IPA Symbols

It would be easier to pronounce English words from their spelling if each single letter in the English alphabet had one and only one phonetic sound. But many English words have irregular spelling. Many letters are pronounced in different ways and many of the same phonetic sounds can be spelled differently too.

Spelling
As in
o
who
u
flute
ou
soup
ew
jewel
ue
true
ui
fruit

          For example, let's look at the
          Long U /u/ sound.

          The Long U can be spelled
          many different ways and still
          have the same phonetic
          pronunciation.

          Why do English words have
          such irregular spelling? The
          history of the English
          language is very complicated.
          
The English language has
          taken its words from many
          different cultures and societies.  

 

There are some rules for pronouncing English words from their spelling but these rules are complicated also. For example, let's look at the pronunciation rules for verbs that end in "ed".

When the verb ends in /d/ or /t/, the "ed" ending is pronounced as /Id/ or /(schwa) d/.

When the verb ends in a voiced sound other than /d/, "ed" is pronounced as /d/.

When the verb ends in a voiceless consonant other than /t/, "ed" is pronounced as /t/.



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                        Program content & web design by Chris Opall © 2011. Page last updated   May 5, 2012

 

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