[w] ‘w’ as in ‘will’

The W consonant sound. To make this sound, ww, ww, the lips form a tight circle like the ‘oo’ as in ‘boo’ vowel. Also like that vowel, the back of the tongue reaches up high in the back. The front part of the tongue remains forward, lightly touching behind the bottom front teeth, or just a little further back than that, ww, ww. What makes this different from the ‘oo’ as in ‘boo’ vowel is a little closing off here in the throat, ww, ww, ww. That gives it that W consonant quality. Well, ww, ww, welcome.

Here is the W consonant sound on the right compared with the mouth at rest on the left. The lips are very rounded, which means the center part of the lips come away from the face. Here, parts of the mouth are drawn in. The soft palate is raised in this sound, and the tongue stretches up towards it in the back, but it does not touch the soft palate. The tip of the tongue is low, touching where the bottom front teeth meet the soft tissue. The W sound. Sample words: whisper, wish, wine. Words that start with a W-H can be pronounced with a light H sound before the W: whisper, whisper. I find this a little dated and formal, and I never use it. I always simply use the W sound. Whisper. Sample sentence: When would you want to see the flower show? The W is a glide consonant, considered a semi-vowel. In the word flower, written with a W, in IPA there is no W. However, you will glide through a W sound between the ‘ow’ as in ‘now’ diphthong and the schwa, flower. The word ‘show’, also written with a W. But that is the ‘oh’ as in ‘no’ diphthong. You’ll see that the lips do not form the tight circle that the W has. Now you will see this sentence up close and in slow motion, both straight on and from an angle, so you can really study how the mouth moves when making this sound.

This sound is easy to see. The lips make the tight circle. When, ‘eh’ as in ‘bed’, tongue tip up for the N. Again the tight circle, would you want, again the tight circle for the W. Tongue tip up for the N and T. To see, lips pull wide for the ‘ee’ as in ‘she’. Tongue tip through the teeth for the, and the bottom lip up to make the F, flower, spelled with a W but it is the ‘ow’ as in ‘now’ diphthong, show, unofficially making the W, between the diphthong and the schwa. Show, with the ‘oh’ as in ‘no’ diphthong.

And from the angle. Lips form the tight circle for the W. When, the ‘eh’ as in ‘bed’, tongue tip up for the N. Would, again, the lips almost closed. You want, very tight circle. To see, corners pull wide for the ‘ee’ as in ‘she’. The, tongue tip through the teeth and the bottom lip up for the F. Flow-. Again, no W in the IPA, but gliding through the W between the ‘ow’ as in ‘now’ and the schwa. Show, spelled with a W, but here it is the ‘oh’ as in ‘no’ diphthong. You can see the lips didn’t make quite the tight circle that they do with the W. That’s it, and thanks so much for using Rachel’s English.

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