Knowing how the English vowel system works, with Long-vowels and Short-vowels, can help train your brain to work with English in a way that is similar to how native-speakers process the language. It can help you be better with spelling, and with being more confident in figuring out how to say new words. At the… Read More Short-vowel IPA Symbols
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
Tongue tension is important for pronouncing English short vowels well. All of the short vowels in American English need a relaxed tongue. In fact, some books and dictionaries call these vowels “lax vowels”. THE SECRET KEY for lax vowels Most students of English do not seem to know about tongue tension. Many of my students… Read More Tongue tension – a secret key
Six thick thistle sticks. Six thick thistle sticks. Six thick thistle sticks. This tongue-twister is good for practicing 2 things: 1. Short-i. In all of these words, the [i] uses the Short-i sound. The key to Short-i is to relax your tongue so that it doesn’t sound like Long-E (see This or These ). 2. “TH”. Be… Read More A tongue-twister: Thistle sticks
Distinguishing between Short-i and Long-E is difficult for many students (the difference is explained in “This or These?”), but it’s a good idea to be extra careful with this vowel distinction — there are several frequently used words of English with the Short-i sound that could be confused with similar sounding words with Long-E. The words below are from… Read More Short-i in Frequent Words
“Do you mean 1 or more than 1?” Have you ever been asked a question like that after trying to say something with the word “this” or “these”? If so, you’re not alone. It can be hard to clearly pronounce these two words. The primary difference between “this” and “these” is the vowel sound, and that’s… Read More This or These?