English Vowel SoundsA vowel letter can represent different vowel sounds: Examples:hat /ˈhæt/, hate /ˈht/, all /ˈɑ:l/, art /ˈɑɚt/, any /ˈɛni/.

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The same vowel sound is often represented by different vowel letters in writing: Examples:/eɪ/ they, weigh, may, steak, rain.Open and closed syllablesOpen syllable: An open syllable has one and only one vowel, and that vowel occurs at the end of the syllable.Examples:no, she, ɪ, a, and spry. Closed syllable: A closed syllable has one and only one vowel, and it ends in a consonant.Examples:in, ask, truck, sock, stretch, twelfth, on. Vowels and vowel combinationsThe vowels A, E, I, O, U, Y alone, in combination with each other or with R, W represent different vowel sounds. The chart below lists the vowel sounds according to the American variant of pronunciation.
Sounds Letters Examples Notes
/i:/ e, eeeaie, eibe, eve, see, meet, sleep,meal, read, leave, sea, team,field, believe, receivebeen /ɪ/;bread, deaf /ɛ/; great, break /eɪ/;friend /ɛ/
/ɪ/ iy it, kiss, tip, pick, dinner,system, busy, pity, sunny machine, ski,liter, pizza /i:/
/ɛ/ eea let, tell, press, send, end,bread, dead, weather, leather meter /i:/sea, mean /i:/
/eɪ/ aai, ayei, eyea late, make, race, able, stable,aim, wait, play, say, day,eight, weight, they, hey,break, great, steak said, says /ɛ/;height, eye /aɪ/
/æ/ a cat, apple, land, travel, mad;AmE: last, class, dance, castle, half
/a:/ ara army, car, party, garden, park,father, calm, palm, drama;
/aɪ/ i, iey, uy ice, find, smile, tie, lie, die,my, style, apply, buy, guy
/aʊ/ ouow out, about, house, mouse,now, brown, cow, owl, powder group, soup /u:/know, own
:/ oaw, auoughtal, wa- not, rock, model, bottle, copylaw, saw, pause, because,bought, thought, caught,hall, always, water, want
/oɪ/ oi, oy oil, voice, noise, boy, toy
/oʊ/ ooa, ow go, note, open, old, most,road, boat, low, own, bowl do, move /u:/how, owl /aʊ/
/ju:/ ueweuue, ui use, music, cute, huge, few, mew, euphemism, feud, hue, cue
/u:/ uo, ooewue, uiou rude, Lucy, June, duty, studentdo, move, room, tool,crew, chew, flew, jewel, newblue, true, fruit, juice, suegroup, through, route; guide, quite /aɪ/;build /ɪ/
/ʊ/ oouou look, book, foot, good,put, push, pull, full, sugar,would, could, should
/ʌ/ uoou gun, cut, son, money, love,tough, enough, rough
/ɚ/ er, ur, iror, arearur serve, herb, burn, hurt, girl, sir,work, word, doctor, dollar,heard, earn, earnest, earth.nurse, sure, injure heart, hearth /ɑɚ/;cure /jɚ/;fury /juri/
/ɑɚ/ arir park, large, are,noir, menoir noir, menoir /wɑɚ/;choir /wajɚ/
/eɚ/ airarereirerear pair,share, marry,there,their,very,wear
/iɚ/ earereer ear,here,beer buyer /ajɚ/;hire /ajɚ/;friar /ajɚ/
/oɚ/ orour more, form,four story /or/;coyer /ojɚ/
/uɚ/ ooour poor,tour flour /awɚ/
Note 1: The letter Y
The letter "Y" can function as a vowel or as a consonant. As a vowel, "Y" has the vowel weak sound /i/, and the sounds /ɪ/, and the diphthong /aɪ/. As a consonant, "Y" has the consonant sound /j/, usually at the beginning of the word and only in the syllable before a vowel.Examples:/ɪ/: mystery, synonym;/i/: any, city, carry, funny, mystery;/aɪ/: my, cry, rely, signify, nylon, type;/j/: yard, year, yes, yet, yield, you.

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Note 2: DiphthongsA diphthong is one indivisible vowel sound that consists of two parts. The first part is the main strong component (the nucleus); the second part is short and weak (the glide). Diphthongs refers to two adjacent vowel sounds occurring within the same syllable. A diphthong is always stressed on its first component: /aɪ/, /aʊ/, and /oɪ/.Some tense vowels are also written with two letters because they also have some diphthong-like tongue and face movement, but they are not diphthongs because they begin and end in the same vowel position: /eɪ/ and /oʊ/Note 3: The sound /ɑ:/The sound /ɔ/ is short in British English. In the same words in American English, the sound /ɔ/ is a long sound colored as /ɑ:/.Examples: /ɑ:/lot, rock, rob, bother, bottle, Tom, gone, coffee, office, borrow, loss, lost, want, wash, water.Note 4: The neutral soundTranscription symbols for the neutral sound are /ʌ/ (caret) in stressed syllables as in fun, son, and /ə/ (schwa) in unstressed syllables as in about, banana.