/ə/ – Sounds in Accents

/ə/ – Sounds in Accents

 

 

English speakers tend to use more schwa sounds when talking quickly and casually with friends or family. Even strong words such as “get” and “like” can become weak in connected speech:

Previous & Next Lessons

Related Lessons

/ə/ – Sounds in Accents

/ə/ – Sounds in Accents

    English speakers tend to use more schwa sounds when talking quickly and casually with friends or family. Even strong words such as “get” and “like” can become weak in connected speech: Previous & Next LessonsRelated Lessons

Weak vs. Strong (Schwa Function Words)

Weak vs. Strong (Schwa Function Words)

- Compare the pronunciations of the word ‘from’ in this dialogue:There are 4 schwa sounds: The charts for today are ready! / ðə   tʃɑːts  fə   tədeɪ    ə    rɛdi /Many function words have 2 possible pronunciations, a weak pronunciation and a strong pronunciation:The...

/ə/ – Function Words

/ə/ – Function Words

- How many schwa sounds /ə/ can you hear in the sentence?There are 4 schwa sounds: The charts for today are ready! / ðə   tʃɑːts  fə   tədeɪ    ə    rɛdi /Many small grammatical words like ‘for’, ‘of’ & ‘the’ are normally pronounced with /ə/ in connected speech. ...

/ə/

/ə/

/ə/The German actor’s second performance was sublime.Listen to the thunder, the weather’s horrendous tonight.Previous & Next LessonsRelated Lessons

Weak vs. Strong (Schwa Function Words)

Weak vs. Strong (Schwa Function Words)

– Compare the pronunciations of the word ‘from’ in this dialogue:

Answer

There are 4 schwa sounds:

The charts for today are ready!
/ ðə   tʃɑːts  fə   tədeɪ    ə    rɛdi /

Many function words have 2 possible pronunciations, a weak pronunciation and a strong pronunciation:

The weak pronunciation is normally used in connected speech:

“I’m from London.” /frəm/
“We’ll manage for now.” /fə/

The strong pronunciation is normally used for one of the following three reasons:

i) the function word is at the end of a unit/sentence:

“Where are you from?” /frɒm/ 
“I don’t know what it is for.” /fɔː/ 

ii) the function word is emphasised 

“Where are you from?” /frɒm/ 
“I don’t know what it is for.” /fɔː/ 

iii) the function word is in isolation

From.” /frɒm/
For.” /fɔː/

– Decide if the underlined word has its weak or strong pronunciation:

1.

A) Can we go to the shops now?      weak

B) You can. I’m staying in.                strong

2.

A) I don’t know who these clothes are for.

B) They’re not for me.

 

3.

A) That is some building. 

B) It needs some work on the roof though. 

4.

A) Your shirt’s dirty!

B) Well your trousers are torn.

5.  

A) Shall we go to the cinema?

B) I don’t really want to. 

6. 

A) Ask them if they’d like to join us. 

B) Them? No way. 

7. 

A) What are you doing?

B) Are you sure you want to know?

8.

A) Look, I’ve got money and nice clothes. 

B) And? I’m not going to go out with you.

 

Answers & Audio

1.  /kən/ we go now?    can

2.  It’s more /ðən/  30 degrees outside!  than

3.   Let’s go /tə/ Thailand this summer.  to

4.  I met /ðə/ Smiths last night.  the

5.  Why /ə/ you looking at me like that?  are

6.  We /ʃəd/ meet up soon.  should

7.  I’d like /səm/ more coffee please.  some

8.  Is that /jə/ wedding ring?  your

9.  /hə/ first husband is a designer.  her

10.  He’s originally /frəm/ Greece.  from

Related Lessons

/ə/ – Sounds in Accents

/ə/ – Sounds in Accents

    English speakers tend to use more schwa sounds when talking quickly and casually with friends or family. Even strong words such as “get” and “like” can become weak in connected speech: Previous & Next LessonsRelated Lessons

Weak vs. Strong (Schwa Function Words)

Weak vs. Strong (Schwa Function Words)

- Compare the pronunciations of the word ‘from’ in this dialogue:There are 4 schwa sounds: The charts for today are ready! / ðə   tʃɑːts  fə   tədeɪ    ə    rɛdi /Many function words have 2 possible pronunciations, a weak pronunciation and a strong pronunciation:The...

/ə/ – Function Words

/ə/ – Function Words

- How many schwa sounds /ə/ can you hear in the sentence?There are 4 schwa sounds: The charts for today are ready! / ðə   tʃɑːts  fə   tədeɪ    ə    rɛdi /Many small grammatical words like ‘for’, ‘of’ & ‘the’ are normally pronounced with /ə/ in connected speech. ...

/ə/

/ə/

/ə/The German actor’s second performance was sublime.Listen to the thunder, the weather’s horrendous tonight.Previous & Next LessonsRelated Lessons

/ə/ – Function Words

/ə/ – Function Words

– How many schwa sounds /ə/ can you hear in the sentence?

Answer

There are 4 schwa sounds:

The charts for today are ready!
/ ðə   tʃɑːts  fə   tədeɪ    ə    rɛdi /

Many small grammatical words like ‘for’, ‘of’ & ‘the’ are normally pronounced with /ə/
in connected speech. 

These words are called function words. 

Function words include prepositions, auxiliary verbs, pronouns, conjunctions & articles.

– Complete the sentences with a word from the box below:

her    than   some   can   to
from   your   should   are   the

1.  /kən/ we go now?    can

2.  It’s more /ðən/  30 degrees outside!

3.   Let’s go /tə/ Thailand this summer. 

4.  I met /ðə/ Smiths last night. 

5.  Why /ə/ you looking at me like that?

6.  We /ʃəd/ meet up soon. 

7.  I’d like /səm/ more coffee please. 

8.  Is that /jə/ wedding ring?

9.  /hə/ first husband is a designer.

10.  He’s originally /frəm/ Greece.

Answers & Audio

1.  /kən/ we go now?    can

2.  It’s more /ðən/  30 degrees outside!  than

3.   Let’s go /tə/ Thailand this summer.  to

4.  I met /ðə/ Smiths last night.  the

5.  Why /ə/ you looking at me like that?  are

6.  We /ʃəd/ meet up soon.  should

7.  I’d like /səm/ more coffee please.  some

8.  Is that /jə/ wedding ring?  your

9.  /hə/ first husband is a designer.  her

10.  He’s originally /frəm/ Greece.  from

Related Lessons

/ə/ – Sounds in Accents

/ə/ – Sounds in Accents

    English speakers tend to use more schwa sounds when talking quickly and casually with friends or family. Even strong words such as “get” and “like” can become weak in connected speech: Previous & Next LessonsRelated Lessons

Weak vs. Strong (Schwa Function Words)

Weak vs. Strong (Schwa Function Words)

- Compare the pronunciations of the word ‘from’ in this dialogue:There are 4 schwa sounds: The charts for today are ready! / ðə   tʃɑːts  fə   tədeɪ    ə    rɛdi /Many function words have 2 possible pronunciations, a weak pronunciation and a strong pronunciation:The...

/ə/ – Function Words

/ə/ – Function Words

- How many schwa sounds /ə/ can you hear in the sentence?There are 4 schwa sounds: The charts for today are ready! / ðə   tʃɑːts  fə   tədeɪ    ə    rɛdi /Many small grammatical words like ‘for’, ‘of’ & ‘the’ are normally pronounced with /ə/ in connected speech. ...

/ə/

/ə/

/ə/The German actor’s second performance was sublime.Listen to the thunder, the weather’s horrendous tonight.Previous & Next LessonsRelated Lessons