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The Schwa /ə/ Sound – Endings British Pronunciation & Spelling Tips | -er -ar -or -our -ure -re


Hello everyone and welcome back to English with Lucy, you might notice that my voice is slightly different today and that’s because, I am suffering from bronchitis I caught it on a trip to Milan and I’ve been suffering for a while now and that’s why I haven’t filmed any… any content for you, but I’m back today with my voice sounding a little bit… a little bit sexy I quite enjoy it is I’m… I’m enjoying speaking with this voice, umm but today I’m going to try and help you with your British English pronunciation So today, we’re going to be looking at the schwa sound, act the end of words I’m going to say some words now and I want you to listen to the last syllable of the word, and also look at the spelling at the end of the word BETT’ER’ /ˈbetə(r)/ ACT’OR’ /ˈæktə(r)/ CALEND’AR’/ˈkælɪndə(r)/ COL’OUR’ /ˈkʌlə(r)/ CENT’RE’ /ˈsentə(r)/ LEIS’URE’ /ˈleʒə(r)/ the last syllable the ending of these words is pronounced in exactly the same way it’s using the /ə/ sound with is the “Schwa” to create this sound you need to relax your mouth, lips aparts /ə/ just push a little bit of voice, through your mouth and then stop it. /ə/ /ə/ it’s a very short sound, so that’s the “Schwa” however look we’ve got them spelled in all different ways we’ve got ‘-ER’ BUTTER /ˈbʌtə(r)/ ‘-OR’ AUTHOR /ˈɔːθə(r)/ ‘-AR’ VICAR /ˈvɪkə(r)/ ‘-OUR’ HUMOUR /ˈhjuːmə(r)/ ‘-RE’ METRE /ˈmiːtə(r)/ ‘-URE’ AGRICULTURE /ˈæɡrɪkʌltʃə(r)/ so, it’s very important to know that when you read words that end in some of these letters you should normally pronounce them with a schwa sound, now it’s not always the case take a look at the word “GUITAR /ɡɪˈtɑː(r)/” for example “GUITAR /ɡɪˈtɑː(r)/” it’s NOT /ɡɪˈt”ə”(r)/ it’s “GUITAR /ɡɪˈtɑː(r)/” , so this isn’t a schwa sound now notice that in American English this isn’t always the case, they will often pronounced was ending in “R” with an “R” sound like BETTER BUTTER they do have more the “R” sound, we “drop the R” and British English, now you might be thinking, well I know how to say some of these words that how do I know which ending each one has? unfortunately there is no strict set of rules, but I have got a few tips, that might be able to help you Tip number one COMPARATIVE ADJECTIVES END IN “-ER” and yes they use the “Schwa” LIGHTER SOFTER BLONDER, for example Tip number two, is not a role just a guide a tip the “-OR” ENDING OFTEN FOLLOWS -CT- ACTOR /ˈæktə(r)/ -IT- VISITOR /ˈvɪzɪtə(r)/ -AT- DICTATOR /dɪkˈteɪtə(r)/ -RR- HORROR /ˈhɒrə(r)/ and -SS- SUCCESSOR /səkˈsesə(r)/ The last tip, -AR OFTEN FOLLOWS L COLLAR /ˈkɒlə(r)/ , SIMILAR /ˈsɪmələ(r)/ REGULAR /ˈreɡjələ(r)/ Alright guys, that is it for today’s video remember you can still get a free trial on audible.com if you want to improve your listening, and also improve your pronunciation, because you will get used to how native people pronounce different words and don’t forget to follow me on all of my social media I’ve got my Instagram and my Facebook so you can follow me on there and I will see you soon for another lesson hopefully, with a better voice. bye!

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