We use it

To get the pronunciation of some words or sounds. It is not a complete list of rules but it is an introduction to give you a general idea of how spelling rules and sounds can work together.

Content

We explain the most important examples with transcriptions, the Schwa and other spelling rules which will help you to improve your speaking skills.

SOUNDS

Consonant + Vowel + Consonant

In words where there is a vowel between two consonants, the vowel sound is short.

- Rat /ɹæt/

- Cut /kʌt/

- Sit /sɪt/

- Not /nɒt/

- Pet /pet/

- Bed /bed/

SOUNDS

Consonant + Vowel + Consonant + Silent "E"

In those words where the final letter is an "e", that "e" is silent, that means that you do not pronounce it.

So, in words where there is a vowel between two consonants and the final letter is a "silent e",the vowel sound is long or a diphthong.

- Here /hɪə(ɹ)/

- Note /nəʊt/

- Cute /kjuː t/

- Site /saɪt/

- Rate /ɹeɪt/

SOUNDS

Consonant + Vowel

In monosyllabic words ending with a vowel, the final sound is generally a diphthong, except those ending with "e".

When the final spelling of a word is "ee", the sound is /iː /.

- No /nəʊ/

- Go /ɡəʊ/

- Bee /biː /

- Me /mɪ/

- So /səʊ/

After a long sound, the /ɹ/ is almost inaudible (except in American English).

- Car /kɑː (ɹ)/

- Peer /pɪə(ɹ)/

- More /mɔː (ɹ)/

- Over /əʊvə(ɹ)/

- Were /wə(ɹ)/

It is the most common sound of the English language.The Schwa can substitute any vowel and only appears in syllables which are not stressed.

- Pencil /pensəl/

- Cancel /kænsəl/

- Ago /əɡəʊ/

- Submit /səbmɪt/

The Schwa can occur more than once in the same word, like in "another" /ənʌðə(ɹ)/. It also can be placed in the first syllable of a word, in the middle or the last one.

In words ending with -er, the final sound is the Schwa -ə (except in American English).

- Teacher /tiː tʃə(ɹ)/

- Mother /mʌðə(ɹ)/

- Father /fɑː ðə(ɹ)/

- Brother /brʌðə(ɹ)/

In words ending with "a", the final sound is also Schwa -ə.

- Media /miː diə/

- Pizza /piː tsə/

- Zebra /zebrə/

These two consonants make different sounds depending on the letter that follows them in a word.

SOFT "C"

In words where there is a "C" followed by "E", "I" or "Y", the "C" sound is soft and its phoneme is /s/.

- Recite /rɪsaɪt/

- Cycle /saɪkl/

- Cellphone /selfəʊn/

- City /sɪtɪ/

- Police /pəliː s/

HARD "C"

In words where there is a "C" followed by the vowels "A","O","U" or any other letter, the "C" sound is hard and its phoneme is /k/.

- Cake /keɪk/

- Colours /kʌlə(ɹ)/

- Candy /kændɪ/

- Occur /əkɜː (ɹ)/

- Current /kʌrənt/

SOFT "G"

In words where there is a "G" followed by "E", "I" or "Y", the "G" is soft and it represents the sound that belongs to the letter "J". Its phoneme is /dʒ/.

- Ginger /dʒɪndʒə(ɹ)/

- Gentle /dʒentl/

- Origin /ɒrɪdʒɪn/

- Gypsy /dʒɪpsɪ/

- Page /peɪdʒ/

Be careful! There are exceptions to this rule (Give, Get, Girl, Gill, Geyser)

HARD "G"

In words where there is a "G" followed by the vowels "A", "O", "U" or any other letter, the "G" sound is hard and its phoneme is /g/.

- Good /ɡʊd/

- Guy /ɡaɪ/

- Gas /ɡæs/

- Kangaroo /kæŋɡəɹuː /

- Pig /pɪɡ/

There are some interesting words that include both hard and soft "C" – "G" sounds.

- Success  /səkses/

- Bicycle  /baɪsɪkl/

- Gigantic /dʒaɪɡæntɪk/

- Garage  /ɡærɑː ʒ/

- Vacancy /veɪkənsɪ/

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