Schwa


– Listen to the following words, which sound is repeated in every word?

pencil farmer avoid suggest pardon

The schwa sound /ə/: /pencil /ˈpensəl/    farmer /ˈfɑːmə/    avoid /əˈvɔɪd/    suggest /səˈdʒest/    pardon /ˈpɑːdən/

What is the Schwa sound?

  • It’s a vowel which involves a neutral tongue, lip and jaw position.
  • Its phonemic symbol is /ə/.
  • It only appears in unstressed syllables.
  • It can represent all written vowels (a (around), e (mother), i (pencil), o (London) and u (suggest))

DRILL

– Repeat the words, the underlined vowel is pronounced with schwa /ə/:

taken, London, supply, about, postman, common, survive, butter, tomorrow, level, difficult, doctor, afternoon, sugar, present, harmony, standard, summer, minimum, condition,

EXERCISE

– Which words containing Schwa /ə/ are written in IPA?

A. It’s /fə/ you.

B. It takes /ə/ lot /əv/ time. C. Let’s have tea /ən/ /səm/ cake. D. What /ə/ you doing tonight? E. I /wəz/ going /tə/ give one. F. What /həv/ you done with /ðə/ tickets? G. When /dəz/ /ðə/ train arrive?
A. for B. a, of C. and, some D. are E. was, to F. have, the G. does, the