The Letter A

In this American English pronunciation video, we’re going to take a look at how the letter A is pronounced.

This video highlights some of the work I’ve done on my Sound Chart on my website. I often get emails from people asking questions like, why is the CH in Chicago pronounced differently than the CH in choice. And my answer is always, unfortunately, the letters in English do not correspond one-on-one with the sounds of English. To know exactly how a word is pronounced, you have to look up the International Phonetic Alphabet transcription of the word. Today we’re going to look at the letter A and all the different sounds it can represent.

In the word ‘exact’, it’s the AA sound, exact. In the word ‘father’, it’s the AH sound. Father. In the word ‘about’, it’s the schwa, the UH sound. About. In the word fall, it’s the AW sound. Fall. In the word ‘able’, it’s the AY diphthong. Able. In the word ‘share’, it’s the EH sound. Share. In the word ‘private’, it’s the IH vowel. Private.

So, when you see the letter A, you can’t necessarily make assumptions about how that letter is pronounced. It’s always best to look it up in a dictionary. Or, better yet, listen with your ears open as you hear native speakers. Make note of how they pronounce particular words.

That’s it, and thanks so much for using Rachel’s English.

Don’t stop there. Have fun with my real-life English videos. Or get more comfortable with the IPA in this play list. Learn about the online courses I offer, or check out my latest video.

Xem thêm:

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Listen + Repeat Exercises: ‘aa’ as in ‘bat’

Listening Comprehension: ‘aa’ as in ‘bat’

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Lesson: the ‘aa’ as in ‘bat’ Sound

AA vs. EH Sounds

[æ] ‘aa’ as in ‘bat’

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