Pronunciation 2 - 44 Distinct Sounds B
Having established that English uses 44 distinct sounds, there are 20 vowel sounds and 24 consonant sounds.
The first confusion to clear up is that, although in some languages each vowel letter corresponds to a unique vowel sound, this is not the case for English.
Each letter can generate one or more sounds, and the sounds can often get mixed between letters.
- The O in mOney sounds like the U in cUp, and the E in watEr, because it has the sound of SCHWA, which we will be looking at later.
The 12 individual vowel sounds are as follows:
- 1) E as in sEE,
- 2) E as in Egg,
- 3) A as in cAt,
- 4) I as in sIt,
- 5) U as in cUt,
- 6) U as in gOOd,
- 7) U as in HER,
- 8) A as in fAther,
- 9) U as in twO,
- 10) O as in dOOr,
- 11) O as in On, and finally,
- 12) ə SCHWA, which is the most important sound in English, and sounds like the A in About.
Schwa is the most important sound in English because it appears in many many words.
- It is the LE in tabLE,
- It is the ER in paintER, and in many more words like that.
It is also important to notice that some vowel sounds are short,
- like the I in sIt,
and some are long,
- like the E in sEE.