There has been lots of discussion about the difference between 'historic' and 'historical' on the BBC recently. Reporters are beginning to use the terms correctly again. 'historical' refers to any event or events that happened a while ago while 'historic' refers to an event or place that has left a mark on history.
I put "it is an historic day" - not sure if that is good english or not.
Plenty of native English speakers would say and write it so it should be accepted. People are here to learn Swedish, not to learn English prescriptive grammar. :) I think it’s accepted for the Spanish course.
It's the pronunciation. Americans pronounce the "h", a lot of English do not. Therefore the "an" comes before the silent h.
Actually, lots of British people pronounce the 'h' is historic. Not pronouncing it is not seen as standard British English. It sounds really weird to me.
It is not standard in any English to say "an historic". It's fine for duo to accept it, but it really shouldn't be what they use when they provide the word bank.
"'tis n istorik day init blud" is kinda far from grammatically correct but I can see it being said in certian dialects.
It's actually a natural phenomenon called H-dropping, and it's been a feature of certain English dialects for a very long time. But since it's mainly prevalent in working-class accents, it's also typically very much frowned upon by people in higher social classes. Cockney is the typical English example - some variants of it drop virtually every single initial h. My Fair Lady is chock-full of it - and Wiktionary even has an appendix dedicated to 'omophones that occur in H-dropping dialects:
So it's definitely a real thing - but it doesn't occur everywhere, so it's quite easy as a native English speaker to go one's entire life without hearing it. :)
My observation is that the dropping of the h in speech isn't always directly related to the choice of an.
I worked in the East End of London for several years and witnessed a lot of dropped h's. Sometimes, this was paired with the non-standard use of an, but not always.
For example, I heard a 'orrible day as much as an 'orrible day.
The dropped Cockney h seems to be natural and born of expedience, whereas the dropped h in the US, on the other hand, often appears to be a deliberate affectation. This is very much a person by person thing, however.
It's interesting that one instance of the dropped h is seen as lower class, whilst others apparently employ it in an attempt to distinguish themselves by elevation.
An interesting discussion, anyway.
It very much is, and I absolutely agree that it can vary quite a lot on a personal basis. Funnily enough, the best example I've found in popular media is probably Willie Garvin, who exhibits dialectally correct h-dropping which is also pattern-consistent across books and comics. :)
The same point arose in the Dutch course. You and the people there are correct, of course. We are not here to learn English. It is still annoying when correct English is not accepted.
By the way, the Dutch course got it wrong - at the time at least - and you have got it right.
an historic just seems wrong to me, but apparently it is not wrong. It would not occur to me to not pronounce the h.
Native english speaker here! "an historic" is technically the "most correct" however very few people use it day to day. Most likely used in academic writing and official documents.
But like everyone else has said, don't worry about english if you're here to learn swedish! You're already doing an incredible job!! ♡
I'd love to see a source saying "an" is technically correct. It is only correct if you don't pronounced the H. Any dictionary I check gives the H in the pronunciation guide.
Dictionaries go out of date as soon as they are published. No one person or one thing is infallible. As a descriptivist linguist, I subscribe to the idea that there is no "correct way" to use language. Language is a tool for communication, as long as meaning is communicated, it doesn't matter how the tool is used. The argument over what is "right or wrong" is almost arbitrary. If we spent too much time worrying about "correct" English we would still be speaking Old English. But that didn't happen. And it never would happen. Because people are innovative and creative, and change the ""rules" of language to more effectively use it as a tool.
Of course, when learning a foreign language, we must learn some rules, so that we can use the tool effectively. However, such an argument over "an vs a historic" is pointless. While both are perfectly acceptable uses (source: I am English, study linguistics, studied English Language, other native English speakers) both convey the exact same meaning, and the decision to use either "an" or "a" is purely aesthetic, and therefore it is unnecessary to discuss this topic further.
I read once that before a voiced "H" both a and an are correct. (Unfortunately, I don't remember where I read that.)
If it helps, I once heard Leonard Nimoy say "an humble family."
Americans say words as they are spelt. For instance, many of them pronounce the "w" in "sword", which no Briton does. They are taught they must only use "an" before words that begin with vowels. "H" is not a vowel so they always say and write "a hotel" and "a historic day". In British/English, if a word that begins with an "h" has a French origin the upper classes say and write it in the French way without an "h", and therefore put "an" in front of it. I have lost so many hearts by writing correct English that I now use Americanisms even if they sound awful to me.
It's more complicated than that, I'm afraid.
I'm a Briton who lived in the US for 5 years, and I regularly heard atrocities such as an 'uman tragedy and an historic day from people in my direct environment.
I'm also married to a woman who refers to cooking with an 'erb on an almost daily basis, as do all of her American friends.
It's an 'orrible way to speak, but there you have it.
an historic day is the correct form.. it may seem a little archaic to you but we (in England) were always taught to use "an" before hostel, hotel and hospital as well, a hang-over from Norman French, not an "atrocity" at all
"An historic" although used less often now is correct. 'An' can be used before aspirated polyphonic words beginning with h. I would use it but perhaps I'm a bit older than duolingo's average learner.
Either is fine. Usage varies. Please refer to the (many) above discussions.
'A' versus 'an': much argument, one way or the other, but complicated by the word 'ahistoric' which means Not Historic.
In america using an for historic is pretty dadgum rare, but then those who don't know it's proper british probably aren't learning Swedish anyway.
Swedish defaults to det for the general "it" whenever the subject hasn't been encountered yet in the sentence.