Typical Spelling Patterns for Vowel Sounds

Spelling and pronunciation are closely connected and should be studied together. This is especially true of English vowel sounds and their representation in writing.

This material provides examples of typical spelling patterns for English vowel sounds, proceeding from the sound to spelling. If it is more convenient for you to proceed from the letters and letter combinations to the sounds that they represent, you can reorganize this material according to your wish. (An example how to do it is given in Method 2 in the section Phonetics.)

Note that spelling and pronunciation in this material are given according to the American variant of the English language. (See British and American Spelling in the section Writing; English Vowel Sounds and Vowels Glossary of Terms in the section Phonetics.)

Letters and sounds

There are six vowel letters in English: A, E, I, O, U, Y. The letter Y represents the vowel sounds [i], [ai] (mystery, type) and the consonant (semivowel) sound [y] (yes). Together, vowel letters represent from 15 to 22 vowel sounds. This difference comes mostly from counting the diphthongs differently in British English and in American English. Generally, American linguists list five diphthongs: [ei], [ai], [au], [oi], [ou].

The number of English vowel sounds represented by vowel letters and by certain vowel combinations is larger than the number of vowel letters and their combinations, which means that one and the same vowel letter or letter combination is used to represent more than one sound. English also has several spelling variants for each vowel sound, which means that the same vowel sound is represented by different letters and letter combinations in writing.

For example, the letter A typically represents five sounds as in Kate [keit], cat [kæt], call [ko:l], card [ka:rd], alone [ə'loun]. Its common open-syllable sound [ei] is represented in writing not only by the letter A as in "Kate" but also by five different vowel combinations as in "may, rain, weigh, they, break". The combinations EI, EY, which are usually pronounced [ei] in English words, represent the sound [ai] in some words of foreign origin: Einstein, geyser.

There is also a connection between a sound, its spelling, and the surrounding letters. For example, the combination AR, which is normally pronounced [a:r] as in "car, park, hard", is pronounced [o:r] after the consonant W, e.g., war, ward, warm, warn.

The most practical approach is to learn typical spelling patterns for vowel sounds. The other spelling variants may be present only in a couple of words or in words that are not used very often.

1. SOUND [i:]

Spelling examples: me, Pete, Japanese, equal, rewrite, seem, read, piece, seize, police.

Letter E

The sound [i:] is represented by the letter E in the open syllable of the root: me, be, he, she, we; Pete, eve, these, theme, scene, complete, intervene, precede.

The sound [i:] is represented by the letter E in the root in the initial syllable that is not easily recognizable as an open syllable, usually under stress: equal, evening, evil, recent, region, meter, secret, media, demon, female, legal, genius, senior, convenient, frequent, veto, premium, previous.

The sound [i:] is represented by the (first) letter E in the suffix "ese": Japanese, Chinese, Vietnamese, Maltese, Portuguese, Lebanese, Burmese, manganese.

The sound [i:] is represented by the letter E in the prefixes "pre, re" in some words: prehistoric, prewar, prefix, preoccupy, prepay, preview, react, rewrite, remake.

Note: In many words, the letter E in the prefixes "pre, re" represents the short sound [i] (remove, repair, repeat, reply, return, prepare, prevent, presume).

Letter combinations EE, EA

The sound [i:] is represented by the combination EE: see, free, agree, knee, feel, feed, proceed, succeed, keen, seek, seem, screen, deep, greet, sleeve.

The sound [i:] is represented by the combination EA: sea, tea, peace, teach, lead, read, peak, deal, reveal, scream, team, clean, leap, please, release, beat, beneath, breathe, creature, leave.

Letter combinations IE, EI

The sound [i:] is represented by the combination IE in the root: piece, field, achieve, believe, relief, brief, chief, fiend, siege, shriek, priest.

The sound [i:] is represented by the combination EI in the root: seize, receive, receipt, deceive, conceive, perceive, ceiling, Leigh.

Letter I

In some English words of foreign origin, the sound [i:] is represented in writing by the letter I: police, caprice, gasoline, machine, magazine, marine, routine, vaccine, prestige, regime, elite, naive, pizza, ski, liter, fatigue, intrigue, antique, physique, technique, unique.

Rare spelling for the sound [i:]: key, people, Aesop, Oedipus.

2. SOUND [i]

Spelling examples: sit, ignore, public, working, enough, reply, hardness, boxes, symbol, lady, Annie, honey.

Letter I

The short sound [i] is represented by the letter I in the closed syllable of the root: it, sit, miss, tip, pick, pin, bring, list, fill, film, trim, dinner, finger, river, consist.

The short sound [i] is represented by the letter I in some prefixes: inform, illogical, immune, impudent, irregular, dislike, disturb, mistake, misunderstand. Note spelling: ignore, ignorant, ignite.

The short sound [i] is represented by the letter I in some suffixes: public, dramatic, habit, justice, native, foolish, working.

Letter E

The short sound [i] is represented by the letter E in the initial syllable of the root: English, pretty, ecology, enough, eleven, electric.

The short sound [i] is represented by the letter E in some prefixes: effect, emotion, become, before, despair, depart, remove, repair, repeat, reply, return, preliminary, prepare, prevent, secure.

The short sound [i] is represented by the letter E in some suffixes and endings: hardness, madness, actress, countless, childless, rocket, pocket, boxes, catches, added, counted.

It is very difficult to decide where to say the long sound [i:] and where to say the short sound [i] when they are represented by the letter E in the root or prefix. For easier memorization, it is advisable to make a comparison list of such words arranged in two columns.

Note: The final single letter E, which is usually mute in English words, is pronounced as [i], or as a shorter variant of [i:], in the words "apostrophe, catastrophe, psyche".

Letter Y

The sound [i] is represented by the letter Y in the root: symbol, lyrics, myriad, hymn, hypnosis, pyramid, sympathy, synchronize, crystal, system, typical, tyranny, mystery, myth, rhythm, antonym, synonym, pseudonym, acronym.

The sound [i] is represented by the letter Y in the suffix: lady, family, Daddy, duty, whisky, carry, hurry, funny, happy, busy, dirty, many, very, lovely, nicely, hardly, Larry, Billy, Mary.

Letter combinations IE, EY

The sound [i] is represented by the combination IE in the suffix: Annie, Carrie, Katie, auntie.

The sound [i] is represented by the combination EY in the suffix: honey, hockey, journey, money, monkey, whiskey, Sydney, Casey, Rodney.

Note: According to many dictionaries, the letter Y in the suffix (lady) and the combinations IE, EY in the suffix (Annie, honey) are pronounced as a shorter variant of the long sound [i:].

3. SOUND [e]

Spelling examples: end, well, bread, heavy, many.

Letter E

The sound [e] is represented by the letter E in the closed syllable in the root: bet, set, well, guest, seldom, empty, every, berry, regular, accept, connect, inspector, impress, address, architect, project, enter, entrance, entire.

The sound [e] is represented by the letter E in the prefixes "em, en": embalm, embark, embody, embrace, employ, enable, enlarge, engage, enjoy, environment.

Note: The prefixes "em, en" may also be pronounced [im], [in], especially in BrE; in some cases, two words exist, e.g., "ensure, insure; enquire, inquire".

Letter combination EA

There are many words (but still a limited number) in which the sound [e] is represented by the letter combination EA.

Learn them by heart: bread, dead, head, header, lead, read, spread, thread, dread, tread, instead; already, ready, steady, meadow; sweat, sweater, threat, threaten; breath, death, health, stealth, wealth; weather, leather, feather; measure, pleasure, treasure, treasury, pleasant, peasant, pheasant; dealt, meant, cleanse, jealous, realm; heaven, heavy, endeavor, deaf; breakfast, breast, treachery, weapon.

Rare spelling for the sound [e]: any, many, friend, said, says, bury.

4. SOUND [ei]

Spelling examples: age, lake, nation, wait, play, they, eight.

Letter A

The sound [ei] is represented by the letter A in the open syllable in the root: Kate, ate, late, take, race, name, save, ache, table, cradle, change, strange, paste, taste, waste.

The sound [ei] is represented by the letter A in the root in the initial syllable that is not easily recognizable as an open syllable, and sometimes in the closed syllable, usually under stress: bacon, baby, lazy, angel, danger, stranger, chamber, April, paper, basin, basis, Asia, pastry, nation, patriot, fatal, naval, facial, racial, vacant, ancient, patient, radio.

The sound [ei] is represented by the letter A in the verbal suffix "ate": decorate, educate, create, celebrate, concentrate, separate, dictate, investigate, originate.

Letter combinations AI, EI

The sound [ei] is represented by the combination AI, usually before a consonant letter in the root: aim, aid, sail, tail, main, vain, rain, raise, faint, paint, saint, strait, straight, remain, complain, disdain, explain, restrain.

The sound [ei] is represented by the combination EI, usually before a consonant letter in the root: rein, veil, vein, feign, reign, deign, sleigh, weigh, weight, eight, freight, neighbor.

Note: The combination EI is pronounced [ai] in the words "height, sleight, either". (See 7. SOUND [ai].)

Letter combinations AY, EY

The sound [ei] is represented by the combination AY, usually in the final position in the root: day, gray, may, say, way, hay, gay, play, pray, stay, stray, essay, relay, delay; betrayal, player, essayist, saying. But: daily, gaily (also, gayly).

The sound [ei] is represented by the combination EY, usually in the final position in the root: they, grey, prey, hey, whey, survey, obey, convey, conveyance, surveyor.

Note: In some words of foreign origin the combinations EI, EY are pronounced as [ai]: Einstein, Fahrenheit, geyser, Meyer.

Note: Note the spelling of these words: mayor, major.

Letter combination EA

In the following words, the sound [ei] is represented by the combination EA: break, great, steak.

Words of French origin

In some English words of French origin, the final sound [ei] is represented in writing by the letters E, EE, ET: cafe, attache, pate, resume, fiance, fiancee, divorcee, matinee, entree; ballet, beret, buffet, bouquet, fillet, gourmet.

Note: There is usually a French stress mark on the final letter E (cafe) and on the first letter E in EE (matinee) in the above-mentioned words, but some of such words may be written without the stress mark (e.g., divorcee, matinee, entree) in AmE.

There are some English words with the ending EE that is pronounced [i:]: employee, trainee, refugee. A large number of English words have the ending ET (pronounced [it]): bullet, wallet, skillet, packet, picket, pocket, rocket.

5. SOUND [æ] as in CAT

Spelling examples: bad, sat, bank, stand, family, accident, apple.

Letter A in the closed syllable

In American English, the letter A under stress in the closed syllable of the root is usually pronounced [æ]: ask, task, fast, last, contrast, master, disaster, castle, answer, act, pack, actor, factory, add, mad, staff, after, half, class, glass, grass, jazz, chance, dance, can't, land, handle, command, talent, example, happy, happen, travel, fashion, bath, matter, Manhattan.

In British English, the letter A in many of these words is pronounced [a:], for example, in the words "class, dance, answer, master, castle, fast, disaster, after, half, bath".

The sound [ei] represented in writing by the letter A changes to [æ] in some derivatives: Nature [ei] – natural [æ]; nation [ei] – national [æ]; sane [ei] – sanity [æ], vain – vanity.

Rare spelling for [æ] (AmE): aunt, laugh.

6. SOUND [a:]

Spelling examples: army, regard, father, calm, bravo, mirage.

Letter combination AR

The sound [a:] is represented by the combination AR in the root, usually under stress: arm, art, car, card, yard, part, charge, large, margin, argue, guard, regard, garden, pardon, market.

Letter A

The letter A represents the sound [a:] in several English words in American English: father, Pa, Papa, Ma, Mama; calm, palm, balm, alms, psalm. (The letter L in these words is silent.)

The letter A represents the sound [a:] in some words of foreign origin: drama, Panama, saga, cantata, sonata, spa, bravo, aria, lama; mirage, garage, espionage, sabotage, massage, facade.

Note: In some words of French origin the sound [a:] is represented by the initial combination "en": entree, ensemble.

Rare spelling for [a:]: sergeant, heart; (BrE) aunt, laugh, draught.

Sounds [æ] and [a:] in AmE and BrE

In British English, the letter A is usually pronounced [æ] as in CAT under stress in the closed syllable of the root, but the letter A is usually pronounced [a:] before the consonants f, ff, ph, sk, sp, ss, st, th, nce, nd, and some others.

In American English, the letter A under stress in the closed syllable of the root is usually pronounced [æ] as in CAT in all cases.

Examples of words with AmE [æ] or BrE [a:]: staff, after, draft, half, ask, task, grasp, grass, glass, class, fast, last, castle, master, disaster, bath, path, example, chance, dance, answer, can't, demand, command.

7. SOUND [ai]

Spelling examples: nice, surprise, minus, private, type, reply, dynamic, find, light, tie.

Letter I

The sound [ai] is represented by the letter I in the open syllable of the root: ice, nice, ride, life, file, smile, line, pipe, quite, wise, hi, polite, surprise, prize, combine, arrive.

The sound [ai] is represented by the letter I, stressed or unstressed, in the root in the syllable that is not easily recognizable as an open syllable: idea, identical, idol, isolation, item, science, society, client, crisis, climate, minus, private, library, finance, horizon, dial, vital, vitamin.

The sound [ai] is represented by the letter I and by the letter Y in the verbal suffixes "ize" (ise), "yze" (yse) and "fy": organize, modernize, analyze, analyse, satisfy, modify, signify.

The sound [ai] is represented by the letter I in some prefixes: diagram, dialect, digest, digress, bicycle, biannual, biography.

Letter Y

The sound [ai] is represented by the letter Y in some English words, usually in the final position in the root: by, my, cry, dry, fly, fry, ply, pry, sky, sly, try.

The sound [ai] is represented by the letter Y in many words of Greek and Latin origin: style, type, hype, rhyme; deny, rely, apply, reply; cycle, cyclone, dynamic, dynamite, hybrid, hyphen, nylon, hyperactive, hypodermic, psychopath, psychiatrist.

Note: Final Y in words like "cry, fly, try, satisfy" in certain cases changes to I before suffixes or endings: cries, flier, flyer, tried, trial, trying, satisfied, satisfying. (See the materials on adding suffixes and endings in the section Writing.)

Other spelling variants for the sound [ai]

The sound [ai] is represented by some other spelling variants in a limited number of words.

The letter I before LD, ND and before some other consonant combinations: child, mild, wild, climb, find, kind, mind, blind; rifle, trifle, title, idle, Bible.

The letter I before GH, GHT, GN: high, sigh, thigh; fight, light, night, right, slight; sign, align, benign, malign.

Letter combinations IE, YE, EI, EY, UY: die, tie, lie, pie, vie; dye, lye, rye, bye; height, sleight, either, neither; eye, geyser; buy, guy.

Latin plural ending I: alumni, fungi, stimuli, alkali, alibi. (Nouns with Latin plural endings are listed in the material Irregular Plural Nouns in the section Writing.)

Note: The sound [ai] represented by the letter I may change to [i] in some derivatives: signature, malignant, biblical.

Note: The combination EI in the words "either, neither" is pronounced [i:] or [ai] in AmE.

8. SOUND [au]

Spelling examples: how, brown, out, noun.

Letter combinations OW, OU

The sound [au] is represented by the combination OW in any position in the word: now, how, cow, row, bow, brow, allow, plow, crowd, owl, fowl, howl, prowl, down, gown, town, clown, brown, drown, crown, browse, browser, powder, power, flower, tower, allowing, allowance.

The sound [au] is represented by the combination OU, usually before a consonant letter in the root: out, about, doubt, couch, cloud, loud, proud, foul, noun, announce, bounce, ounce, pound, found, ground, hound, around, sound, surround, count, account, amount, mountain, house, mouse, louse, blouse, mouth, south, scout, shout, bough, plough, drought.

It is difficult to decide where to say [ou] and where [au] when they are represented by the combination OW, e.g., own – owl, bowl – brown, mow – pow. Besides, there are a few homonyms that are spelled in the same way but are pronounced differently: row [rou] and [rau]; bow [bou] and [bau]; sow [sou] and [sau]. It is advisable to make a comparison list of such words.

It is also rather difficult to decide where to write OW and where to write OU, for example, fowl – foul, browse – blouse. It would be useful to have a comparison list of such words.

9. SOUND [o:]

Spelling examples: more, order, law, call, cause, caught, bought, course, war, water.

Spelling patterns for the sound [o:]

Letter combinations OR, ORE: cord, Ford, form, born, corn, torn, short, sport, torch, porch, orange, order, orient, normal, mortal, storm, story, glory, forum, forty, morning; bore, more, before, shore, sore, store, tore, explore, ignore.

Letter combination AW: law, draw, drawer, saw, thaw, crawl, shawl, hawk, dawn, lawn, awful, awkward.

Letter combinations ALL, AL: all, ball, call, fall, hall, wall, appall, alter, always, already, walk, talk, chalk, false, salt, halt.

Letter combination AU: cause, pause, applause, sauce, audio, audience, fraud, August, auto, author, Paul, fault, haunt, launch, laundry.

Letter combination AUGHT: caught, taught, daughter, slaughter, haughty, naughty.

Letter combination OUGHT: bought, brought, fought, ought, sought, thought; cough.

Letter combinations OUR, OAR, OOR: course, court, four, mourn, pour, source, your; board, hoarse, hoard, roar, soar, broad; door, floor.

Letter combinations WAR, WA: war, warm, ward, warden, warn, warning, award, reward; water, want, wand, wash, wasp, watch, swamp, swan.

Letter combination QUAR: quart, quarter, headquarters, quartz, quarrel, quarantine.

Letter O as [o:] in AmE: long, wrong, song, boss, lost, cost, dog, gone, coffee.

Note: In AmE, the letter O in words like "long, cost, dog" may be pronounced as [o:] or as [o]. In BrE, the letter O in such words usually has the sound [o].

There are several spelling variants for the sound [o:] that are also used for some other sounds, for example, door [o:] – poor [u], pour [o:] – tour [u], cost [o:] – post [ou]. Nevertheless, spelling patterns for the sound [o:] are quite recognizable and should be easy to memorize.

10. SOUND [o]

Spelling examples: not, stop, rob, body, sorry, model, conference, want, watch, wash.

Spelling patterns for the sound [o]

Letter O: got, hot, not, stop, rob, odd, off, clock, coffee, gone, bomb, bond, soft, often, body, hobby, dollar, doctor, document, occupy, college, compliment, conference, model, monitor, option, promise, prompt, follow, borrow, sorrow, tomorrow, sorry, orange.

Letter combination WA: want, watch, wash, what, swamp, swallow, swan.

Letter combination QUA: quality, qualify, quantity, quarrel, quarantine.

Rare spelling for [o]: cough, knowledge, yacht.

Sound [o] in BrE and AmE

It is interesting to note that in American English there is no sound like the British short sound [o]. Instead of it, the sound that sounds like a hybrid of the long sounds [o:] and [a:] is pronounced in American English where British English has the short sound [o].

This hybrid American sound is usually indicated in American dictionaries as [o], but may be indicated as [a:]. For example, there may be the following variants of transcription for the word "want" in American dictionaries: [wont] or [wo:nt]; [wo:nt] or [wa:nt].

The same hybrid sound [o], or [o:] colored as [a:], may be pronounced in American English in words like "water, ought, daughter" in which long [o:] is considered standard. But long [o:] always remains [o:] in the stressed syllable before [r]: more [mo:r], lord [lo:rd], normal, port.

Examples of words with BrE [o] or AmE hybrid [o]: got, not, hot, stop, rob, odd, off, dog, log, clock, coffee, cough, gone, long, song, cost, loss, boss, bomb, bond, soft, often, body, hobby, dollar, doctor, document, occupy, college, compliment, conference, model, monitor, option, promise, prompt, follow, borrow, sorrow, tomorrow, sorry, orange, quality, quantity, want, wash, watch, what, swamp, swallow, swan.

This peculiar hybrid sound [o], the sound [r] that is pronounced in all positions, and the sound [æ] in words like "class, ask, castle, fast, demand, dance" give American English its characteristic accent.

11. SOUND [oi]

Spelling examples: boil, noise, toy, loyal.

Letter combinations OI, OY

The sound [oi] is represented in writing by the combination OI, usually before a consonant letter in the root: oil, ointment, boil, foil, spoil, toil, coin, join, voice, void, avoid, point, appoint, noise, poison, hoist, moist, exploit, loiter, embroidery.

The sound [oi] is represented in writing by the combination OY in any position in the word: boy, joy, ploy, soy, toy, annoy, destroy, employ, corduroy, oyster, loyal, royal, voyage, boyish, joyful.

12. SOUND [ou]

Spelling examples: home, post, bonus, hero, know, road.

Letter O

The sound [ou] is represented by the letter O in the open syllable of the root: home, role, cone, stone, hope, note, close, remote, suppose, homeless, lonely, hopeful.

The sound [ou] is represented by the letter O in the root in the syllable that is not easily recognizable as an open syllable: open, obey, omit, omen, opal, ocean, potent, polar, solar, motor, rotor, modal, total, moment, rodent, soldier, bonus, focus, notice, social, donate, donut, vogue, rogue. Note: In the words "obey, omit", the letters "ob, o" are Latin prefixes.

The sound [ou] is represented by the letter O in the closed syllable of the root, usually before LD, LT, LL and before some other consonant combinations: old, bold, cold, hold, sold, bolt, colt, roll, poll, toll, control, folk, yolk, most, post, host, ghost, gross, both, comb, don't, won't.

The sound [ou] is represented by the letter O in the prefix "co" and in some cases in the prefix "pro": coeducation, coworker, coexist, coordinate, pronoun, program, prohibit, prohibition.

Note: In many words, the letter O in the prefix "pro" represents the sound [ə] (propose, pronounce, protect, provide, production, profession).

Letter O in the final position

The sound [ou] is represented by the letter O in the final position in the word: go, no, so, also, cargo, echo, hero, zero, piano, potato, tomato, mosquito, radio, studio, Mexico, Idaho, motto, logo, veto.

Note:: The final letter O may represent the sound [u:] as in "do, two, who, to, into" and the sounds [u:] or [ə] in the unstressed position as in "to, into".

Letter combinations OW, OA

The sound [ou] is represented by the combination OW in any position in the word: know, low, show, row, tow, owe, grow, throw, blow, flow; bowl, own, blown, flown, grown, shown, thrown, growth; follow, hollow, borrow, narrow, window, yellow; owing, growing, follower, lower, yellowish.

The sound [ou] is represented by the combination OA, usually before a consonant letter in the root: oat, oak, coal, goal, load, road, boat, coat, soak, toast, roast, coast, boast, coach, approach, cockroach.

Letter combinations OE, OUGH, OU

The sound [ou] is represented by the combinations OE, OUGH, OU in a limited number of words: toe, roe, doe, foe, woe; though, although, dough; soul, shoulder, poultry, boulder, mold / mould.

Because the letter O can represent different vowel sounds, for example, [ou], [o:], [o], [ə], and can also form a number of combinations with the other vowels, it would be most useful to study its pronunciation by arranging groups of words in columns on one page according to the sound that the letter O represents.

13. SOUNDS [u:] and [yu:]

Spelling examples: use, rude, food, do, few, blue, group.

Spelling patterns for the sound [u:]

The letter U and the combinations EW, EU, UE, UI represent the sound [u:] after the consonants R, L, J, CH. The vowel O and the combinations OO, OU represent the sound [u:].

Letter U as [u:]: rude, crude, rule, rumor, brutal, prune; Lucy, Luke, lumen, flute; judicial, June, junior, Julia, judo; chute, parachute.

Letter O as [u:]: do, two, who, whom, whose, lose, move, prove, improve, tomb, womb.

Letter combination OO as [u:]: food, mood, room, broom, moon, cartoon, cool, pool, school, scoop, tooth, boots, poodle, ooze, choose, soothe, shoot, too, zoo, bamboo, taboo, kangaroo, shampoo, tattoo.

Letter combination OU as [u:]: group, soup, loupe, cougar, coupon, mousse, route, routine, wound, souvenir, through, rouge.

Letter combination OE as [u:]: shoe, canoe.

Letter combination EW as [u:]: jewel, Jew, flew, blew, chew, crew, screw.

Letter combination UE as [u:]: true, blue, clue, glue.

Letter combination UI as [u:]: juice, fruit, bruise, cruise, recruit, sluice.

Spelling patterns for the sound [yu:]

The letter U and the combinations EW, EU, UE, UI represent the sound [yu:] after the other consonants (except R, L, J, CH). The letter U is pronounced [yu:] when it starts the word.

Letter U as [yu:]: use, usual, union, unit, unite, unique, universe, universal, university, urine, utility, utensil, ubiquitous.

Letter U as [yu:]: fume, funeral, fuse, refuse, fuel; cube, cute, vacuum; music, museum, amuse, community, immune, mute; pupil, human, humor, huge, Hugh.

Letter U as [yu:]: duty, due, produce, tulip, tune, student; nude, nuclear, numeral, menu; super, Susan, consumer.

Letter combination EW as [yu:]: few, nephew, view, dew, new, mew, pew.

Letter combination EU as [yu:]: eucalyptus, euphemism, feud, neurotic, neutral.

Letter combinations UE, UI as [yu:]: hue, cue, due, sue, pursue, suit.

After Y always [yu:]: yule, yuletide, Yukon; youth, yew.

Rare spelling for [yu:]: beauty.

Note: In American English, the sound [u:], not [yu:], is usually pronounced after the consonants D, T, N, S, though both variants are considered standard. Examples: duty ['du:ti], dew [du:], due [du:], dual; tune [tu:n], tulip ['tu:lip], student; new [nu:], nude [nu:d], nuclear; suit [su:t], sue [su:], pursue, super.

14. SOUND [u]

Spelling examples: book, good, pull, sugar, could.

Spelling patterns for the short sound [u]

Letter combination OO: book, cook, look, hook, shook, took, good, stood, wood, hood, childhood, foot, wool, broom, rookie.

Letter U: put, push, pull, bush, bull, bullet, full, pudding, sugar, cushion, butcher.

Letter O: wolf, woman.

Letter combination OU: could, should, would.

It is quite difficult to decide where to say the long sound [u:] and where to say the short sound [u] when they are represented by the combination OO (and, to a lesser extent, by the letter U). It is advisable to keep a comparison list of such words. In some cases, there are two variants of pronunciation: room – [ru:m], [rum]; roof – [ru:f], [ruf]; hoop – [hu:p], [hup]; soot – [sut], [su:t].

15. SOUND [ər] as in SIR

Spelling examples: verb, turn, first, learn, work, journey, dollar.

In American English, the sound [ər] is represented by the combinations of vowels with the letter R in the root, prefix, or suffix, under stress or unstressed. The sound [r] is pronounced in all positions in the word in AmE. All of the vowels can form such combinations. The combination AR represents the sound [ər] only in an unstressed position, usually in the suffix.

Spelling patterns for the sound [ər]

Letter combination ER: her, herb, serve, verb, verse, were, certain, person, concern, emergency, energy, perceive, percent, prefer, teacher, mister, buyer, finger, better, powder.

Letter combination UR: urge, fur, burn, turn, curse, purse, purr, hurry, current, occur, curtain, furnish, turkey, purpose, pursue, disturb, pleasure, lecture, pressure.

Letter combination IR: sir, fir, girl, bird, stir, shirt, skirt, third, whirl, circle, circus, dirty, thirsty.

Letter combination EAR: learn, heard, search, early, earn, earth, pearl, yearn, rehearse.

Letter combination OR: word, work, worm, world, worry, worse, worth; attorney, forgive, forget, doctor, visitor, favor, effort, comfort.

Letter combination OUR: courage, courtesy, journey, journal, glamour.

Letter combination AR: dollar, collar, grammar, sugar, solar, vulgar, anarchy, monarchy, beggar, coward, hazard.

Letter combination YR: martyr, satyr, zephyr.

Letter combination EUR: amateur, connoisseur, chauffeur.

It would be easier to memorize spelling patterns of words with the sound [ər] if you arrange such words in columns according to their spelling.

Note: In British English, the sound [ə:] is usually found only in the stressed syllable. In British English, the first vowel sound in the words "hurry, current, courage, worry" is [ʌ], not [ə:].

16. NEUTRAL SOUND as in BUT

Spelling examples: about, son, much, rough, golden, possible.

The neutral sound [ə] (the schwa) is the most common vowel sound of English. It occurs in initial, medial, or final position in the root, prefix, and suffix, under stress or unstressed. Usually, transcription symbols for the neutral sound are [ʌ] (caret) in stressed syllables and [ə] (schwa) in unstressed syllables. In American ESL materials, the neutral sound is often shown as [ə] (schwa) both in stressed syllables and in unstressed syllables. The neutral sound is represented by several spelling patterns.

Spelling patterns for the neutral sound

Letter A: about, around, asleep, Italy, ornament, likable, central, resistance, assistant, cinema, opera, soda.

Letter O: son, mother, money, other, front, done, some, love, observe, oppress, protect, provide, decorate, memory, history, freedom, lesson.

Letter U: but, sun, much, lucky, ugly, sudden, number, punish, publish, consult, submit, success, suggest, unhappy, understand, industry, difficult, minus, helpful, skillful.

Letter E: tolerate, operate, academy, gallery, system, golden, kitten, different, movement.

Letter I: terrible, possible, family.

Letter combination OU: rough, tough, country, cousin, couple, double, trouble, touch, flourish, nourish, young, famous, dangerous.

Letter combination OO: blood, flood.

The neutral sound is one of the most difficult vowel sounds in terms of pronunciation and spelling. In everyday speech, the unstressed short vowels are often pronounced as the neutral sound, and in some cases the neutral sound is dropped. In some other cases, the neutral sound may appear in the syllable between two consonants where there is no vowel in spelling, for example, in "table, apple, idle, riddle, prism". This stresses the necessity to study the pronunciation of English words together with their spelling.

Типичные варианты написания для гласных звуков

Написание слов и их произношение тесно связаны и должны изучаться вместе. Это особенно верно в отношении английских гласных звуков и их передачи на письме.

Данный материал даёт примеры типичных вариантов написания для английских гласных звуков, идя от звука к написанию. Если вам более удобно идти от букв и буквосочетаний к звукам, которые они передают, вы можете преобразовать данный материал согласно своему желанию. (Пример, как это сделать, дан в материале "Method 2" в разделе Phonetics.)

Обратите внимание, что написание и произношение в данном материале даются согласно американскому варианту английского языка. (См. "British and American Spelling" в разделе Writing; "English Vowel Sounds" и "Vowels Glossary of Terms" в разделе Phonetics.)

Буквы и звуки

В английском языке шесть гласных букв: A, E, I, O, U, Y. Буква Y передаёт гласные звуки [i], [ai] (mystery, type) и согласный (полугласный) звук [y] (yes). Вместе, гласные буквы передают от 15 до 22 гласных звуков. Эта разница происходит в основном из разного подсчета числа дифтонгов в британском английском и в американском английском. Обычно, американские лингвисты приводят пять дифтонгов: [ei], [ai], [au], [oi], [ou].

Количество английских гласных звуков, передаваемых гласными буквами и определёнными сочетаниями гласных, больше, чем число гласных букв и их сочетаний, а это значит, что одна и та же гласная буква или буквосочетание используется для передачи более чем одного звука. В английском языке также есть несколько вариантов написания для каждого гласного звука, что значит, что один и тот же гласный звук представлен на письме разными буквами и буквосочетаниями.

Например, буква A типично передаёт пять звуков как в словах Kate [keit], cat [kæt], call [ko:l], card [ka:rd], alone [ə'loun]. Её распространённый звук открытого слога [ei] представлен на письме не только буквой A как в "Kate", но и пятью различными сочетаниями гласных букв как в "may, rain, weigh, they, break". Буквосочетания EY, EI, которые обычно произносятся [ei] в английских словах, передают звук [ai] в некоторых словах иностранного происхождения: Einstein, geyser.

Также есть связь между звуком, его написанием и окружающими буквами. Например, буквосочетание AR, которое обычно произносится [a:r] как в "car, park, hard", произносится [o:r] после согласной W, например, "war, ward, warm, warn".

Наиболее практичный подход – выучить типичные модели написания для гласных звуков. Другие варианты написания могут присутствовать только в нескольких словах или в словах, которые не часто употребляются.

1. ЗВУК [i:]

Примеры написания: me, Pete, Japanese, equal, rewrite, seem, read, piece, seize, police.

Буква E

Звук [i:] передаётся буквой E в открытом слоге корня: me, be, he, she, we; Pete, eve, these, theme, scene, complete, intervene, precede.

Звук [i:] передаётся буквой E в корне в начальном слоге, который нелегко распознать как открытый слог, обычно под ударением: equal, evening, evil, recent, region, meter, secret, media, demon, female, legal, genius, senior, convenient, frequent, veto, premium, previous.

Звук [i:] передаётся (первой) буквой E в суффиксе "ese": Japanese, Chinese, Vietnamese, Maltese, Portuguese, Lebanese, Burmese, manganese.

Звук [i:] передаётся буквой E в префиксах (приставках) "pre, re" в некоторых словах: prehistoric, prewar, prefix, preoccupy, prepay, preview, react, rewrite, remake.

Примечание: Во многих словах, буква E в префиксах "pre, re" передаёт краткий звук [i] (remove, repair, repeat, reply, return, prepare, prevent, presume).

Буквосочетания EE, EA

Звук [i:] передаётся буквосочетанием EE: see, free, agree, knee, feel, feed, proceed, succeed, keen, seek, seem, screen, deep, greet, sleeve.

Звук [i:] передаётся буквосочетанием EA: sea, tea, peace, teach, lead (вести), read (читать), peak, deal, reveal, scream, team, clean, leap, please, release, beat, beneath, breathe, creature, leave.

Буквосочетания IE, EI

Звук [i:] передаётся буквосочетанием IE в корне: piece, field, achieve, believe, relief, brief, chief, fiend, siege, shriek, priest.

Звук [i:] передаётся буквосочетанием EI в корне: seize, receive, receipt, deceive, conceive, perceive, ceiling, Leigh.

Буква I

В некоторых английских словах иностранного происхождения звук [i:] представлен на письме буквой I: police, caprice, gasoline, machine, magazine, marine, routine, vaccine, prestige, regime, elite, naive, pizza, ski, liter, fatigue, intrigue, antique, physique, technique, unique.

Редкое написание для звука [i:]: key, people, Aesop, Oedipus.

2. ЗВУК [i]

Примеры написания: sit, ignore, public, working, enough, reply, hardness, boxes, symbol, lady, Annie, honey.

Буква I

Краткий звук [i] передаётся буквой I в закрытом слоге корня: it, sit, miss, tip, pick, pin, bring, list, fill, film, trim, dinner, finger, river, consist.

Краткий звук [i] передаётся буквой I в некоторых префиксах: inform, illogical, immune, impudent, irregular, dislike, disturb, mistake, misunderstand. Обратите внимание на написание: ignore, ignorant, ignite.

Краткий звук [i] передаётся буквой I в некоторых суффиксах: public, dramatic, habit, justice, native, foolish, working.

Буква E

Краткий звук [i] передаётся буквой E в начальном слоге корня: English, pretty, ecology, enough, eleven, electric.

Краткий звук [i] передаётся буквой E в некоторых префиксах: effect, emotion, become, before, despair, depart, remove, repair, repeat, reply, return, preliminary, prepare, prevent, secure.

Краткий звук [i] передаётся буквой E в некоторых суффиксах и окончаниях: hardness, madness, actress, countless, childless, rocket, pocket, boxes, catches, added, counted.

Очень трудно решить, где произнести долгий звук [i:], а где краткий звук [i], когда они передаются буквой E в корне или в префиксе. Для более легкого запоминания целесообразно сделать сравнительный список таких слов, расположенных в двух колонках.

Примечание: Конечная одиночная буква E, которая обычно является немой в английских словах, произносится как [i], или как более короткий вариант звука [i:], в словах apostrophe, catastrophe, psyche.

Буква Y

Звук [i] передаётся буквой Y в корне: symbol, lyrics, myriad, hymn, hypnosis, pyramid, sympathy, synchronize, crystal, system, typical, tyranny, mystery, myth, rhythm, antonym, synonym, pseudonym, acronym.

Звук [i] передаётся буквой Y в суффиксе: lady, family, Daddy, duty, whisky, carry, hurry, funny, happy, busy, dirty, many, very, lovely, nicely, hardly, Larry, Billy, Mary.

Буквосочетания IE, EY

Звук [i] передаётся буквосочетанием IE в суффиксе: Annie, Carrie, Katie, auntie.

Звук [i] передаётся буквосочетаниями IE, EY в суффиксе: honey, hockey, journey, money, monkey, whiskey, Sydney, Casey, Rodney.

Примечание: Согласно многим словарям, буква Y в суффиксе (lady) и буквосочетания IE, EY в суффиксе (Annie, honey) произносятся как более короткий вариант долгого звука [i:].

3. ЗВУК [e]

Примеры написания: end, well, bread, heavy, many.

Буква E

Звук [e] передаётся буквой E в закрытом слоге корня: bet, set, well, guest, seldom, empty, every, berry, regular, accept, connect, inspector, impress, address, architect, project, enter, entrance, entire.

Звук [e] передаётся буквой E в префиксах "em, en": embalm, embark, embody, embrace, employ, enable, enlarge, engage, enjoy, environment.

Примечание: Префиксы "em, en" могут также произноситься [im], [in], особенно в BrE; в некоторых случаях, существуют два слова, например, ensure, insure; enquire, inquire.

Буквосочетание EA

Есть много слов (но всё же ограниченное количество), в которых звук [e] передаётся буквосочетанием EA.

Выучите их наизусть: bread, dead, head, header, lead (свинец), read (читал), spread, thread, dread, tread, instead; already, ready, steady, meadow; sweat, sweater, threat, threaten; breath, death, health, stealth, wealth; weather, leather, feather; measure, pleasure, treasure, treasury, pleasant, peasant, pheasant; dealt, meant, cleanse, jealous, realm; heaven, heavy, endeavor, deaf; breakfast, breast, treachery, weapon.

Редкое написание для звука [e]: any, many, friend, said, says, bury.

4. ЗВУК [ei]

Примеры написания: age, lake, nation, wait, play, they, eight.

Буква A

Звук [ei] передаётся буквой A в открытом слоге корня: Kate, ate, late, take, race, name, save, ache, table, cradle, change, strange, paste, taste, waste.

Звук [ei] передаётся буквой A в корне в начальном слоге, который нелегко распознать как открытый слог, и иногда в закрытом слоге, обычно под ударением: bacon, baby, lazy, angel, danger, stranger, chamber, April, paper, basin, basis, Asia, pastry, nation, patriot, fatal, naval, facial, racial, vacant, ancient, patient, radio.

Звук [ei] передаётся буквой A в глагольном суффиксе "ate": decorate, educate, create, celebrate, concentrate, separate, dictate, investigate, originate.

Буквосочетания AI, EI

Звук [ei] передаётся буквосочетанием AI, обычно перед согласной буквой в корне: aim, aid, sail, tail, main, vain, rain, raise, faint, paint, saint, strait, straight, remain, complain, disdain, explain, restrain.

Звук [ei] передаётся буквосочетанием EI, обычно перед согласной буквой в корне: rein, veil, vein, feign, reign, deign, sleigh, weigh, weight, eight, freight, neighbor.

Примечание: Буквосочетание EI произносится [ai] в словах height, sleight, either. (См. 7. ЗВУК [ai].)

Буквосочетания AY, EY

Звук [ei] передаётся буквосочетанием AY, обычно в конечном положении в корне: day, gray, may, say, way, hay, play, pray, stay, stray, essay, relay, delay; betrayal, player, essayist, saying. Но: daily, gaily (также, gayly).

Звук [ei] передаётся буквосочетанием EY, обычно в конечном положении в корне: they, grey, prey, hey, whey, survey, obey, convey, conveyance, surveyor.

Примечание: В некоторых словах иностранного происхождения сочетания EI, EY произносятся как [ai]: Einstein, Fahrenheit, geyser, Meyer.

Примечание: Обратите внимание на написание этих слов: mayor, major.

Буквосочетание EA

В следующих словах, звук [ei] передаётся буквосочетанием EA: break, great, steak.

Слова французского происхождения

В некоторых английских словах французского происхождения конечный звук [ei] представлен на письме буквами E, EE, ET: cafe, attache, pate, resume, fiance, fiancee, divorcee, matinee, entree; ballet, beret, buffet, bouquet, fillet, gourmet.

Примечание: Обычно ставится французский знак ударения на конечной букве E (cafe) и на первой букве E в EE (matinee) в вышеуказанных словах, но некоторые из таких слов могут писаться без знака ударения (например, divorcee, matinee, entree) в AmE.

Есть некоторые английские слова с окончанием EE, которое произносится [i:]: employee, trainee, refugee. Большое количество английских слов имеют окончание ET (произносится [it]): bullet, wallet, skillet, packet, picket, pocket, rocket.

5. ЗВУК [æ] как в CAT

Примеры написания: bad, sat, bank, stand, family, accident, apple.

Буква A в закрытом слоге

В американском английском буква A под ударением в закрытом слоге корня обычно произносится [æ]: ask, task, fast, last, contrast, master, disaster, castle, answer, act, pack, actor, factory, add, mad, staff, after, half, class, glass, grass, jazz, chance, dance, can't, land, handle, command, talent, example, happy, happen, travel, fashion, bath, matter, Manhattan.

В британском английском буква A во многих из этих слов произносится [a:], например, в словах class, dance, answer, master, castle, fast, disaster, after, half, bath.

Звук [ei], представленный на письме буквой A, изменяется на звук [æ] в некоторых производных словах: Nature [ei] – natural [æ]; nation [ei] – national [æ]; sane [ei] – sanity [æ], vain – vanity.

Редкое написание для [æ] (AmE): aunt, laugh.

6. ЗВУК [a:]

Примеры написания: army, regard, father, calm, bravo, mirage.

Буквосочетание AR

Звук [a:] передаётся буквосочетанием AR в корне, обычно под ударением: arm, art, car, card, yard, part, charge, large, margin, argue, guard, regard, garden, pardon, market.

Буква A

Буква A передаёт звук [a:] в нескольких английских словах в американском английском: father, Pa, Papa, Ma, Mama; calm, palm, balm, alms, psalm. (Буква L в этих словах немая.)

Буква A передаёт звук [a:] в некоторых словах иностранного происхождения: drama, Panama, saga, cantata, sonata, spa, bravo, aria, lama; mirage, garage, espionage, sabotage, massage, facade.

Примечание: В некоторых словах французского происхождения, звук [a:] передаётся начальным буквосочетанием "en": entree, ensemble.

Редкое написание для [a:]: sergeant, heart; (BrE) aunt, laugh, draught.

Звуки [æ] и [a:] в AmE и BrE

В британском английском буква A обычно произносится [æ] как в CAT под ударением в закрытом слоге корня, но буква A обычно произносится [a:] перед согласными f, ff, ph, sk, sp, ss, st, th, nce, nd и некоторыми другими.

В американском английском буква A под ударением в закрытом слоге корня обычно произносится [æ] как в CAT во всех случаях.

Примеры слов с AmE [æ] или BrE [a:]: staff, after, draft, half, ask, task, grasp, grass, glass, class, fast, last, castle, master, disaster, bath, path, example, chance, dance, answer, can't, demand, command.

7. ЗВУК [ai]

Примеры написания: nice, surprise, minus, private, type, reply, dynamic, find, light, tie.

Буква I

Звук [ai] передаётся буквой I в открытом слоге корня: ice, nice, ride, life, file, smile, line, pipe, quite, wise, hi, polite, surprise, prize, combine, arrive.

Звук [ai] передаётся буквой I, под ударением или без ударения, в корне в слоге, который нелегко распознать как открытый слог: idea, identical, idol, isolation, item, science, society, client, crisis, climate, minus, private, library, finance, horizon, dial, vital, vitamin.

Звук [ai] передаётся буквой I и буквой Y в глагольных суффиксах "ize" (ise), "yze" (yse) и "fy": organize, modernize, analyze, analyse, satisfy, modify, signify.

Звук [ai] передаётся буквой I в некоторых префиксах: diagram, dialect, digest, digress, bicycle, biannual, biography.

Буква Y

Звук [ai] передаётся буквой Y в некоторых английских словах, обычно в конечном положении в корне: by, my, cry, dry, fly, fry, ply, pry, sky, sly, try.

Звук [ai] передаётся буквой Y во многих словах греческого и латинского происхождения: style, type, hype, rhyme; deny, rely, apply, reply; cycle, cyclone, dynamic, dynamite, hybrid, hyphen, nylon, hyperactive, hypodermic, psychopath, psychiatrist.

Примечание: Конечная Y в словах типа "cry, fly, try, satisfy" в определённых случаях изменяется на I перед суффиксами или окончаниями: cries, flier, flyer, tried, trial, trying, satisfied, satisfying. (Посмотрите материалы на прибавление суффиксов и окончаний в разделе Writing.)

Другие варианты написания для звука [ai]

Звук [ai] представлен некоторыми другими вариантами написания в ограниченном количестве слов.

Буква I перед LD, ND и перед некоторыми другими сочетаниями согласных: child, mild, wild, climb, find, kind, mind, blind; rifle, trifle, title, idle, Bible.

Буква I перед GH, GHT, GN: high, sigh, thigh; fight, light, night, right, slight; sign, align, benign, malign.

Буквосочетания IE, YE, EI, EY, UY: die, tie, lie, pie, vie, dye, lye, rye, bye; height, sleight, either, neither; eye, geyser, buy, guy.

Латинское окончание мн. числа I: alumni, fungi, stimuli, alkali, alibi. (Существительные с латинскими окончаниями мн. числа даны в материале "Irregular Plural Nouns" в разделе Writing.)

Примечание: Звук [ai], представленный буквой I, может изменяться на [i] в некоторых производных: signature, malignant, biblical.

Примечание: Буквосочетание EI в словах either, neither произносится [i:] или [ai] в AmE.

8. ЗВУК [au]

Примеры написания: how, brown, out, noun.

Буквосочетания OW, OU

Звук [au] передаётся буквосочетанием OW в любом положении в слове: now, how, cow, row, bow, brow, allow, plow, crowd, owl, fowl, howl, prowl, down, gown, town, clown, brown, drown, crown, browse, browser, powder, power, flower, tower, allowing, allowance.

Звук [au] передаётся буквосочетанием OU, обычно перед согласной буквой в корне: out, about, doubt, couch, cloud, loud, proud, foul, noun, announce, bounce, ounce, pound, found, ground, hound, around, sound, surround, count, account, amount, mountain, house, mouse, louse, blouse, mouth, south, scout, shout, bough, plough, drought.

Трудно решить, где произнести звук [ou], а где звук [au], когда они представлены сочетанием OW, например, own – owl, bowl – brown, mow – pow. Кроме того, есть несколько омонимов, которые пишутся одинаково, но произносятся по-разному: row [rou] и [rau]; bow [bou] и [bau]; sow [sou] и [sau]. Желательно сделать сравнительный список таких слов.

Также довольно трудно решить, где писать OW, а где писать OU, например, fowl – foul, browse – blouse. Будет полезно иметь сравнительный список таких слов.

9. ЗВУК [o:]

Примеры написания: more, order, law, call, cause, caught, bought, course, war, water.

Модели написания для звука [o:]

Буквосочетания OR, ORE: cord, Ford, form, born, corn, torn, short, sport, torch, porch, orange, order, orient, normal, mortal, storm, story, glory, forum, forty, morning; bore, more, before, shore, sore, store, tore, explore, ignore.

Буквосочетание AW: law, draw, drawer, saw, thaw, crawl, shawl, hawk, dawn, lawn, awful, awkward.

Буквосочетания ALL, AL: all, ball, call, fall, hall, wall, appall, alter, always, already, walk, talk, chalk, false, salt, halt.

Буквосочетание AU: cause, pause, applause, sauce, audio, audience, fraud, August, auto, author, Paul, fault, haunt, launch, laundry.

Буквосочетание AUGHT: caught, taught, daughter, slaughter, haughty, naughty.

Буквосочетание OUGHT: bought, brought, fought, ought, sought, thought; cough.

Буквосочетания OUR, OAR, OOR: course, court, four, mourn, pour, source, your; board, hoarse, hoard, roar, soar, broad; door, floor.

Буквосочетания WAR, WA: war, warm, ward, warden, warn, warning, award, reward; water, want, wand, wash, wasp, watch, swamp, swan.

Буквосочетание QUAR: quart, quarter, headquarters, quartz, quarrel, quarantine.

Буква O как [o:] в AmE: long, wrong, boss, lost, cost, dog, gone, coffee.

Примечание: В AmE, буква O в словах типа "long, cost, dog" может произноситься как [o:] или как [o]. В BrE, буква O в таких словах обычно имеет звук [o].

Есть несколько вариантов написания для звука [o:], которые также используются для некоторых других звуков, например, door [o:] – poor [u], pour [o:] – tour [u], cost [o:] – post [ou]. Тем не менее, модели написания для звука [o:] вполне узнаваемые и должны легко запоминаться.

10. ЗВУК [o]

Примеры написания: not, stop, rob, body, sorry, model, conference, want, watch, wash.

Модели написания для звука [o]

Буква O: got, hot, not, stop, rob, odd, off, clock, coffee, gone, bomb, bond, soft, often, body, hobby, dollar, doctor, document, occupy, college, compliment, conference, model, monitor, option, promise, prompt, follow, borrow, sorrow, tomorrow, sorry, orange.

Буквосочетание WA: want, watch, wash, what, swamp, swallow, swan.

Буквосочетание QUA: quality, qualify, quantity, quarrel, quarantine.

Редкое написание для [o]: cough, knowledge, yacht.

Звук [o] в BrE и AmE

Интересно отметить, что в американском английском нет такого звука, как британский краткий звук [o]. Вместо него, звук, который звучит как гибрид долгих звуков [o:] и [a:], произносится в американском английском там, где в британском английском краткий звук [o].

Этот гибридный американский звук обычно указывается в американских словарях как [o], но может указываться как [a:]. Например, в американских словарях могут быть следующие варианты транскрипции для слова "want": [wont] or [wo:nt]; [wo:nt] or [wa:nt].

Тот же гибридный звук [o], или [o:] окрашенный как [a:], может произноситься в AmE в словах типа "water, ought, daughter", в которых долгое [o:] считается нормой. Однако долгое [o:] всегда остается [o:] в ударном слоге перед [r]: more [mo:r], lord [lo:rd], normal, port.

Примеры слов с BrE [o] или AmE гибридным [o]: got, not, hot, stop, rob, odd, off, dog, log, clock, coffee, cough, gone, long, song, cost, loss, boss, bomb, bond, soft, often, body, hobby, dollar, doctor, document, occupy, college, compliment, conference, model, monitor, option, promise, prompt, follow, borrow, sorrow, tomorrow, sorry, orange, quality, quantity, want, wash, watch, what, swamp, swallow, swan.

Этот своеобразный гибридный звук [o], звук [r], который произносится во всех положениях, и звук [æ] в словах типа "class, ask, castle, fast, demand, dance" придают американскому английскому его характерный акцент.

11. ЗВУК [oi]

Примеры написания: boil, noise, toy, loyal.

Буквосочетания OI, OY

Звук [oi] представлен на письме буквосочетанием OI, обычно перед согласной буквой в корне: oil, ointment, boil, foil, spoil, toil, coin, join, voice, void, avoid, point, appoint, noise, poison, hoist, moist, exploit, loiter, embroidery.

Звук [oi] представлен на письме буквосочетанием OY в любом положении в слове: boy, joy, ploy, soy, toy, annoy, destroy, employ, corduroy, oyster, loyal, royal, voyage, boyish, joyful.

12. ЗВУК [ou]

Примеры написания: home, post, bonus, hero, know, road.

Буква O

Звук [ou] передаётся буквой O в открытом слоге корня: home, role, cone, stone, hope, note, close, remote, suppose, homeless, lonely, hopeful.

Звук [ou] передаётся буквой O в корне в слоге, который нелегко распознать как открытый слог: open, obey, omit, omen, opal, ocean, potent, polar, solar, motor, rotor, modal, total, moment, rodent, soldier, bonus, focus, notice, social, donate, donut, vogue, rogue. Примечание: В словах "obey, omit", буквы "ob, o" – латинские префиксы.

Звук [ou] передаётся буквой O в закрытом слоге корня, обычно перед LD, LT, LL и перед некоторыми другими сочетаниями согласных: old, bold, cold, hold, sold, bolt, colt, roll, poll, toll, control, folk, yolk, most, post, host, ghost, gross, both, comb, don't, won't.

Звук [ou] передаётся буквой O в префиксе "co" и в некоторых случаях в префиксе "pro": coeducation, coworker, coexist, coordinate, pronoun, prohibit, prohibition.

Примечание: Во многих словах, буква O в префиксе "pro" передаёт звук [ə] (propose, pronounce, protect, provide, production, profession).

Буква O в конечном положении

Звук [ou] передаётся буквой O в конечном положении в слове: go, no, so, also, cargo, echo, hero, zero, piano, potato, tomato, mosquito, radio, studio, Mexico, Idaho, motto, logo, veto.

Примечание:: Конечная буква O может передавать звук [u:] как в "do, two, who, to, into" и звуки [u:] или [ə] в неударном положении как в "to, into".

Буквосочетания OW, OA

Звук [ou] представлен на письме буквосочетанием OW в любом положении в слове: know, low, show, row, tow, owe, grow, throw, blow, flow; bowl, own, blown, flown, grown, shown, thrown, growth; follow, hollow, borrow, narrow, window, yellow; owing, growing, follower, lower, yellowish.

Звук [ou] представлен на письме буквосочетанием OA, обычно перед согласной буквой в корне: oat, oak, coal, goal, load, road, boat, coat, soak, toast, roast, coast, boast, coach, approach, cockroach.

Буквосочетания OE, OUGH, OU

Звук [ou] представлен на письме буквосочетаниями OE, OUGH, OU в ограниченном количестве слов: toe, roe, doe, foe, woe; though, although, dough; soul, shoulder, poultry, boulder, mold / mould.

Поскольку буква O может передавать разные гласные звуки, например, [ou], [o:], [o], [ə], а также может образовывать ряд буквосочетаний с другими гласными, будет очень полезно изучать её произношение, расположив группы слов в колонках на одной странице согласно звуку, который буква O передаёт.

13. ЗВУКИ [u:] и [yu:]

Примеры написания: use, rude, food, do, few, blue, group.

Модели написания для звука [u:]

Буква U и буквосочетания EW, EU, UE, UI передают звук [u:] после согласных букв R, L, J, CH. Гласная O и буквосочетания OO, OU передают звук [u:].

Буква U as [u:]: rude, crude, rule, rumor, brutal, prune; Lucy, Luke, lumen, flute; judicial, June, junior, Julia, judo; chute, parachute.

Буква O as [u:]: do, two, who, whom, whose, lose, move, prove, improve, tomb, womb.

Буквосочетание OO as [u:]: food, mood, room, broom, moon, cartoon, cool, pool, school, scoop, tooth, boots, poodle, ooze, choose, soothe, shoot, too, zoo, bamboo, taboo, kangaroo, shampoo, tattoo.

Буквосочетание OU as [u:]: group, soup, loupe, cougar, coupon, mousse, route, routine, wound, souvenir, through, rouge.

Буквосочетание OE as [u:]: shoe, canoe.

Буквосочетание EW as [u:]: jewel, Jew, flew, blew, chew, crew, screw.

Буквосочетание UE as [u:]: true, blue, clue, glue.

Буквосочетание UI as [u:]: juice, fruit, bruise, cruise, recruit, sluice.

Модели написания для звука [yu:]

Буква U и буквосочетания EW, EU, UE, UI передают звук [yu:] после других согласных букв (кроме R, L, J, CH). Буква U произносится [yu:], когда она начинает слово.

Буква U as [yu:]: use, usual, union, unit, unite, unique, universe, universal, university, urine, utility, utensil, ubiquitous.

Буква U as [yu:]: fume, funeral, fuse, refuse, fuel; cube, cute, vacuum; music, museum, amuse, community, immune, mute; pupil, human, humor, huge, Hugh.

Буква U as [yu:]: duty, due, produce, tulip, tune, student; nude, nuclear, numeral, menu; super, Susan, consumer.

Буквосочетание EW as [yu:]: few, nephew, view, dew, new, mew, pew.

Буквосочетание EU as [yu:]: eucalyptus, euphemism, feud, neurotic, neutral.

Буквосочетания UE, UI as [yu:]: hue, cue, due, sue, pursue, suit.

После Y всегда [yu:]: yule, yuletide, Yukon; youth, yew.

Редкое написание для [yu:]: beauty.

Примечание: В американском английском звук [u:], а не [yu:], обычно произносится после согласных D, T, N, S, хотя оба варианта считаются нормой. Примеры: duty ['du:ti], dew [du:], due [du:], dual; tune [tu:n], tulip ['tu:lip], student; new [nu:], nude [nu:d], nuclear; suit [su:t], sue [su:], pursue, super.

14. ЗВУК [u]

Примеры написания: book, good, pull, sugar, could.

Модели написания для краткого звука [u]

Буквосочетание OO: book, cook, look, hook, shook, took, good, stood, wood, hood, childhood, foot, wool, broom, rookie.

Буква U: put, push, pull, bush, bull, bullet, full, pudding, sugar, cushion, butcher.

Буква O: wolf, woman.

Буквосочетание OU: could, should, would.

Довольно трудно решить, где произнести долгий звук [u:], а где краткий звук [u], когда они представлены буквосочетанием OO (и буквой U, хотя и в меньшей степени). Целесообразно вести сравнительный список таких слов. В некоторых случаях есть два варианта произношения: room – [ru:m], [rum]; roof – [ru:f], [ruf]; hoop – [hu:p], [hup]; soot – [sut], [su:t].

15. ЗВУК [ər] как в SIR

Примеры написания: verb, turn, first, learn, work, journey, dollar.

В американском английском, звук [ər] передаётся сочетаниями гласных с буквой R в корне, префиксе или суффиксе, под ударением или без ударения. Звук [r] произносится во всех положениях в слове в AmE. Все гласные буквы могут образовывать такие сочетания. Сочетание AR передаёт звук [ər] только в безударном положении, обычно в суффиксе.

Модели написания для звука [ər]

Буквосочетание ER: her, herb, serve, verb, verse, were, certain, person, concern, emergency, energy, perceive, percent, prefer, teacher, mister, buyer, finger, better, powder.

Буквосочетание UR: urge, fur, burn, turn, curse, purse, purr, hurry, current, occur, curtain, furnish, turkey, purpose, pursue, disturb, pleasure, lecture, pressure.

Буквосочетание IR: sir, fir, girl, bird, stir, shirt, skirt, third, whirl, circle, circus, dirty, thirsty.

Буквосочетание EAR: learn, heard, search, early, earn, earth, pearl, yearn, rehearse.

Буквосочетание OR: word, work, worm, world, worry, worse, worth; attorney, forgive, forget, doctor, visitor, favor, effort, comfort.

Буквосочетание OUR: courage, courtesy, journey, journal, glamour.

Буквосочетание AR: dollar, collar, grammar, sugar, solar, vulgar, anarchy, monarchy, beggar, coward, hazard.

Буквосочетание YR: martyr, satyr, zephyr.

Буквосочетание EUR: amateur, connoisseur, chauffeur.

Будет легче запомнить модели написания слов со звуком [ər], если вы расположите такие слова в колонках согласно их написанию.

Примечание: В британском английском, звук [ə:] обычно встречается только в ударном слоге. В британском английском, первый гласный звук в словах "hurry, current, courage, worry" – [ʌ], а не [ə:].

16. НЕЙТРАЛЬНЫЙ ЗВУК как в BUT

Примеры написания: about, son, much, rough, golden, possible.

Нейтральный звук [ə] – самый распространённый гласный звук английского языка. Он встречается в начальном, среднем или конечном положении в корне, префиксе и суффиксе, под ударением или без ударения. Обычно, символы транскрипции для нейтрального звука – [ʌ] (caret) в ударных слогах и [ə] (schwa) в безударных слогах. В американских материалах ESL нейтральный звук часто даётся как [ə] (schwa) и в ударных слогах, и в безударных слогах. Нейтральный звук представлен несколькими моделями написания.

Модели написания для нейтрального звука

Буква A: about, around, asleep, Italy, ornament, likable, central, resistance, assistant, cinema, opera, soda.

Буква O: son, mother, money, other, front, done, some, love, observe, oppress, protect, provide, decorate, memory, history, freedom, lesson.

Буква U: but, sun, much, lucky, ugly, sudden, number, punish, publish, consult, submit, success, suggest, unhappy, understand, industry, difficult, minus, helpful, skillful.

Буква E: tolerate, operate, academy, gallery, system, golden, kitten, different, movement.

Буква I: terrible, possible, family.

Буквосочетание OU: rough, tough, country, cousin, couple, double, trouble, touch, flourish, nourish, young, famous, dangerous.

Буквосочетание OO: blood, flood.

Нейтральный звук – один из самых трудных гласных звуков, говоря о произношении и правописании. В разговорной речи безударные краткие гласные часто произносятся как нейтральный звук, а в некоторых случаях нейтральный звук выпадает. В некоторых других случаях нейтральный звук может появляться в слоге между двумя согласными, где для него нет гласной буквы на письме, например, в "table, apple, idle, riddle, prism". Это усиливает необходимость изучать произношение английских слов вместе с их написанием.

Spelling patterns for English vowel sounds. Vowel letter combinations and the sounds they represent.

Модели написания для английских гласных звуков. Сочетания гласных букв и звуки, которые они передают.