Why is "digression" pronounced with /ai/, while other similar words (like dimension) are pronounced with /i/? moreover, some derivatives, like digressional can be pronounced with both /ai/ and /i/? according to some of the dictionaries, both /i/ and /ai/ are acceptable, but most of the dictionaries still offer only /ai/ version.

  • Perhaps if "di-" is a Latin prefix, then we pronounce it with /ai/ in English.
    – GEdgar
    Aug 20, 2016 at 18:02
  • 1
    Are dimension and digression pronounced /di-/? I'm not sure I agree. Offhand, I can't think of a Latin-derived di- word which BrE pronounces /di-/.
    – Andrew Leach
    Aug 20, 2016 at 18:08
  • @AndrewLeach thanks for the answer. no, the thing is, they seem to be pronounced differently (dimension with /di/ and digression with /dai/), that's why I've been wondering..
    – Svetlana
    Aug 24, 2016 at 7:24
  • @GEdgar thanks for the answer! it seems to be right:)
    – Svetlana
    Aug 24, 2016 at 10:11

1 Answer 1


If there's a difference in the sound of "di" in "digression" and "di" in "dimension", I suggest that's down to an individual speaker, not to any rule of English

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