A Difficult American English Vowel: the /ae/ Sound

One American English vowel sound that many of my accent reduction coaching clients have problems pronouncing is the /ae/ as in Black sound.

This is the stressed vowel sound in the words: expand, command & manage.

Here are 3 tips to articulate the /ae/ as in Black sound correctly~

  • Your tongue should be flat & very low.
  • Your tongue should be shifted forward.
  • Your lips should be open.

Many non native speakers use the /ɛ/ as in Red sound when they should use the /ae/ as in Black sound. When you do that…

  • expand sounds like expend
  • command sounds like commend
  • had sounds like head

You can see from the examples above, that using an /ɛ/ sound instead of an /ae/ sound can lead to breakdowns in communication!

It’s important to remember that spoken American English has 15 vowel sounds. You want to say these sounds as clearly as possible if you are trying to improve your American accent.

To read more TIPS for your language group, choose one of the links below. ⬇