Let’s work on making your ‘a’ /ae/ vowel automatic in your everyday speech!


What Other Sounds Do People Say When a Word Is Spelled With an ‘A’?

Hi, Esther here from Speak More Clearly!

In this training video, we’re going to work on making your ‘a’ vowel automatic in your everyday speech.

As you may already know the ‘a’ /ae/ vowel, the most common sound the ‘A’ letter makes, can be tricky to master in everyday speech, because it isn’t a vowel that occurs in a lot of other languages.

Often people substitute an ‘ah’ as in father or ‘u’ as in cut, for this in English.

For example, people may say ‘hahve’ with an ‘ah’ sound- not correct-  instead of  ‘have’ with a ‘smile ‘a’ vowel.   


Listen to the difference – watch the video tutorial above for a demonstration on how to say the ‘a’ vowel incorrectly, and then correctly:

Incorrect: Hahve – jaw dropped

Correct: have – less jaw drop and mouth smiled

Pronunciation Practice Tip:

Our students find it helpful to have a passage with lots of ‘a’ words in it to practice with, so they can make their new ‘a’ vowel automatic in their everyday speech, and so I’ve created a new passage for you to practice with. 

I’ve included common words that people often forget to say with a clear ‘a’ sound.

If you want to make your new ‘a’ sound automatic in your speech, then I suggest that you copy me saying the passage a few times, and then record yourself and check how you’re going.

You will see that in the text, whenever the ‘A’ letter has to be said as an ‘a’ /ae/ like in ‘cat’, the letter will be in red.

How to Use the ‘a’ Vowel Sound to Practise Your English Intonation and Stress Patterns:

Also, use this passage to copy my intonation and which words I stress or emphasise.

You can stop the video after each line and practice, or shadow me- say it at the same time as I do.

‘a’ Vowel Practice Passage:

Let’s start.

John had to have his active, black, cat looked at by the vet.

The cat, named Anthony, hadn’t been eating for a few days, and he was usually a fantastic eater. Anthony didn’t like travelling in cars, so John put him in his carry cage and put a light blanket over the top. 

Nevertheless, Anthony still meowed and meowed as much as he could, especially as they accelerated after (after) stopping at the traffic lights.

Eventually, John and his unhappy cat managed to get to the vets in one piece, and John carefully extricated the cat’s cage from the back seat.

As they sat in the waiting room anxiously waiting, Anthony could smell the other animals. He began his habit of acting like a crazy cat as he held the bars and meowed behind them.  John actually accepted the pitying looks he got from the other animal owners.

Finally, it was Anthony’s turn to see the vet. And after (after) all that, the cat sat on the vet’s expanding table, and adapted to whatever Alice the vet had in store for him, happy as can be.


Check out our other training video on the difference between the ‘ah’ and ‘a’ vowels

And of course, there are detailed audio and video training lessons on all the vowels in our online American, Australian and British Accent Courses so you can feel confident that you’re pronouncing their clearly as you speak.


Best Wishes,


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