What sound is this in English

Stop Being Con­fused- What sound is this in Eng­lish?

Because Eng­lish let­ters can say more than one sound, some­times it can become quite con­fus­ing and stu­dents ask me ‘what sound is this in Eng­lish?'

The vow­els in Eng­lish can be espe­cial­ly con­fus­ing. This time I thought I would address the ‘a' letter/vowel and hope­ful­ly reduce the con­fu­sion.

What Eng­lish sound is this?

In British and Aus­tralian stan­dard Eng­lish, the ‘a' let­ter can say 4 things!

In Amer­i­can stan­dard Eng­lish it can say 3 things.

The ‘a' Eng­lish sound in British and Aus­tralian Eng­lish

The ‘a' let­ter can say:

1) /æ/ as in: hat, have, band, rat­tling, ran­dom, and, plant, car­rot, can, had

2)British /eɪ/ Aus­tralian /æi/ as in: navy, sav­ing, rav­ing, apron, mak­ing, aim, famous, trade, came

3)/ɑː/ as in: park, father, bath, start, heart, balm, calm, path, dark, tar­nish, art, can't

4)/ɔː/ – when an ‘a' is writ­ten before an /l/, the ‘a' says ‘aw'.  As in : all, ball, almost, fall, already, talk, walk, always

 Going from 1) /ae/ as the most com­mon usage to 4) as the less­er com­mon usage in Eng­lish.

The ‘a' Eng­lish sound in Amer­i­can Eng­lish

1) /æ/ as in: hat, have, band, rat­tling, ran­dom, and, plant, car­rot, can, had

2) /eɪ/ as in:  navy, sav­ing, rav­ing, apron, mak­ing, aim, famous, trade, came

3) /ɑ/ as in: father, calm, balm, palm, almond (this vow­el can also be writ­ten as ‘o' such as in hot, pot, olive, got, job)

 Going from 1) /ae/ as the most com­mon usage to 3) as the less­er com­mon usage in Eng­lish.

To hear how these sounds are made in these words, have a lis­ten to the vow­el sec­tions in our British, Amer­i­can and Aus­tralian accent reduc­tion cours­es.

You can also learn some more about Eng­lish vow­els here.

Best wish­es, Esther

 

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

British Accent

Aus­tralian Accent

Amer­i­can Accent