American English Sounds of the Letter A
Most of my the people in my accent reduction coaching program need some help using the 3 sounds of the letter A..
The letter A has 3 sounds
When you’re speaking American English, the letter A can have one of 3 sounds; /ae/ as in Black, /ey/ as in Gray, or /ɑ/ as in Olive.
I’m not including schwa in this list, but it’s important.
Any vowel can sound like a schwa when it’s not stressed.
When should you use each sound?
Most people are able to articulate the 3 sounds of the letter A. The challenge is WHEN to use each sound.
Here are a few examples:
1. Pronounce the A in these words like /ey/ as in Gray
2. Pronounce the A in these words like /ae/ as in Black
3. Pronounce the A in these words like /ɑ/ as in Olive
The Color Vowel Chart
That makes each sound easy to remember.
To read more proven tips for speaking clear American English see the posts below.