“I left it on a subway train an hour ago.” (its audio)

This is the sentence that I took a dictation. But there seems to be a mismatch between the script and its audio. I hear in an hour ago instead of an hour ago. Now, what I wanted to know is if I hear well, first. And second, if both expressions, an hour ago and in an hour ago, can be used without meaning difference.

  • 5
    What you have written makes sense. The audio file does appear to be saying "I left it on a subway train in a hour ago," but that doesn't sound like proper English, unless there is some sort of time-travel involved.
    – J.R.
    Commented Jun 22, 2014 at 22:24
  • 3
    I think this is a hyper-articulation (possibly a stumble, but probably just trying to be super precise) at the train/an junction. But good catch. Commented Jun 22, 2014 at 22:30
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    I don't think it's saying "in an hour ago", but there seems to be an additional vowel appended to "an", making it sound more like "an-uh", and we're filling in the gaps. Also, it's an unusually high vowel, closer to "in" than "an", so it sounds like "in-uh".
    – jimsug
    Commented Jun 22, 2014 at 22:49
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    See CGEL p.632, where they analyse ago as a (rather exceptional) preposition which always follows its complement. Looking at it this way, it's easy to see why the PP *[ in an hour ago ] is strange—it's got two heads! It should only have one.
    – user230
    Commented Jun 22, 2014 at 23:34
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    @DamkerngT. The thing is, it's definitely not "in an" - there's no /n/ after the "in-a". Also, the additional vowel sound may be a result of the speaker articulating the glottal stop at the beginning of "hour", where most speakers would just liaise the two words and omit that.
    – jimsug
    Commented Jun 23, 2014 at 2:16

1 Answer 1


Yes, I agree it does sound weird. As @StoneyB said, she is definitely trying to over-pronounce the words for clarity (though clearly unsuccessfully).

No, "in an hour ago" doesn't make sense.

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