Y Alphabet PronunciationPosted by Mike Schuck
The next step in learning the alphabet is to learn how to pronounce all of your letter sounds! This article will teach you that. So, let’s get started by looking at our first letter sound- ooh!
The sound of “o” as in book or moon
To make this sound, use your tongue to push up against the roof of your mouth just behind the front teeth. Your throat should be relaxed so that you can produce a steady stream of air. If your neck is tight, your voice will crack and tremble which won’t feel good.
This way of pronouncing the letter “o” is called the oral method. It is the most common way people learn the English language. You probably learned this sound when you were little if you know what any word starting with the letter ‘o’ means.
Some other ways to say the same thing are: putting pressure on the top of the mouth (nose method), or lifting the bottom of the mouth away from the floor of the mouth (throat method). These types of pronunciation practices are helpful for people who want to master the art of sounding like a native speaker.
Practice saying the letter O __________________
Now that you have the basics down, it is time to practice some words! Try practicing the following sentence out several times.
My favorite color is blue, and my favorite animal is a dog.
The y in yellow
The next letter is pronounced as “y” instead of like the word eye (ai). This sound can be used to emphasize certain syllables or even change the meaning of a sentence completely!
The most common use of this pronunciation is for the word yellow. When said quickly, the sounds almost rhyme with argyle. (Hint: say it fast!)
Another way to hear this sound is when someone says they are going to do something “yellow.” Or you could say that something is “yello-good.
The y in year
The next letter is pronounced like the word eye, with a sound that starts as an s and then quickly drops. This letter is called a digraph because it contains two distinct letters that work together to create one meaning. In this case, the pair of letters works as a rhyme, so it is also referred to as a double vowel or even just a double o!
The double o comes from the word eyes. That word has an ey-o pronunciation, so they makes sense as well. When you say this letter twice, however, it does not mean that there are two sounds of o, it means one long sound!
This double yer takes longer than normal o, making it harder to understand. For example, if someone says I want to go out today, you would know they mean they want to go outside but not inside buildings or pools. If something happens that requires quick thinking or action, such as going after a thief, then people will use the term urgently, which also uses the double o.
The y in Yelp
The l in the word phone is not silent like some may think. It makes phones have what we call an alphabetical voice, which means it comes with defined sounds.
The l in the word phone has a sound all its own! This special l has been around since the 1940’s when telephone systems used to use vacuum tubes for transmitting voices.
Now that technology is mostly gone, but most phone companies keep this l alive by using what they call pulse-width modulation (or PWM). This uses pulses of electricity to transmit data, just like how lights work.
But instead of having one light be either on or off, there are different lengths of time that a piece of metal can be energized before being deactivated again.
The y in YouTube
The l in Facebook, the c in Snapchat, the ya in Yahoo! are all sounds that you will get to use in the English language. Some of these sounds seem very familiar, though; you probably know what the letter sound is used for.
The most well-known example of this is the word baby, which contains the l sound. When people speak with babies, they look to make the l sound.
That’s why parents often hear their children saying baa or mama instead of ball or milk. Or kids say poppa instead of daddy due to the l sound being lost in the “papa” part.
Now, let’s take a closer look at some other sounds made from the letters you find in the alphabet. These new words and phrases may be found in dictionaries, blogs, magazines, or newspapers. You can also test them out by using the internet to search for them.
The y in zebra
The next letter is also called a double-vowel or an open vowel because it has a very short sound, only half of a full syllable. This letter sounds are typically not spoken as such, however. They get watered down to something more like a simple vowel.
The most common place you will hear this letter is in words that contain it as part of a word. For example, your average zoo would have lions, zebras, tigers, and so forth.
The y in zone
Another way to say zen is yoga with an extra letter! This additional letter is called a digraph or a pair of letters that go together. In this case, the double greek word is pronounced ee-JAYN.
The reason why we have two separate sounds for one syllable is because it creates another meaning or emphasis. When you add the second sound to silence, it makes your listener focus more on the first sound. For example, if someone says “theese are my new sneakers” then they use thees as a short form for them.
This effect works best when the second sound follows a strong sound or word. That is what happens here! I reworded the sentence so that the serene image comes before the shoes.
I also gave the word zone its own special place in the sentence by adding some commas. All of these effects work when people listen to the news, watch TV, and read books.
The y in zone out
Let's look at an example! The word zone is spelled with an "y" letter, but how do you say it?
The popular way to say this word is by dropping the first syllable and adding an "-ay" or "-ey" sound at the end. So, instead of saying "zone," we would say "z-day." This is called the reduced pronunciation.
But what if you don't like that sound? What if you feel like there are too many sounds attached to the word? Then there is another way to pronounce it!
This other way starts with the same prefix as before, but then adds a new sound. And this new sound is either a voiced or unvoiced fricative (similar to a glottis slot in your voice box).
So, instead of just pronouncing it as either z-day or -dye, you could say something like zef-dye, zehv-dye, or even zej-dye. All three of these are correct ways to say the word according to the rules.
The y in zone up
Another way to say zoom or increase is by adding an extra syllable to your word. When you do this, you get a new word that means the same thing as the original but with one more sound.
The trick is to add the y just like there’s a missing vowel in most words that begin with a consonant. For example, take a look at the word ball.
We can make it into a longer word by adding an extra sound called a “y-er” between the nose and the l.
So, a ball of yarn would be a long string of sounds with the -yer attached to the n and then the l.
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