When to use ‘an’ when referring to an object

This has been bothering me for a while now, because I know the answer to this. But I recently read an article which has confused me further:

When does an object have “an” before it, and when does it have “a”?

Now my opinion on the matter formed when I was told that if the object started with a vowel, it would have “an” (eg. An orange), and that anything that didn’t apply to that would have “a” before it.

But in a recent article I read, it threw a spanner in the works with the theory I was told. The article also mentioned that if the first part of the object had a vowel pronunciation, then that was to have “an” before it also (I understand this, such as “an hour”, because it has an “o” sound at the end).

But why? What is the actual English rule for it?

Do you know? Comment below!

Liam

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