English Vowels

Understand English Vowels – Fine Tune Your Knowledge

Did you know that English vowels in certain word endings have different meanings?

If you know the meanings, it’s easier to understand what  the word means, and to pronounce the word correctly. This helps you speak more clearly, and helps you speak English better if you know what ending to apply. As well as this, it gives your English comprehension a boost!

The English vowels in most vowel word endings are pronounced with the schwa vowel /ə/ that makes the last syllable the weak form or de-stressed form. So the vowel isn’t said as it’s written . It’s said as the schwa vowel- a short ‘u’ sound. 

Let’s have a look at some.

English Vowels In Word Endings and Their Meanings

      Meaning    Noun Endings            Examples
 One who…..   ant,  ent,  er   servant, president, teacher (American accent- the ‘er’  in teacher is said as ‘er’ not as a weak syllable-schwa )
 One who practices….   ist   pianist
 State or quality of Being…… age stoppage, wrecking, marriage
 ance distance, entrance, importance
 ancy expectancy
 ence preference, patience, difference
 ency excellency
 ice service


  Meaning  Adjective Endings        Examples
 Relating to……. al natural, special, official
 Inclined to…… ant important
 ent excellent, competent, reverent
 ish childish, foolish
 Can be….. able comfortable, changeable, eatable
 ible visible, edible
 Full of…. ous nervous, famous, dangerous
 y muddy ( the ‘y’ is said clearly as ‘ee’ or ‘i’ and not said weekly )
That which was….edbaked, walked
 en stolen, eaten, broken

So please pay attention when you’re pronouncing the English vowels endings. Say them with the schwa vowel or de-stress them (except for the ones I have noted as not the de-stressed form).

Best wishes, Esther

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