Podcast 12: The Vowel /ə/ (Part III): Recognizing and Using the Vowel /ə/
Saturday November 29th, 2008
Today’s podcast teaches you how to recognize the vowel / ə / by its spelling and offers American expressions and idioms which contain this vowel.
In this weeks podcast, we’re going to continue to learn and practice the very important vowel /ə/, learning to recognize its main spelling patterns.
One of the most challenging aspects of English pronunciation is that one vowel can have a few different spellings. So it’s important to learn the most common spelling patterns of a vowel, as well as the exceptions. Learning these will make your pronunciation much more accurate and will make it easier to determine the pronunciation of a word.
The focus of today’s lesson is:
* * I strongly recommend that you listen to podcasts #10 and #11 (How to pronounce /ə/) before this one!
Spelling Pattern #1 – The most common spelling pattern of /ə /:
Review: When pronouncing /ə/, your tongue should be central and relaxed. Lips are relaxed as well.Exercise: Listen and repeat the following words containing /ə/, spelled with <u>+ <consonant>:
funny … must … gun … hundred … luck … study … trust …stuff …fund …
Spelling Pattern #2: <o> + <consonant> (less common):
Exercise : Listen and repeat the following words containing /ə/, spelled <o>
mother … some … Monday … done … .company … stomach … government….
Spelling Pattern #3: <ou> + <consonant>
Exercise: Listen and repeat the following words which contain /ə/ spelled <ou>
young…. cousin… country … enough … tough …
Important Exceptions: Strange spellings of /ə/.
/Exercise: Listen and repeat the following words which contain /ə/:
what … was … does … blood … flood …
“Why are there so many exceptions in English ?”
In your native language, the way the word is written is almost always the way it’s pronounced. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case in Engilsh.
Exercise: Listen and repeat the following American expressions and idioms which contain words with /ə/ :
We’re under the gun. (under pressure to meet a deadline)
Improving your pronunciation and reducing your accent is all about reviewing and practicing regularly. Just ten minutes a day can really make a difference! It’s important to have good tools for practicing:
Looking for more practice? Try Best Accent Training mp3s!
Any questions, comments or suggestions ?
Thank you and see you next time!