Questions about vowels in English.

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125 views

Are vowels most often pronounced long or short?

English vowels can have two (or more, many more) different pronunciations: A : /eɪ/, mate or /ɑː/, mat E : /i:/, mete or /ɛ/, met I : /aɪ/, mite or /I/, mitt O : /oʊ/, mote or /ɒ/, moth U : ...
2
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1answer
68 views

How do Brits pronounce [ee] in “queen” differently to [i] in “pita”?

This explanation of Welsh pronunciation says Welsh u is pronounced like i in pita, whereas Welsh i is pronounced like ee in Queen. What's the difference?
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3answers
2k views

Why do written English vowels differ from other Latin-based orthographies?

Written English vowels differ from other Latin-based orthographies. Consider what the written vowels in the romance languages represent. Also, for example, consider this simple comparision between a ...
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3answers
6k views

Why doesn't “ninth” have an “e”, like “ninety”?

Is it just because "ninth" has only one syllable? That wouldn't make sense, though, because saying "NINE-ith" wouldn't be worse than saying "NINE-e-tee". If we were used to "nineth", we would have ...
3
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1answer
5k 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 ...
7
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3answers
15k 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.
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4answers
154 views

Variations in the pronunciation of “the”

Although there are rather simple rules determining the pronunciation of "the", native speakers quite often deviate from these rules (including, e.g., TV shows). According to the Longman Pronunciation ...
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1answer
216 views

Why are only some “u” words pronounced with a glide in American English?

In most words with a long U that doesn't start a syllable, it is pronounced /uː/. Examples: student, reduce, introduce. However, in some words (such as music, mule, human) it is pronounced /juː/. I've ...
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2answers
482 views

The proper way to say “Mocha” the coffee drink

I have noticed that most of the time when I go to Starbucks and order a mocha, the cashier doesn't seem to understand unless I repeat it. I am trying to think why is that the case since it is a very ...
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2answers
31k views

Is “imbedded” a valid spelling of the word “embedded”?

I have seen this used on our marketing materials: The technology imbedded in this solution will help improve productivity. I was going to flag it as a spelling error, however Googling provided ...
3
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2answers
425 views

Difference between IPA ɚ, ɹ, and ɝ

Wanting to be more Californian and trying to correct my accent, I'm looking at the sound for mother, in the North America column. What is the difference between IPA symbols for ɚ, ɹ, and ɝ. (ɝ is not ...
9
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2answers
418 views

Why doesn't the silent “e” work on “infinite”? [duplicate]

Why doesn't the silent "e" work on the word "infinite"? What I mean is, why does mate have a long "a", but infinite has a short "i"?
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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 ...
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0answers
52 views

“Can you suggest some exercises to speak Vowels perfectly”…? [closed]

Some exercises to practice speaking Vowels? I have noticed that i stutter when i speak vowels. How to improve my speech?
4
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2answers
491 views
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2answers
93 views

Is there a name/term for “multiplied vowels”?

For example if somebody is saying: "Ooooooh myyyyyyy Gooooood" or if they realize something and go "Ooooooh!" or Darth Vader's "NOOOOOOO!", usually all of these extra vowels aren't included in the ...
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2answers
58 views

Do vowels have a natural pitch?

I cannot help but perceive the [i:] in be as "lighter" (higher in pitch) than the [æ] in cat. Boot sounds even lower (when not altering the pitch intentionally). Is that self-persuasion or could a ...
7
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2answers
651 views

Last names that are English words with an extra 'e'

I noticed that there are a lot of last names that have an 'e' at the end. The pronunciation usually isn't changed from that of the base word. Poole Steele Browne Clarke Why do English words not ...
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1answer
2k views
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1answer
1k 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? ...
8
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3answers
2k views

Online rhyme dictionary/rhyming resource that lists rhymes by vowel sound (assonance)

Anyone know of an online rhyming dictionary or rhyme resource that lists rhymes by vowel sound (assonance)? RhymeZone.com doesn't have such an option.
3
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4answers
2k 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 ...
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1answer
565 views

How to pronounce “aa” vowel pair?

The word in question is "thraal", a species from the Dr. Who universe (http://tardis.wikia.com/wiki/Thraal) and coincidentally also a species from the Transformers universe ...
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3answers
248 views

How to make schwa sound?

I'm not a native English speaker, and my language doesn't have the SCHWA sound. It would be so helpful if there are any tips to make the sound. Thanks,
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4answers
3k views

Pronunciation of vowel in vague as [æ] instead of [eɪ]

I have a friend who pronounces the vowel in plague, vague, and bagel as [æ] instead of the standard [eɪ] (so plague rhymes with flag, for instance). Interestingly, he apparently can't tell the ...
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0answers
858 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 ...
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4answers
2k views

New Zealand pronunciation of “women” vs “woman”

I have read in a number of places that the NZ pronunciation of "women" must be rather peculiar. Quoting from just one such place: For some years I've noted the tendency of Kiwis to pronounce ...
1
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1answer
89 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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5answers
59k 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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0answers
17 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". ...
0
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2answers
200 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 ...
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0answers
289 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
154 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
2k 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
16k views

What is the plural form of “zero”?

I tried looking on Google, but there are some fairly contradictory results. I thought I'd ask you guys so we could get an authoritative answer on the subject!
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2answers
1k 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 ...
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 ...
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1answer
924 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.
9
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1answer
674 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
747 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?
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1answer
3k 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 ...
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9answers
9k 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 ...
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3answers
676 views

French speaker here — How to pronounce “r” and “l”?

I'm a French speaker and actually I have some problems with the sounds l , r and o in lawyer. Do you have any advice for me on how to place the tongue and so on?
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1answer
127 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
169 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"?
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7answers
2k 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 ...
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1answer
132 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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2answers
872 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
1k 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 ...
1
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1answer
147 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 ...