English Schwa Words

Eng­lish Schwa Words-Quiz Com­pe­ti­tion

What do I mean by the title  Eng­lish schwa words – quiz?

You can win a free 8 page guide with pro­nun­ci­a­tion instruc­tions spe­cif­ic to your lan­guage back­ground.

Fol­low­ing on from my last arti­cle, I want­ed to bring you some more prac­tise at lis­ten­ing for the stressed and de stressed vow­els in words. This time though, I’m focus­ing on you hear­ing the Eng­lish schwa words where the ‘a’ let­ter says the schwa sound /ə/.

Just as the de stressed syl­la­bles or weak form in longer words uses the schwa vow­el to sig­ni­fy it’s the weak form, this also hap­pens in words in sen­tences.

So Eng­lish schwa words are those that are usu­al­ly short and don’t con­vey the main mean­ing in a sen­tence. Because they don’t con­vey the main mean­ing, their vow­el is often de- stressed. They become the weak form words in the sen­tence- the Eng­lish schwa words.

For exam­ple  : ‘I want to go to the shop’.

The words that con­vey the main mean­ing in the sen­tence are:-  I,  want, go, shop.  If I just said those 4 words you would get my main mean­ing.

The weak form words in the sen­tence are:- to, to, the- The vow­els in these words are changed and said as the weak form -as a schwa sound /ə/.

So the sen­tence is said : I want tə go tə thə shop.

Eng­lish Schwa Words- Quiz Com­pe­ti­tion

Win a free 8 page guide with pro­nun­ci­a­tion instruc­tions spe­cif­ic to your lan­guage back­ground.


Lis­ten to the audio record­ing below.

1)  You will only be lis­ten­ing for when the ‘a’ let­ter says /ae/, and the ‘a’ let­ter in a word  says the schwa sound /ə/.

2) You need to count how many times the ‘a’ let­ter says /ae/, and how many times the ‘a’ let­ter says /ə/.

3) Lis­ten as many times as you like and when you are sure, write your answer in the com­ments sec­tion at the bot­tom of this arti­cle like this:- ‘a’ says /ae/ ( enter num­ber ) times.    ‘a’ says the schwa sound (enter num­ber ) times.

4) The first 4 peo­ple who are clos­est to the right answer will win a free guide with pro­nun­ci­a­tion instruc­tions spe­cif­ic to their lan­guage back­ground.

The free guide includes:

  • the spe­cif­ic errors you need to work on for your lan­guage back­ground, and what order to work on them
  • extra prac­tise tips and tech­niques to make your prac­tise quick­er and more effi­cient

Eng­lish Schwa Words- Quiz Com­pe­ti­tion Audio 



Look­ing for­ward to your answers. Best wish­es, Esther

Choose:- I want to speak more clear­ly in a…

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  • Kon­stan­tin Goldobin

    ‘a’ says /ae/ 23 times; ‘a’ says the schwa sound 22 times.

    • Hi Kon­stan­tin,
      Thank you for your answer. Good to hear from you again. What is your cur­rent email address please? regards, Esther

      • Kon­stan­tin Goldobin

        Hel­lo Esther,
        Thank you! I’m not real­ly sure it is safe to pub­lish emails here…

        • Yes sor­ry for­got to say where to email! esther,bruhl@speakmoreclearly.com

  • Ansuman Roy

    Shwa used 15 times. Very dif­fi­cult to catch though