Free lessons on the American English Vowels

 

In these videos, Julie will teach you how to pronounce each vowel of American English with step-by-step instructions and close-ups of the lip, jaw, and tongue positions. All videos come with practice exercises and detailed explanations of how to pronounce each vowel. You'll also learn about additional vowel-related topics such as vowel length, vowel nasality, tense and lax vowels, and more!

 

Sep
13
2021

How to Pronounce Difficult Minimal Pairs - EH /ɛ/ vs. AA /æ/

In this video, Julie shows you how to pronounce two of the most challenging vowels in American English: the EH /ɛ/ "red" and the AA /æ/ "rad" vowels. Perfect your English pronunciation as you practice these minimal pairs: End/And (stressed), Beck/Back, Ken/Can, Bed/Bad, Beg/Bag/Bug, Ed/Add, Ekt (not a real word)/Act, Esk (not a real word)/Ask.

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Aug
30
2021

How to Pronounce Difficult Minimal Pairs - AH /ɑ/ vs. UH /ʌ/ [Part 18]

How well can you pronounce the AH /ɑ/ and UH /ʌ/ vowels in these word pairs? Mosh/mush, socks/sucks, bog/bug, pox/pucks, Ron/run. In this short video, see each word as I pronounce it at my normal pace, at a slower pace, and then up close and in slow motion!

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Aug
23
2021

How to Pronounce Difficult Minimal Pairs - AH /ɑ/ vs. UH /ʌ/ [Student Request Part 17]

How well can you pronounce the AH /ɑ/ and UH /ʌ/ vowels in these word pairs? Don/done, knot/nut, flocks/flux, talk/tuck, and pawn/pun. In this short video, see each word as I pronounce it at my normal pace, at a slower pace, and then up close and in slow motion!

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Jul
26
2021

How to Pronounce Difficult Words in American English - Minimal Pairs [Student Request Part 14]

Let's practice some minimal pairs in American English! Get tons of practice with these two front vowels: AA /æ/, like in "bad", and EH /ɛ/, like in "bed". Can you pronounce: pressure vs. pleasure; laughed vs. left; sand vs. send; bad vs. bed; and bland vs. blend? No frills, no lengthy explanations - just the pronunciation!

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Feb
01
2021

Vowel Length in American English

Long vowels, short vowels, medium vowels - in spoken English, does the length of the vowel really matter? Yes! There's a rule to vowel pronunciation that you won't find in a dictionary, but native speakers use it. And if you can master this pronunciation rule, both your vowels AND your consonants will improve! Learn how native speakers change the length of vowels in American English in this video - and then practice with me at the end!

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Dec
07
2020

How the Dark L Influences Vowels

The Dark L is a tricky sound! It is difficult to pronounce on its own, but it's even more difficult when it is in a word like "feel" or "pill" or "sale". Why? Because it influences the way the vowel is pronounced - the vowel changes because of the Dark L! In this video, you'll learn how the Dark L can influence the way a vowel is pronounced in words that contain a vowel + Dark L combination!

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Sep
20
2020

How Nasal Consonants Influence Vowels

American English doesn't have nasal vowels...BUT...nasal consonants can influence the way vowels are pronounced! If you want to sound natural to a native speaker, you need to master the nasalization of the American English vowels. Practice your nasalized vowels in this video!

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Aug
26
2020

How to Pronounce the OOR /ʊɹ/ Vowel

The American English OOR /ʊɹ/ vowel is a lesser-known R-colored vowel. It's in the words "tour", "lure", and sometimes in the word "you're". This vowel is different than the other R-colored vowels because not all native speakers use this vowel - sometimes they use the OR /ɔɹ/ or ER /ɝ/ vowels instead! Watch to learn some pronunciation tips about this R-colored vowel, close up and in slow motion!

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Aug
25
2020

How to Pronounce the OR /ɔɹ/ Vowel

Perfect your American accent and learn how to pronounce the American English OR /ɔɹ/ vowel! The OR vowel is in the words "door", "order", and "your". The trick to making this vowel is to keep your lips rounded!

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Aug
11
2020

How to Pronounce the AR /ɑɹ/ Vowel

What sound does a pirate make? "ARRRRRR!" If you've ever wondered how to make the "pirate sound", this video is for you! Learn the American English AR /ɑɹ/ vowel, like in the words "car", "heart", and "party", in both stressed and unstressed syllables!

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Aug
10
2020

How to Pronounce the AIR /ɛɹ/ Vowel

The American English AIR /ɛɹ/ vowel is in the words "hair", "dare", and "bear", and it's a great example of how American English spelling does NOT match the pronunciation! Perfect your American accent and learn how to pronounce this tricky R-colored vowel, in both stressed and unstressed syllables!

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Jul
29
2020

How to Pronounce the EAR Vowel

The R sound is a distinguishing feature of American English, and if you want to sound more like a native speaker, you need to master the R-colored vowels! Learn how to pronounce the EAR /ɪɹ/ vowel, like in the words "here", "year", and "appear", in stressed and unstressed syllables - close up and in slow motion!

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Jul
28
2020

How to Pronounce the ER Vowel /ɝ, ɚ/

Learn how to pronounce the American English R-colored vowel ER /ɝ,ɚ/, like in the words "bird" and "mother". American English loves the R sound in all forms, so if you want to sound like a native speaker, you need to master the R-colored vowels! There are two different IPA symbols for this vowel, depending on if it is stressed or unstressed. Learn how to pronounce both the stressed and unstressed vowels in this video!

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Jul
27
2020

An Introduction to R-Colored Vowels

Did you know the American R sound can be both a consonant and a vowel? It's a bit confusing, but this video will teach you the basics of the Consonant R /ɹ/ versus the Vowel R. If you want to sound more like a native American English speaker, you need to master the R-colored vowels!

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Jul
08
2020

How to Pronounce the UH /ʊ/ Vowel

The UH /ʊ/ Vowel is in the words "book", "put", and "could", and if you ask me, this is the WEIRDEST vowel in American English! Learn tips on how to pronounce the UH /ʊ/ vowel in stressed and unstressed positions, up close and in slow-motion!

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Jun
29
2020

How to Pronounce the OO /u/ Vowel

The OO /u/ vowel, like in the word "too", is fairly common in other languages, so you might have it in your native language. But there are a couple of things that make the OO /u/ vowel different in American English! Learn what makes this vowel uniquely American in this video - up close and in slow-motion!

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Jun
18
2020

How to Pronounce the EE /i/ Vowel

Learn how native American English speakers pronounce the EE /i/, like in "see" vowel, in both stressed and unstressed syllables! And sound more like a native speaker with vowel gliding!

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Jun
18
2020

How to Pronounce the IH /I/ Vowel

Perfect your American accent and learn the tricks to pronouncing this unique American English vowel, IH /ɪ/, like in the words "bit", "live", and "window". You'll see this vowel up close and in slow motion, in both stressed and unstressed syllables. And learn tips on how this vowel changes when it comes before the NG consonant, like in the word "sing"!

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Jun
10
2020

How to Pronounce the AH /ɑ/ Vowel

Improve your American Accent! Learn how to pronounce the American English vowel AH /ɑ/, like in "father" - and learn how this vowel has replaced the AW /ɔ/ vowel!

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Jun
02
2020

How to Pronounce the Schwa UH /ə/ Vowel

Improve your American accent and learn how to pronounce the most common vowel in American English: the schwa! It's so important that it has its own name! The schwa UH /ə/ vowel is in the words about, computer, and banana.

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Jun
02
2020

How to Pronounce the UH /ʌ/ Vowel

Improve your American accent and learn how to pronounce the UH /ʌ / like in "butter" vowel! See the vowel up close and in slow motion, in both stressed and unstressed syllables!

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Jun
01
2020

Introduction to the Schwa UH /ə/ Vowel

Perfect your American accent and learn all about the American schwa UH /ə/ vowel, like in the word "about". You'll learn why the schwa is the most common vowel in American English, and when to use it in word reductions!

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May
25
2020

How to Pronounce the EH /ɛ/ Vowel

Improve your American accent and learn how to pronounce the American English vowel EH /ɛ/, like in the word "red"! See the EH vowel up close and in slow motion, in both stressed and unstressed syllables!

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May
25
2020

How to Pronounce the AA /æ/ Vowel

Learn how to pronounce the American English vowel AA /æ/, like in the word "bat" - including how this vowel changes when it is next to an N, M, or NG consonant!

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May
14
2020

How to Pronounce the OY /ɔɪ/ Diphthong

Learn the American accent! The OY /ɔɪ/, like in "boy", vowel is called a diphthong - this means it has TWO sounds! Learn the correct lip, jaw, and tongue placement as you say this American English diphthong vowel, in both stressed and unstressed words!

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May
04
2020

How to Pronounce the AI /aɪ/ Diphthong

The AI /aɪ/ like in "time" American English diphthong has TWO vowel sounds. Learn the correct jaw, lip, and tongue positions as you glide from the first position to the last, in both stressed and unstressed words!

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Apr
26
2020

How to Pronounce the AY /eɪ/ Diphthong

The American English AY in "day" vowel is called a diphthong, which means it has TWO sounds! Learn the correct tongue, lip, and jaw positions as you say this common vowel of American English!

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Apr
20
2020

How to Pronounce the OW /aʊ/ Diphthong

The OW /aʊ/ in "how" is called a diphthong, and it has TWO sounds. Learn tips on how to correctly move your lips, jaw, and tongue to say the OW sound! Tip: Make sure you feel movement in your lips, jaw, and tongue as you say OW - and there is a lot of movement with this sound!

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Apr
14
2020

How to Pronounce the OH /oʊ/ Diphthong

The OH /oʊ/ in "no" American English diphthong has TWO vowel sounds. Learn the correct jaw, lip, and tongue positions as you glide from the first position to the last, in both stressed and unstressed words!

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Mar
29
2020

AH /ɑ/ and UH /ʌ/ Vowels: Minimal Pairs Listening Quiz

How well can you hear the difference between the words "cot" and "cut"? Improve your listening and speaking skills of the AH /ɑ/ in "father" and the UH /ʌ/ in "butter" vowels with this minimal pairs listening quiz!

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Mar
27
2020

EE and IH Vowels: Minimal Pairs Listening Quiz

How well can you hear the difference between the words bead and bid? Perfect your listening and pronunciation of the EE /i/ and IH /ɪ/ vowels in American English with this listening quiz!

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Feb
04
2020

The Vowels of American English

What makes the vowel in "beat" different from the bowel in "bit"? Learn about the front, central, and back vowels of American English!

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Feb
04
2020

AH and UH Vowels: A Visual Test

How well can you pronounce the AH (father) and the UH (butter) vowels in American English? Test your pronunciation skills with this visual test!

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Feb
04
2020

EE and IH Vowels: A Visual Test

How good is your pronunciation of the EE (beat) and IH (bit) vowels in American English? Test your skills with this visual test!

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Nov
20
2019

How to Pronounce the AH /ɑ/ Vowel and the UH /ʌ/ Vowel

Pronouncing the "ah" and "uh" vowels can be difficult for non-native English speakers to pronounce, so I created this video to help!

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Jun
20
2019

The Top 5 Problematic Sounds in American English: The AY /eɪ/ "bait" and EH /ɛ/ "bet" vowels

Learn the tricks to pronouncing the American English tense/lax vowel pair AY /eɪ/ (bait) and EH /ɛ/ (bet)!

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Jun
09
2019

The Top 5 Problematic Sounds in American English: The “eee” and “ih” vowels

This is Part Four of the Top 5 Problematic Sounds in American English.

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