From what I know, year is pronounced as 'EAR' (at least I pronounce it that way) and since ear begins with a vowel (e), we should use an year as the grammatically correct version, right? (the exact opposite of what happens with the word 'university' == YUniversity)

  • LINK to AmE pronunciation guide Start with the sound 'ya' and add 'ear'. You can search for this in UK English as well.
    – WRX
    Commented Mar 25, 2017 at 17:53
  • i've been pronouncing it wrong all this time! :P well, from now on i won't Commented Mar 25, 2017 at 18:11
  • 2
    I had a teacher who pronounced the word 'iron' as 'eye-ron'. I understand this was colloquial to where she grew up. So, your teacher may not have known any differently if 'year' is pronounced 'ear' where s/he grew up. It's a big world and when it comes to pronunciation, there are a large variety of ways that people say words. This is primarily why this site doesn't 'teach' or 'help' with pronunciation.
    – WRX
    Commented Mar 25, 2017 at 18:30
  • wow, now that is pretty weird.. i pronounce it 'eye-ron' as well xD Commented Mar 25, 2017 at 18:34
  • and you aren't wrong, but it does sound strange to some of us.
    – WRX
    Commented Mar 25, 2017 at 18:35

1 Answer 1


The noun 'year' is pronounced as [jɪə] (or as [jɪəɹ], if you use American English). It starts with the sound [j]. This sound is a palatal approximant, and it is considered a consonant sound and not a vowel although some sources render it as a semivowel. In any case, it is not a true vowel, because it cannot be a nucleus of a syllable. So an year is wrong. A year is the correct variant.

  • thanks! now i see why i get it pointed out every time i do this :P i had been taught the other pronunciation at school Commented Mar 25, 2017 at 18:12
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    Simple English translation, the "Y" isn't silent, it sounds like a consonant.
    – fixer1234
    Commented Mar 25, 2017 at 19:01

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