English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I'm learning English and recently I have found that there is a difference in pronunciation between such words as: hit and heat, sit and seat.

I want to know if there is a similar difference in pronunciation between steal and steel (and perhaps still), peak and peek.

share|improve this question

closed as general reference by JSBձոգչ, z7sg Ѫ, Jasper Loy, Thursagen, Mehper C. Palavuzlar Jul 28 '11 at 21:45

This question is too basic; it can be definitively and permanently answered by a single link to a standard internet reference source designed specifically to find that type of information.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

Consult any English dictionary. They all have pronunciation guides which can answer this for you. – JSBձոգչ Jul 28 '11 at 20:39
The answer is NO. – crazyyyyyyyyy Jul 28 '11 at 20:41
I wouldn't be surprised to learn there are dialects where "steel" and "still" are homophones, but I'd be quite taken aback to hear of one where "steel" and "steal" aren't. – FumbleFingers Jul 28 '11 at 20:42
@JSBangs: I think you elevate "any English dictionary" beyond what they are capable of. Regional variations in pronunciation do exist, and no dictionary can hope to include them all. – FumbleFingers Jul 28 '11 at 20:45
I am not sure that reporting the pronunciation of different dialects to who is learning English would be helpful; it is probable it would confuse the OP even more. – kiamlaluno Jul 28 '11 at 21:51
up vote 1 down vote accepted

"Steal" and "steel" would sound the same, but "still" sounds different due to having the single i.

share|improve this answer
Thanks, In my native language almost all words that are spelled differently will also have different pronunciation – username Jul 28 '11 at 21:10
@username: what is your native language, out of interest, that has so few homophones? – PLL Jul 28 '11 at 21:13
My native language is Ukrainian. I also speak Russian, but in Russian there is a little more homophones due to the common accent that changes some vowels – username Jul 28 '11 at 21:17

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.