How to Pronounce American English Vowels

American English Vowel Sounds

Wide open mouthIf you’ve been studying American English pronunciation, you probably know that SPOKEN English has 15 vowel sounds.

You Didn’t Know That?

If you didn’t know that, don’t feel bad, most Americans don’t know that either.

But, the truth is…. that the six vowel letters; a, e, i, o, u & /y/ actually make 15 different sounds.

Native speakers just know the correct vowel sound to use in a word. That’s because they grew up listening to the language.

Did You Learn English Through Reading & Writing?

Those of you who learned English via reading & writing...almost always need to learn how to pronounce all 15 American English vowel sounds.

Vowel Articulation

Here are the four characteristics of vowel articulation:

  • tongue height~is the tongue high or low in the mouth
  • frontness/backness of tongue~what part of the tongue is involved in articulation
  • tenseness/laxness~whether the jaw muscles are tense or relaxed
  • lip shape

Books for Learning American English Vowel Sounds 

You can find many American English pronunciation books that will help you articulate your vowel sounds correctly.

Some have PICTURES that show you the placement of the tongue and the shape of the mouth.

One book I like that has PICTURES of the mouth & tongue is called Pronunciation Pairs.

I recommend this book to any of you who are learning to pronounce the 15 American English vowel sounds.

Pronunciation Pairs

Click on the book to see the details! There’s a CD that comes with the book.

Since the variety of sounds and spellings is very complex….this can make it difficult to pronounce English words. This book is sure to help you master your vowel SOUNDS!

To learn more American accent TIPS, choose another post below.

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