September 11, 2019 0

How to Pronounce the Alphabet: American English Pronunciation


Today I’m going to go over how to pronounce
the letters of the alphabet. You may find if you speak with an accent that native speakers
will ask you to spell something if they feel they’re not sure they’ve understood what
you said. For example if you have a foreign name that is unfamiliar to Americans, you
might find them asking you to spell it after you tell them what your name is. A. A is simply
the ‘ay’ as in ‘say’ diphthong [e]. A. So you can see the jaw goes from being
more dropped, A, to closing more, A, as the tongue reaches up towards the roof of the
mouth for the second part of the diphthong. A. The next letters all have the ‘ee’
as in ‘she’ vowel sound [i] where the corners of the mouth pull a little bit wide,
ee, and the tongue raises very high, ee, in the front/mid part of the mouth. B. B had
the B consonant sound where the lips start together, bb B. And opens into the ‘ee’
as in ‘she’ vowel sound. C. C begins with the S consonant sound, ss, and moves into
the ‘ee’ as in ‘she’ sound. C. D. D begins with the D sound, dd, dd, the voiced
consonant, and moves into the ‘ee’ as in ‘she’ vowel sound. D. E is simply the
‘ee’ as in ‘she’ vowel sound. E. F. F begins with the ‘eh’ as in ‘bed’
vowel sound [e], which has quite a drop in the jaw, eh, eh, F. It then finishes with
the F consonant sound where the bottom lip moves up and touches the top teeth, ff, and
you release air through that. It is unvoiced. F. G. G again has the ‘ee’ as in ‘she’
vowel sound. It begins with the ‘jj’ as in ‘jar’ consonant sound. G. H. H begins
with the ‘ay’ as in ‘say’ diphthong, just like the letter A, but it ends with the
ch’ as in ‘char’ consonant sound. H. Ch, ch where you release just air though the
mouth position. H. I. I is pronounced with the ‘ay’ as in ‘buy’ diphthong [a].
I. J. J begins with the ‘jj’ as in ‘jar’ consonant sound, jj, it then has the ‘ay’
as in ‘say’ diphthong. J, J. K begins with the kk K consonant sound and then has
the ‘ay’ as in ‘say’ diphthong. K. The next three consonants all start with the
‘eh’ as in ‘bed’ vowel sound. L, L begins with the eh sound and moves into the
L sound, where the tip of the tongue, L, L, moves up to touch the roof of the mouth just
behind the teeth. L. M. M begins with the eh sound and then finishes with the M consonant
sound where the lips come together – M, mm, mm – while you make noise with the vocal
cords. M. N. N begins with the eh sound and moves into the N consonant sound. N, nn, where
the tongue raises to the roof of the mouth and the lips remain open. N, N. The letter
O is simply pronounced with the ‘oh’ as in ‘no’ diphthong [o]. O, O. P. P begins
with the P consonant sound, pp, where the lips are together and you release air. It
then goes into the ‘ee’ as in ‘she’ vowel sound. P. P. Q. Q begins with the unvoiced
kk K consonant sound, and then has the ‘ew’ as in ‘few’ diphthong [ju]. Q. R. R begins
with the ‘ah’ as in ‘father’ sound [a] and then moves immediately into the R
consonant sound. R, R. S. S begins with the ‘eh’ as in ‘bed’ vowel sound. Eh,
Eh, S S. It then moves into the S consonant sound. S. T. T begins with the unvoiced tt
T consonant sound and then has the ‘ee’ as in ‘she’ vowel sound. T T. U. The letter
U is pronounced with the ‘ew’ as in ‘few’ diphthong. V. V begins with the voiced vv
consonant sound where the bottom lip moves up to the top teeth. V, v, followed by the
‘ee’ as in ‘she’ vowel sound. V. W. W begins with the D consonant sound. dd. It
then moves into the ‘uh’ as in ‘butter’ followed by the B consonant sound. Double.
It then has the schwa and the dark L sound. Double, W. And the ‘ew’ as in ‘few’
diphthong. W. The accent is on the first syllable. W. X. X begins with the ‘eh’ vowel sound,
it then has the K and the S consonant sounds together. Eh kk ss. X. Y. Y begins with the
W consonant sound, where the lips are in a tight circle. It then opens into the ‘ay’
as in ‘buy’ diphthong. Y. Z. Z begins with the voiced consonant, zz, followed by
the ‘ee’ as in ‘she’ vowel sound. Z. And now, all of the letters of the alphabet.
Listen and repeat. If you can record this, that would be helpful. You can then listen
to it and compare your pronunciation with mine to see if there are any errors.

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