Learn English – “A” or “an” with adjective in parenthesis


Which of the following two forms is correct? (And if there's no agreement about that, which one is more common?)

a (optional) parameter
an (optional) parameter

The problem is that the choice between "a" and "an" is based on the spoken form of the phrase ("does the next word start with a vowel sound?"), but there is no spoken equivalent to parentheses.

I.e. I can say either:

a parameter


an optional parameter

But I can't pronounce parentheses.

Best Answer

"a parameter (which is optional)"