Can You Say /ə/?

The Schwa /ə/

Welcome to our very first pronunciation lesson! If your goal is to enhance your accent and pronunciation skills, do join the activity. And if you’re brave enough, you can record your own voice pronouncing the schwa sound in our pronunciation challenge below. You can use Audioboo or any recording apps so you can upload your recording on the comments box.

Now, the schwa is a short vowel sound. Please watch the video below from Ms. Alex of BBC Learning English and imitate how she pronounced the schwa vowel sound.  Do it at least 10 times or until you’ve mastered it. The schwa has a slight similarity to another vowel sound - /ʌ/.  You’d be familiar with both of the vowels as we continue the lesson in my future discussions, but for the meantime let’s focus on the Schwa - /ə/ sound.

Always remember that the schwa is the most common sound in English and we can hear it in a lot of words. In addition, since we’re on Englishclub, we’re going to use the IPA symbols in British accent.

Are you ready for some pronunciation challenge? Can you say these words and the sentence stressing the schwa sound? You may record these words if you like and share it here!

Teacher  beautiful  understanding 

The teacher is beautiful and understanding.


Now here’s an IPA Challenge.

Could you provide the answers on the following words? Write your answers on the comment box below. I’m looking forward to your participation. 

Example:   /vəʊˈkæbjʊləri/  -  Vocabulary

  1. /ˌkriːeɪˈtɪvəti/
  2. /ˌɪnfə(r)ˈmeɪʃ(ə)n/
  3. /ˈsɪnəmə/
  4. /ˈfæm(ə)li/
  5. /ˈsɪləb(ə)l/
  6. /kəmˈpjuːtə(r)/
  7. /ˌɒpə(r)ˈtjuːnəti/
  8. /ˈɔːtəm/
  9. /əˈblaɪdʒ/
  10. /ˈhæpinəs/

Wishing you the best of luck! :)

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