Long Vowel Sounds

– Listen to the following words. Which 3 words contain longer vowel sounds?

kick     seat      bet      cart      book     port

The vowels in ‘seat’ /siːt/, ‘cart’ /kɑːt/ and ‘port’ /pɔːt/ are all longer than the vowels in ‘kick’ /kɪk/, ‘bet’ /bet/ and ‘book’ /bʊk/.

What are long vowel sounds?

  • Every different vowel sound in English involves a different position of the mouth.
  • Some vowel sounds are normally longer than others, so we define them them as LONG or SHORT.
  • There are 5 LONG single (monophthong) vowel sounds in English:

/iː/ in ‘keep’
/uː/ in ‘group’
/ɜː/ in ‘first’
/ɔː/ in ‘horse’
/ɑː/ in ‘park’

  • Notice they are represented by two dots /ː/ to show that they are long.


– Repeat the sounds and words:

/iː/ peak, beat, treat, deep, keen
/uː/ through, food, soon, zoo, lose
/ɜː/ bird, third, world, shirt, earth
/ɔː/ score, law, more, four, floor
/ɑː/ laugh, craft, lark, jar, Mars


– Which of the 5 long vowel sounds is used in each of these words?

A. creature
B. curtain
C. sporty
D. carbon
E. worst
F. rude
G. law
H. master
I. greedy
J. fruit

A /iː/  B /ɜː/  C /ɔː/  D /ɑː/  E /ɜː/  F /uː/  G /ɔː/  H /ɑː/  I /iː/  J /uː/

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