American English Sounds of the Letter A

American English Sounds of the Letter A

American English sounds of the letter A

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

  • nation
  • arrange
  • array

2. Pronounce the A in  these words like /ae/ as in Black

  • answer
  • patent
  • spam

3. Pronounce the A in  these words like /ɑ/ as in Olive

  • water
  • talk
  • launch

The Color Vowel Chart

I use an audio visual tool called the Color Vowel Chart to teach these sounds to my clients.

That makes each sound easy to remember.

To  read more proven tips for speaking clear American English see the posts below.

 

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