English has eleven different vowels. It’s important to know the correct mouth position so you can get the vowel right: study this vowel with illustrations and up close, slow motion speech. Sample words: Honest, occupation, hot, clock, October, soft.
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In this American English pronunciation video, we’re going to learn how to pronounce the AH as in FATHER vowel.
This vowel needs a lot of jaw drop. Ah.
The tongue tip lightly touches behind the bottom front teeth, and the back part of the tongue presses down a little bit.
Ah. The lips are neutral, very relaxed. Ah. Because the tongue presses down in the back, you can see further into the dark space in the mouth. Let’s see that by watching this vowel up close and in slow motion.
The lips are relaxed, and the tongue is lowered in the back. The inside of the mouth is dark.
The word ‘job’. The jaw drops, and the tongue presses down in the back.
Ah. When this vowel is in a stressed syllable, the voice will go up and come down in pitch, ah, job, ah. When it’s in an unstressed syllable, it won’t be as long, and it won’t have the up-down shape of the voice, ah, ah. For example, in the word ‘blockade’, ah, ah, blockade.
The mouth position looks the same: jaw drop, relaxed lips, and tongue pressed slightly down in the back. But because the pitch is flatter and the syllable is quicker, it sounds unstressed. Ah, ah.
Stressed AH: job, AH.
Unstressed ah: blockade, ah.
AH, ah. AH, ah.
Example words. Repeat with me:
Honest, occupation, hot, clock, October, soft.
I hope this video helps you understand this sound. That’s it, and thanks so much for using Rachel’s English.