IPA Listening Quiz: Vowels

Sep 16, 2020

IPA Listening Quiz: Vowels

9/16/2020

How well do you know the American English vowels? And how well do you know the IPA symbols that correspond to the American English vowels? Test your knowledge with this video! You'll complete 6 listening quizzes that test the monophthongs, diphthongs, and R-colored vowels of American English!

(Video Transcript)

 

How well do you know the vowels of American English? And how well do you know the International Phonetic Alphabet symbols that correspond to the vowels of American English? In this video, you’ll test your knowledge of the IPA for vowels with a listening quiz.

 

If this is your first time learning about the International Phonetic Alphabet, I’ll give you a quick introduction today. But if you need more review, I recommend you watch my earlier videos on the IPA.

 

The International Phonetic Alphabet, or the IPA as I’ll refer to it in this video, is a notation system that uses symbols to represent the sounds of a spoken language. It is incredibly handy to use when you’re learning a language like English because English is not a phonetic language. The spelling of the word does not always match up to the pronunciation. For example, let’s look at the spelling of these common words in American English:

 

There /ðɛɹ/

Their /ðɛɹ/

They’re /ðɛɹ/



Three different spellings, three different words, but they are all pronounced the same. And if you had never heard these words pronounced before, you’d need to rely on another system to let you know the pronunciation, such as the IPA.

 

In this video, I’ll review all of the vowel sounds in American English and their IPA symbols - the monophthongs, diphthongs, and the R-colored vowels. Then you’ll complete a listening quiz to test your knowledge.



American English monophthongs

I’ll start with the monophthongs. I’ll say each vowel twice, and I want you to say the vowel with me the second time. 

 

EE /i/

 

EE

 

IH /ɪ/

 

IH

 

EH /ɛ/

 

EH

 

AA /æ/

 

AA

 

AH /ɑ/

 

AH

 

AW /ɔ/ 

 

AW

 

UH /ʊ/

 

UH

 

OO /u/

 

OO

 

Stressed UH /ʌ/

 

UH

 

Unstressed UH /ə/

 

UH

 

Stressed ER /ɝ/ 

 

ER

 

Unstressed ER /ɚ/ 

 

ER

 

Now you’ll hear the vowels again, twice in a row. Say the vowels with me.



American English monophthongs: Listening quiz

Now for the listening quiz. You’ll hear me say one vowel sound, but you’re going to see two IPA symbols on the screen. Listen to the vowel sound and choose which symbol represents that sound.

 

OO /u/  AH /ɑ/. Answer: OO /u/

EH /ɛ/  Stressed UH /ʌ/. Answer: Stressed UH /ʌ/

EE  /i/  IH /ɪ/. Answer: IH /ɪ/

Unstressed ER /ɚ/  AA /æ/: Answer: Unstressed ER /ɚ/ 

AW /ɔ/ Unstressed UH /ə/. Answer: Unstressed UH /ə/

UH /ʊ/  EH /ɛ/: Answer: EH /ɛ/

AH /ɑ/  AA /æ/. Answer: AH /ɑ/

OO /u/  UH /ʊ/. Answer: UH /ʊ/

EE /i/  Stressed ER /ɝ/. Answer: EE /i/

Stressed UH /ʌ/  AW /ɔ/. Answer: AW /ɔ/



Now for another listening quiz, but this one will be a little harder. You’ll hear a vowel sound, but you won’t see any options on the screen. You’ll have 5 seconds to write down the IPA symbol that corresponds to the vowel sound. Then I’ll show you the answer.

 

ANSWERS:

Stressed ER /ɝ/

UH /ʊ/ 

AH /ɑ/

EE /i/ 

Unstressed ER /ɚ/

IH /ɪ/

OO /u/

Stressed UH /ʌ/ 

AW /ɔ/

AA /æ/

Unstressed UH /ə/

EH /ɛ/

 

Nice job! You’ve just practiced all of the American English monophthongs!

 

American English diphthongs

Now let’s move on to the diphthongs. 

 

I’ll say each vowel twice, and I want you to say the vowel with me the second time.

 

AY /eɪ/

 

AY

 

AI /aɪ/

 

AI

 

OY /ɔɪ/

 

OY

 

OH /oʊ/

 

OH

 

OW /aʊ/

 

OW

 

Now you’ll hear the vowels again, twice in a row. Say the vowels with me.



American English diphthongs: Listening quiz

Now for the listening quiz. You’ll hear me say one diphthong, but you’ll see two IPA symbols on the screen. Listen to the vowel sound and choose which symbol represents that sound.

 

AY /eɪ/  OW /aʊ/. Answer: AY /eɪ/

OY /ɔɪ/  AI /aɪ/. Answer: AI /aɪ/

OH /oʊ/  AY /eɪ/. Answer: OH /oʊ/

OW /aʊ/  OH /oʊ/. Answer: OW /aʊ/

AI /aɪ/  AY /eɪ/. Answer: AI /aɪ/

OH  /oʊ/  OY /ɔɪ/. Answer: OY /ɔɪ/

OW /aʊ/ AY /eɪ/. Answer: OW /aʊ/

 

Now for another listening quiz, but this one will be a little harder. You’ll hear a diphthong, but you won’t see any options on the screen. You’ll have 5 seconds to write down the IPA symbol that corresponds to the vowel sound. Then I’ll show you the answer.

 

ANSWERS:

OW /aʊ/

AY /eɪ/ 

AI /aɪ/

OH /oʊ/

OY /ɔɪ/

 

Great! You’ve just practiced all of the American English diphthongs! 

 

R-colored vowels

Now let’s move on to the last category of vowels, the R-colored vowels. 

I’ll say each vowel twice, and I want you to say the vowel with me the second time.

 

AR /ɑɹ/

 

AR

 

EAR /ɪɹ/

 

EAR

 

AIR /ɛɹ/

 

AIR

 

OR /ɔɹ/

 

OR

 

OOR /ʊɹ/

 

OOR



Now you’ll hear the vowels again, twice in a row. Say the vowels with me.

 

R-colored vowels: Listening quiz

Now for the listening quiz. You’ll hear me say one R-colored vowel, but you’ll see two IPA symbols on the screen. Listen to the vowel sound and choose which symbol represents that sound.

 

EAR /ɪɹ/  OOR /ʊɹ/. Answer: OOR /ʊɹ/

OR /ɔɹ/  AIR /ɛɹ/. Answer: OR /ɔɹ/

AR /ɑɹ/  EAR /ɪɹ/. Answer: AR /ɑɹ/

AIR /ɛɹ/  OR /ɔɹ/. Answer: AIR /ɛɹ/

EAR /ɪɹ/  AR /ɑɹ/. Answer: EAR /ɪɹ/

OOR /ʊɹ/  OR /ɔɹ/. Answer. OR /ɔɹ/

AIR /ɛɹ/  EAR /ɪɹ/. Answer: AIR /ɛɹ/

OOR /ʊɹ/  AR /ɑɹ/ . Answer: AR /ɑɹ/



Now for another listening quiz, but this one will be a little harder. You’ll hear an R-colored vowel, but you won’t see any options on the screen. You’ll have 5 seconds to write down the IPA symbol that corresponds to the vowel sound. Then I’ll show you the answer.

 

ANSWERS:

EAR /ɪɹ/ 

AR /ɑɹ/

OOR /ʊɹ/

AIR /ɛɹ/

OR /ɔɹ/



Great job - thanks so much for watching and completing the quizzes! I hope this video helped you to understand the IPA symbols for the American English vowels!