I'm not a native english speaker.
I was wondering what is the right way to pronunce the "I" (/aɪ/) vowel name in fast speech.
Perhaps i'm confused, but sometimes i hear /a/. Like in the Arctic Monkeys song "I bet that you good look on the dance floor". Just in the chorus, i hear something like /abet.../ more than /aɪbet/.

And other times i even hear only a schwa /ə/ sound. Like in the White Stripes song "Fell in love with a girl". Over the last of the second verse Jack says "i seid it once before..." i hear /əsed/ more than /aɪsed/ or /ased/. I want to know what you thinking about.

If i write down this in the wrong place or if i had a grammar or spell mistake i beg you apologise me.

  • 1
    A bit more context would get you a better answer. In British English the I can take on several contractions and twists. Less so in American English. If you could tell us where you hear this then a more precise answer could be made.
    – Elliot
    Aug 20, 2021 at 1:23
  • I have added some examples now. By the way, for some reason i could not write hello down. So, hello. Aug 20, 2021 at 1:58

1 Answer 1


Welcome to the site! There is no real 'right' way to pronounce I in fast speech, let alone song. I can only say that the allophones you have heard, in the given positions in those sentences, are quite common. There might be other options as well.

The faster a vowel is pronounced, the more likely it is to be reduced, from /aɪ/ to /a/ or /ʌ/ and even /ə/. I'd like to think reduction is much less common in classical music, but that is probably an exaggeration.

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