Questions about vowels in English.

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1answer
38 views

Origin of oe pronounced as /i/?

/i/ is usually pronounced in English with the vowels: e, ee, ea, ei, ie, and y. What is the origin of the pronunciation of words such as amoeba, phoenix or onomatopoeia? I got curious about this ...
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0answers
16 views

Using 'an' before a consonant [duplicate]

Depending on the word, using an before a consonant is not right. What about in this phrase, "David has just gotten an SX250". To me, it does sound a lot better than "David has just gotten a SX250". ...
1
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1answer
60 views

“An historian” or “a historian” [duplicate]

Which one should I use for this statement An historian can change the past or A historian can change the past ?
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2answers
98 views

How to identify the sound of an “A” without altering the spelling of the word?

I have the word "Carr" (short for the name Carrie). Is there a way to write the 'a' so that a person reading the word 'Carr' would pronounce it like care ('kær), opposed to pronouncing it like car ...
9
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1answer
245 views

How is “gone” pronounced?

I'm a native Spanish speaker who's trying to grasp some of the subtleties of (American) English pronunciation. I think the sounds that give me the most trouble are the triplet of low back vowels: /ɑ/, ...
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2answers
300 views

How to tell how a vowel should sound like in words?

Why does the 'A' in the word "cat" sound different to 'A' in the word "car"? If I want the 'A' in a foreign name like 'Pardis' to sound like the 'A' in cat, how should I write it?
3
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1answer
334 views

Participle of “center/centre” in UK English — “centring”? Seriously?

As an American, I was never shocked to see the word "center" spelled as "centre." It didn't bother me at all. Honestly. But then I saw the participle of it spelled as "centring" as opposed to ...
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3answers
115 views

Payed or paid, is there a rule for this change in vowels?

Why do some verbs combine the "y" and the "e" in the past tense, while others retain "ye"? For example, pay to paid, but flay to flayed? Is there a rule for this change? Any help would be ...
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1answer
371 views

Is there a rule for how to pronounce words such as “dance”, “prance”, “castle”?

Is there a grammatical rule for the pronunciation of words such as dance, castle and prance? I believe the British English pronunciation is "ah", while in American English it is a short "a" sound.
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2answers
289 views

The pronunciation of “ate”

I was talking to some friends and I said "I ate (/et/) chocolate yesterday...". Then my friend corrected me: "you ate (/eit/) chocolate...". I repeated my sentence with the /eit/ pronunciation and we ...
1
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1answer
108 views

The pronunciation of 'Hawaii'

Apparently some parts of the US routinely pronounce the name of our island state as 'Hawaya.' At first, I thought this was just incorrect, but apparently it's a regional usage. Where do they call it ...
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1answer
108 views

Why do we pronounce “disease” like that?

What is the rule of pronunciation in this case? Why do we say like if there was an "e" in place of the "i"?
4
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1answer
2k views

Name for words with same consonant sounds but different vowel sounds

Is there a name for words with the same consonant sounds, but different vowel sounds? For example: talk, take sit, site taught, tote bough, bow My son has been mixing up these sets of words. I'd ...
5
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7answers
687 views

The + vowel sound

I've been told that when "the" is proceeded by a vowel sound, like "apple" or "hour", it's pronounced as "thee" and not as "thu". But after listening to a couple of songs, I noticed that sometimes ...
1
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1answer
91 views

Proper way to pronounce and form the word for “The followers of Augusto Pinochet”

An article in this month's Monocle, discussing elections in Chile, referred to anti-Pinochetistas: The vote was attended by a throng of cheering anti-Pinochetistas. I am wondering how the word ...
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1answer
733 views

When is “an” used instead of “a”? [duplicate]

Please resolve an "argument" Which of the following is correct: Post an HTML snippet Post a HTML snippet I believe it's the first - that the sound/vocalization, not the spelling, is what requires ...
2
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2answers
415 views

how to pronounce 'Uriel'? [closed]

I have a student whose name is 'Uriel' and I'm just wondering how I should pronounce it!
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2answers
671 views

Why was it necessary to divide alphabets into vowels and consonants?

This may be an extremely simple question. I know pretty much what do we do when we see any vowel but I am curious why were these two classes created in the first place. I beg pardon for another ...
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1answer
123 views

Pronunciation of “great” vs. “treat” [closed]

Why is great pronounced /greit/ while in other words the ea is pronounced differently? Take treat, for example: /tri:t/. Why are two words with the same number of vowels and consonants and the same ...
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2answers
574 views

Are there are more vowels in the American English than in British? [closed]

car, father, jarring ■ man, lad, mast A British guy would pronounce the vowel "a" equally in all these words. But an American would give one sound for the first three words, and the other ...
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1answer
81 views

Pronunciation of 'Commentary'

I hear sometimes a longer version (reading fully the ending '-tary), and other times a version as if ending in '-try'. Why is that? Are these choices a matter of dialect? What other examples can be ...
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4answers
544 views

What is THE shortest English verb?

I have heard that two letter verbs are the shortest verbs in English. Is this totally true? Are any of the letters official recognized as verbs?
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1answer
238 views

Pronunciation of “Oceania” in British English

How is Oceania properly pronounced in British English? Is it /ˌəʊʃɪˈɑːnɪə/, or /ˌəʊʃɪˈɑːnə/? I know a lot of people who use the latter, but I have always been taught the former.
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1answer
159 views

Why are we supposed to say the “a” as an “e” in “any” and “many”?

I speak Australian English, but I seem to pronounce the words many and anything differently from how the vast majority of people here do so. I pronounce it using an a sound rather than an e sound ...
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1answer
411 views

How to pronounce '-ing' followed by a vowel

I'm getting into English recently and I'm a little confused by the way people pronounce a word that starts in a vowel right after a word ending in -ing. For example: You have to bring it up now? ...
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1answer
105 views

“Boneular” vs. “bonular” [closed]

My knowledge in morphology and orthography is lacking. I would like to know how to spell the neologism boneular, from bone (or Backbone, a programming library used for creating Web applications) and ...
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2answers
654 views

What are the most common letters used in pairs after others in the English alphabet? [closed]

I have a question which is somewhat similar to What are the most common consonants used in English? (on wikiHow). What are the most common seven letters that come second in pairs after consonants and ...
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1answer
810 views

“Bazaar” vs. “bazar”

Which of bazaar or bazar is better to use for the domain name of specialised marketplace? Both are available according to the dictionaries. Any advice which of these two is better to use in the URL? ...
2
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1answer
645 views

difference between American and British /ӕ/ sound

When I presented British /ӕ/ sound to three Korean English-familiar persons online - they are doing answering English-related questions activities [case 1; case 2], and asked what sound it’s like /ӕ/ ...
2
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1answer
4k views

What exactly is the “schwa” sound?

What exactly is the "schwa" sound? As a non-native speaker, I hear this sound as not being a pure and clean sound. I mean I know that every vowel sound may vary depending on whether the syllable is ...
0
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3answers
267 views

Coining new words from existing ones: Duplicate last letter?

I am trying to invent a word by taking an existing word and turning it into a noun a person can be called who is interacting with an object. The trouble I ran into was the initial word's ending. ...
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2answers
362 views

What is the i with a dot on top and dot on bottom called?

I was watching a foreign film and I saw a "i" with a dot on the top as usual and a dot on the bottom. What is it called and is there a way I can find it and type it? More details: It was a ...
3
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1answer
144 views

What is modifying the “i” in Thumbelina and Carolina to alter its pronuciation?

While helping my daughter read (she is 5) we encountered two names in a story, Thumbelina and Carolina. The way I've come to pronounce the last four letters of "Thumbelina" is "LEE NAH" and the same ...
2
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5answers
776 views

Can we call something a “word” if it doesn't have a vowel? [closed]

It seems self-evident to me, but in the heat of a Scrabble game (no surprise), my opponent claimed that "sh" was a word. I think it's a diphthong, but the printed dictionary definition of "word" ...
4
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0answers
66 views

Why do you write “receive” with “ei” but “retrieve” with “ie”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Why is it true that “I before E, except after C”? Both words are similar in pronunciation but different in spelling. Why is it that receive is written with ei but ...
0
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1answer
550 views

/u/ and /uː/ in pronunciation

What is the regularity of appearance of /uː/ and /u/ (or /ʊ/ in RP)? How can I be most sure deducing from spelling alone, that, say, "ooze" is pronounced /uːz/ and "wool" as /wul/? I know that English ...
5
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1answer
717 views

What do the letters ï and ô mean? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What is the distinction between “role” and “rôle” [with a circumflex]? What is the significance of the “ô” character in “rôle” in this work? What is the standard rule ...
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2answers
550 views

Long vs. short vowels in English words of Latin origin

Is there any way to determine if a vowel is short or long in English words of Latin origin? I've noticed that u is usually long in Latin words (e.g., Jupiter) but what about other vowels?
6
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1answer
302 views

Sound changes of “wild” and “wilderness”

I'm having a heated a discussion with a friend and we cannot really get on the same level. In the original pronunciation of the word wild, the "i" was the short sound that we have in the word ...
2
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2answers
304 views

Pronunciation of Bank, Tank, etc.: Bay-nk, Ray-nk or Baen-k or Raen-k?

What is the standard US pronunciation for words such as the following: Bank Rank At least in my dialect of US English (Inland Northern), the following seem like close transcriptions: Bank: ...
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0answers
27 views

Words using all possible vowels [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Is there a word that contains all the vowels? Is there a word in English that contains the 5 letters that are exclusively vowels (a, e, i, o, u) as well as the 3 letters ...
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9answers
6k views

How are 'marry', 'merry', and 'Mary' pronounced differently?

The way I pronounce these words is the same. Similarly for other words like these: I pronounce ferry and fairy the same, carrot and caret. Yet, dictionaries show different pronunciations for these ...
2
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2answers
626 views

Pronunciation of “catch”

I was curious about the different pronunciations of the word catch; more specifically, the difference between /kætʃ/ and /kɛtʃ/. The Oxford dictionary lists both pronunciations as correct; is this ...
3
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1answer
543 views

Pronunciation of “Nevada” [closed]

People in the state of Nevada insist that it should be pronounced /nəˈvædə/ (with the vowel of TRAP)—this "issue" always comes up during campaigns—while much of the country typically pronounces it ...
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3answers
8k views

Is it “flotation” or “floatation”?

Is the difference between flotation and floatation a US/UK difference or something else? I think I did see floatation in some physics book.
2
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1answer
164 views

Waiteen for waiting

While it's reasonably common for people to drop the g in words such as waiting, hating, and dating, I seem to be stumbling upon a number of Americans additionally drawing out the final syllable of ...
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5answers
39k views

How do we differentiate long vowels from short vowels in English

I was finding a school for my toddler. I saw this new theory called long vowels and short vowels The teacher talk about apple, which she read something like "eiple" and the hat, which she claims use ...
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1answer
2k views

Why does a silent “-e” at the end of a word lengthen vowels?

There's a common pattern in English spelling where "short" vowels are pronounced as "long" vowels with the addition of a silent "e" at the end of the word. E.g. bit → bite mat → mate pet → pete ...
5
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2answers
3k views

Any rule for pronouncing “e”?

I hear three different sounds for the letter e in precious, bean, and Peru. Is there a rule that covers the different pronunciations that a written letter e can represent in speech?
3
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4answers
1k views

Why is “go” spelled with the same vowel as “do” and “to” since it is pronounced differently?

These two-letter words ending in -o are pronounced with the vowel /oʊ/: bo, go ho, jo, lo, no, so, and yo whereas do and to are pronounced with the vowel /uː/. Is there an explanation for the ...