Actually, it's before a word which sounds like a vowel. So, you wouldn't use an before "hotel" or "hair" or "house".... Now, as for some others such as "historic", it depends in some parts of the US we use "a" in other "an" and in GB it's mostly "an". In other words both are correct and on Duo since we use AE we use "a" but of course also accept "an".
It accepted 'an historic' but told me it's a typo. Today's English may be fluid enough to accept 'a historic' as an acceptable form (although I would never say or write it that way myself), but not to the extent that 'a historic' replaces 'an historic' as the only correct form. It jarred enough with me that I clicked the 'discussion' button.
I would advise you to never put "an" before "historic" or "historical". The use of "an" before an "h" is dependent upon the pronunciation. Thus english speaking people say "an hour" but "a historic day" and "a historical event". This is because the "h" in hour is not pronounced, but it is pronounced in historic and historical unless you speak an "h-dropping" dialect such as London Cockney. Check with for example: https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/usage/a-historic-event-or-an-.historic-event Check out also Eliza Dolittle in the film "My Fair Lady".
I've done a bit of research over the years and found to my surprise that there are occasions where "an historic etc" may be accepted. Here is one quick reference from Merriam Webster: * Before unstressed or weakly stressed syllables with initial h both a and an are used in writing a historic an historic. * That is the reason I've left the usage here. I agree that we shouldn't encourage it especially among non native English speakers.
Some other references for the use of "an historic" include.
The very possibility of it marks an historic turning point for the entire region. [New Republic]<
At least one of Lord Hutton’s recommendations will mark an historic departure. [Guardian]<
And, from an historical perspective, Greece’s track record as a creditor is checkered. [Wall Street Journal]
No report from you has appeared in our database. Where did you report it and which option did you choose?
If your sentence had been rejected it could have been reported as "My answer should be accepted." However, when your answer is accepted you do not have that option.
Since both "a" and "an" are accepted there should not have been any mention of a typo.
Please give us more information so we can get to the bottom of this problem.
Yes, sorry the tile exercises have only the American usage since Duolingo as an American organization uses American English as its main language. There are regions within the US where "an historical" is used but the prevailing usage is "a" therefore Duolingo Administration has chosen that. We, moderators, have no jurisdiction over these choices.
On other exercises we do of course accept other versions. You should make your comment to Duolingo Administration. Check the bottom of this page for the Help link.
It may sound wrong, but in written English there are a lot of letters that are not pronounced in spoken language. I was taught that in formal written English an is correct before words of Greek origin that begin with h. It always seemed a bit pretentious to me, but that doesn't make it wrong.
Sorry, the use of "historian" here is not correct and the hint showing it has been corrected. A 'historian" is someone who studies, teaches or in some other way is involved in the acedemic field of history. for example: "My teacher is a historian and has written a book about the French Revolution." In this sentence, we are referring to a man who lived in history, who was somehow significant to history. for example: "Julius Caesar is a historical figure."
Again sorry about the incorrect hint.
Yes, it is. The hints function similar to a dictionary. You may look up a word in a dictionary and find many dozens of replies...that doesn't mean each one is correct in each situation. You have to choose.
Duolingo makes that choice very easy by giving you main translation at the top of the list. The other translations are for other sentences.
In this case, the translation at the top is "a historical man" which as you can see at the top of this page is the correct translation. Do not be swayed by the other translations.
If you read the other comments on this page you will see that : "a historical" is the American usage and "an historical" is the British usage
and both are correct.
If however, this was an exercise in which you had to choose the right word we can only give one word and that is "a" since on Duolingo we use American English so you would need to use a.
If it is an exercise where you type in the words then you can use either "a" or "an" since we always allow British alternatives.