'An Honest' or 'A Honest': Which is Correct?

By Shanea Patterson, updated on February 28, 2023

You might have heard someone say they’ve done ‘an honest’ or ‘a honest’ day’s work. But which is correct? We’ll answer that in this article, plus teach you how to use the correct one in a sentence.

Need an answer now? Here’s the short one.

  • The correct way to write this phrase is ‘an honest’ day’s work.
  • It’s incorrect and ungrammatical to use ‘a honest’ because the word begins with a vowel sound.

Therefore, you should only say or write ‘an honest’ rather than ‘a honest.’

What is Correct – ‘An Honest’ or ‘A Honest’?

The correct way to say this phrase is ‘an honest,’ whether you’re describing a family member or a friend.

You’d never say ‘a honest.’ This is because the word honest begins with a vowel sound.

  • For example, the same would be true for words that begin with vowels, such as the ox. You’d say ‘an ox,’ not ‘a ox.’
  • Another example would be the word apple. You would refer to it as ‘an apple’ not ‘a apple.’

Is It ‘A Honest’ Person or ‘An Honest’ Person?

As with the phrases we talked about in the last section, the same would be true no matter what word follows the phrase ‘an honest.’

You could be talking about ‘an honest’ person or ‘an honest’ review of a product or service.

Definition and Meaning of ‘An Honest’

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines the word ‘honest’ as free from fraud or deception, truthful, genuine, and real.

It can also mean humble, plain, good, worth, respectable, and marked by integrity.

Sometimes, people use it to mean worthy of praise, innocent, simple, or marked by free, forthright, and sincere expression.

Pronunciation: How to Pronounce ‘An Honest’

Are you wondering how to pronounce this phrase? Here’s a short guide.

To pronounce this phrase correctly, take a look at the phonetic spelling:


How to Use ‘An Honest’ in a Sentence

 Let’s take a look at some examples of how to use ‘an honest’ in a sentence.

  • A well-known book critic left me an honest review on Good Reads, which was amazing! I’m so excited.
  • Miss Angela is such an honest person. She always tells the truth.
  • We all thought it was an honest account of what happened that night, but the report was obviously rewritten or tampered with somehow.
  • I’m so grateful for such an honest group of students in my class this year. We’ve had such a pleasant school year this year.
  • We had an honest and open dialogue about whether I should return to school next semester after my anxiety and panic attacks started back up again.
  • Does anyone have an honest opinion about the movie? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Final Advice on ‘An Honest’ and ‘A Honest’

To recap, we learned the following:

  • The only way to write this phrase is ‘an honest.’
  • Using ‘a honest’ is incorrect and ungrammatical because the word begins with a vowel sound.

So remember to use ‘an honest’ rather than ‘a honest’ in your writing.

If you ever get stuck on anything, you can always come back to review what you learned. It’ll be right where you left it in our confusing words and phrases library. You might want to check it out as you’re learning the language. Others have found it helpful, so maybe you will too.

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Written By:
Shanea Patterson
Shanea Patterson is a writer based in New York and loves writing for brands big and small. She has a master's degree in professional writing from New York University and a bachelor's degree in English from Mercy College.

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