|The Latin alphabet|
A is the first letter of the English alphabet. The small letter, a or α, is used as a lower case vowel. However, the English long a (ā) is said as a diphthong of ĕ and y. The same letter of the Greek alphabet is named alpha. Alpha and omega, the last letter of the Greek alphabet, means the beginning and the end. In musical notation, the letter A is the symbol of a note in the scale, below B and above G. In binary numbers, the letter A is 01000001.
Where it came from
| Roman/Cyrillic |
|Egyptian hieroglyphic ox head||Phoenician aleph||Greek alpha||Etruscan A||Roman A|
This Phoenician letter helped make the basic blocks of later types of the letter. The Greeks later modified this letter and used it as their letter alpha. The Greek alphabet was used by the Etruscans in northern Italy, and the Romans later modified the Etruscan alphabet for their own language.
Using the letter
The letter A has six different sounds. It can sound like æ, in the International Phonetic Alphabet, such as the word pad. Other sounds of this letter are in the words father, which developed into another sound, such as in the word ace.
Use in mathematics
In algebra, the letter "A" along with other letters at the beginning of the alphabet is used to represent known quantities.
- "A", "Encyclopaedia Britannica", Volume 1, 1962. p.1.
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