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: Sometimes, money, above, untie, uphill, fun.
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In this American English pronunciation video, we’re going to learn how to pronounce the UH as in BUTTER vowel.
This is a very relaxed sound. You can see, uh, the jaw drops but the rest of the mouth remains very neutral, uh.
The tongue is relaxed: the back presses down just a little bit, and the tip is forward.
Uh. Keep your face really relaxed. Let’s look at this sound up close and in slow motion.
A very relaxed jaw drop with relaxed lips. The tongue presses down just a bit in the back. Here’s the word ‘stuff’. Again, everything looks nice and relaxed. The tongue presses down just a bit in the back.
In a stressed syllable, the vowel curves up then down. Stuff, uh. In an unstressed syllable, it’s lower and flatter in pitch, and a little quieter and quicker, uh, uh. The vowel is unstressed in the word ‘undo’, uh. Let’s take a look at this word up close and in slow motion.
Easy jaw drop. Lips and cheeks remain very relaxed. Tongue presses down slightly in the back.
Compare the stressed vowel above with the unstressed vowel below. Notice the jaw may drop a bit more for a stressed syllable.
This is typical. Unstressed vowels and diphthongs are shorter, so there isn’t as much time to make the full mouth position.
The UH vowel, stressed: stuff, UH
The UH vowel, unstressed: undo, uh
UH, uh, UH, uh.
Example words. Repeat with me.
Sometimes, money, above, untie, uphill, fun.
I hope this video helps you understand this sound. That’s it, and thanks so much for using Rachel’s English.