnneHarvey5

"Today is an historic day" is correct. As in "hotel", "honour", "honorarium", "hour" the "h" is not pronounced, and the article is "an", although usage often has the "h" in hotel sounded. The comment concerning the number of syllables in the word is valid, but only sometimes. (In English there always unreasonable exceptions, and reasonable people might just have to be equally unreasonable.)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Danielconcasco

For hundreds of millions of English speakers, the h is pronouns in hotel, historic, and history, so both are correct.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AlexandraH936809

I've never been more thankful for the comment section on here because I found it physically difficult to make my thumb select what I knew was the wrong article. I feel better knowing I wasn't alone. LOL!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jammrellim

This should be Today is a historic day.

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