Since we have already found out the correct pronunciation of either, why not take a stab at how again should be enunciated?

Obviously, there are some words where both of two pronunciations are valid. Take the, for example. The word is usually pronounced /ðə/, but becomes /ði/ if it precedes a vowel or vowel sound.

What about /əˈɡɛn/ versus /əˈɡeɪn/? Is one more valid? Are both valid, but in different circumstances?

  • 2
    +1 for a good question that I’ve always wondered about myself. Personally, I invariably pronounce it /əˈɡεn/, except if I’m trying to be pseudo-dramatic and quasi-Shakespearean for some kind of effect; but I have heard people use /əˈɡeɪn/ in regular speech, and I’ve always wondered whether it’s a purely dialectal or idiolectal split, and whether there’s a dialectal difference in how the two variants are used (emphatic vs. non-emphatic, for instance). Jan 3, 2017 at 13:12
  • Related: Pronunciation of “again”
    – herisson
    Mar 26, 2018 at 8:43

1 Answer 1


Pronunciation of syllables in English often depends 1. on regional accents 2. on the stress pattern of the sentence and the importance given to a particular word. In the following exchange, the first sentence would have the shortened form of the vowel whereas in the second, the syllable would be stressed more heavily because of its importance to the meaning of the sentence. "I went there again last week." "What, you've been there again!"


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