Words spelled with an ‘A’ but said with a schwa. Don’t pronounce these words incorrectly!

Students often get confused about whether a word spelled with an ‘a’ at the beginning, is said as an ay, e, or a.

I want to talk about special words spelt with an ‘A’ at the beginning, but when the ‘a’ says the de-stressed schwa vowel /ə/. It doesn’t matter which accent you are practising, these words begin with a schwa.

I think you’ll be surprised at how many common words begin with a schwa. Of course, this isn’t an exhaustive list, but once you start to be aware of it, you can hear if there’s a schwa at the beginning or not.

English practise words:










English practise sentences:

What about that?

Lean against the table.

He can afford the best one.

Of course, most of these words are in the sentences in our American, British and Australian accent reduction courses, and so you’ll get more chance to practise them then.

Some others that follow the same pattern are:

Asleep, avoid, acute, astronomer, apology, attack, approach, assign, apartment, amuse, abrupt, account, along, alone.

Also, for more practise material check out this lesson on pronunciation tip for ‘a’ letter.

If you found this video helpful, leave us a comment below. Also, let us know what other English sounds and words you struggle to pronounce.

Bye for now.

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