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19 vowel sounds

19 Vowel Sounds of English


Vowel sounds present a considerable challenge to non-native speakers. Spoken English has an unusually high number of vowel sounds – from 5 written vowels (a, e, i, o, u) we produce 19 vowel sounds (see chart below).

Do you know how many vowel sounds your language has? If it has less than English, you will need to learn the new sounds.

The 19 vowel sounds of English:

Types of Vowel Sound

A vowel sound is made by shaping the air as it leaves the mouth. There are four types of vowel in English:

      • Short monothongs (2, 3, 4, 7, 10, 12 in the diagram)
      • Long monothongs (1, 6, 8, 9, 11 in the diagram)
      • Diphthongs (13 – 19 in the diagram)
      • Weak vowels (1, 2, 5 , 9 in the diagram)

In ‘An English Accent’ you will learn the mouth positions and spellings for each of these vowel sounds. You will also see how they change in different positions of a sentence.

In the Course

Each chapter contains a section on vowel sounds as follows:

Chapter Vowel Sounds
1 Introduction
2 Long Monothongs
3 Short Monothongs
4 Introduction Diphthongs
5 Diphthongs 16 – 17
6 Diphthongs 13 – 15
7 Diphthongs 18 – 19
8 Reduced Vowels



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