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English Sounds and Spelling (#9), by Dennis Oliver

 


English Sounds and Spelling #9:

 

The / e / and / ae /sounds (the vowel sounds in bet and
bat) are similar in pronunciation: both are made with the
tongue toward the middle of the mouth, but / e / is more
forward and has a higher tongue position than / ae /.
To many learners of English, / e / and / ae / sound very
similar or even the same. To a native speaker of English,
however, they sound completely different.

Here are some examples of words in which the use of
/ e / or / e / is the only difference in pronunciation:


words with / e /
 


words with / ae /

bed
 

bad

 bet
 

bat

Chet
 

chat

den
 

Dan

fen
 

fan

hem
 

ham

Ken
 

can

lest
 

last

met
 

mat, Matt

net
 

gnat

 pet
 

pat

wreck
 

rack

send
 

sand

shed
 

shad

spend
 

spanned

ten
 

tan

vest
 

vast
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