Abbotsford ESL Grammar Lesson #2: Vowel Sounds of English

 English Vowel Sounds

English Vowel Sounds

If you've had enough now with the English alphabet, let's move on to the sounds of English.  Unfortunately, every letter in the English alphabet does not match every sound in English.  There are about 40 sounds in English and only 26 letters, so that's why there is a problem when it comes to learning the sounds of English.  In English we have about 16 vowel sounds, but our alphabet only lets you see 5 maybe 6 letters (a, e, i, o, u, [y] ).  So let's try to figure out what the common missing vowel sounds are.  Are you ready to learn all the vowel sounds of English?

1.  "iy" = green tree, [beat]

2.  "ɪ" = pink pin, [bit]

3.  "ey" = play baseball, [bait]

4.  "ɛ" = red dress, [bet]

5.  "æ" = black cat, [bat]

6.  "ɑ" = hot pot, [bot]

7.  "ʊ̈" = blue moon, [boot]

8.  "ʊ" = full pull, [bull]

9.  "o" = oh no!, [boat]

10. "ə" = uh huh, um, upon, and a [but]

11.  "ɑʊ" = ow! out house, [about]

12.  "ɑi" = I, my, pie, [bite]

13.  "ɔɪ" = oil, noise, [toilet]

14.  "ɚ" = turn, burn, first, [Burt]

15.  "ɑr" = car, far, [Bart]

To practice hearing these vowel sounds please visit the following websites:

1. (Main Vowels) https://elt.oup.com/student/englishfile/preint/c_pronunciation/pronunciation01?cc=ca&selLanguage=en

2. (More Vowels) https://elt.oup.com/student/englishfile/preint/c_pronunciation/pronunciation02?cc=ca&selLanguage=en

3. (Extra Practice) http://pronuncian.com/sounds/