Learn how to make the Y consonant correctly by studying illustrations of the mouth position and up close, slow motion speech.
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The Y consonant sound. To make this sound, the mid/front part of the tongue raises and presses against the roof of the mouth about here. The tip of the tongue comes down and lightly touches behind the bottom front teeth yy, yy, while the throat closes off to give the Y sound that yy, yy quality. Here’s a photo of the Y consonant sound on the right compared with the mouth at rest. And here parts of the mouth are drawn in. The soft palate is raised on this sound. The tongue stretches towards the roof of the mouth.
Here it is not shown touching the roof of the mouth because there is a passage down the middle of the tongue that does not touch the roof of the mouth. This is where the sound travels. The sides of the top of the tongue do press against the roof of the mouth. Sample words: yeah, yard, yield, yogurt. Sample sentence: Did you buy the yellow kayak yesterday? Now you will see this sentence up close and in slow motion, both straight on and from an angle, so you can really study how the mouth moves when making this sound.
Did, the tongue tip up and the teeth closed for the D. And now the tongue goes straight into the Y here so the tongue is pressed against the roof of the mouth, ‘oo’ as in ‘boo’ sound, did you. Lips together for the B, buy, with the ‘ai’ as in ‘buy’ diphthong. The, tongue through the teeth. Yellow, mid-front part of the tongue touching the roof of the mouth. Tongue through the teeth for the L. Kayak, now it’s spelled with a Y but it’s actually the ‘ai’ as in ‘buy’ diphthong so the tongue doesn’t raise quite high enough to press the roof of the mouth. Yesterday, teeth together to make the S, the R consonant sound, day.
Did. Tongue tip up to the roof of the mouth and the teeth closed for the D sound. You, now here the tongue is pressing the roof of the mouth and the lips are making the ‘oo’ as in ‘boo’. Lips together for the B, buy, with the ‘ai’ as in ‘buy’ diphthong. The, tongue tip through the teeth Yellow, tongue front-mid pressing against the roof of the mouth and the tongue tip through for the L. Kayak, spelled with a Y but it is the ‘ai’ as in ‘buy’ diphthong, -yak and the tongue raises for the Y in yesterday. Lips form the R shape, yester-day. Tongue tip up for the D and back down for the ‘ay’ as in ‘say’ diphthong. That’s it, and thanks so much for using Rachel’s English.