Do you know the total number of different vowel sounds in English? Beginners often think the answer is “five”, because there are five vowel letters in the alphabet. Of course, anyone familiar with this blog already knows that each vowel letter has at least one Long-vowel and one Short-vowel sound. So is it ten vowels… Read More Overview of Vowels
I have found that 80% to 90% of students do not know that the English letter “O” has more than one sound! The letter “O” regularly uses three different sounds, but a lot of students pronounce many words wrong because they use just one “O” sound all the time. The basic sounds are: Long-O, Short-o,… Read More The Sounds of O
The vowel system of English can be confusing because there are only five vowel letters (A-E-I-O-U), but there are 15 different vowel sounds. The key is that each vowel letter has three or four sounds, and it is important to learn the basic sounds of each one. The letter “E” is a little bit more… Read More The Sounds of E
A homograph is a word that has two different pronunciations, and the different pronunciations have different meanings. The words in Homographs Part 1 have a change in vowel sound, and Homographs Part 2 deals with words that have a change in a consonant sound. However, the words here have a change in word stress. One… Read More Homographs Part 3
Schwa is the name for the most frequently used vowel sound in English. It is used for Short-u, the alternate Short-o, and reduced vowels. Short-u The Short-u sound is in many words that are spelled with a “U”, such as: fun, up, just, much, under, bug, shut, must, such, us, but, luck, mud, number, rush,… Read More What is Schwa?
The schwa sound is the most frequently occurring vowel sound in English. The good news is that it is also the easiest vowel sound to make. Tongue position To make schwa, the tongue does not have to go up or down, or forward, or back. It stays right in the middle. Tongue tension The tongue… Read More The Sound of Schwa
Here is a good tongue-twister to try: Fuzzy Wuzzy was a bear. Fuzzy Wuzzy had no hair. Fuzzy Wuzzy wasn’t fuzzy, was he? There are 2 keys to pronoucing this well: 1. “Wuzzy” and “was he” should sound the same. This happens often in spoken English: the “H” of the word “he” gets lost in… Read More A tongue-twister: Fuzzy Wuzzy