Results 1 to 4 of 4
  1. #1
    Nicki28 is offline Newbie
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    2
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Vowel Digraphs difficulties

    I clearly dont understand the rules for vowel digraphs. For example, the vowel digraph AI. Why is the A sound in PAID long and short in the SAIL. Shouldnt AI words always have a long A sound? How do you know when the rule doesnt apply? All vowel digraphs seem to have exceptions to the rule, but how do you identitfy that? Thanks!

  2. #2
    BobK's Avatar
    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • UK
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    15,671
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Vowel Digraphs difficulties

    Quote Originally Posted by Nicki28 View Post
    I clearly dont understand the rules for vowel digraphs. For example, the vowel digraph AI. Why is the A sound in PAID long and short in the SAIL. Shouldnt AI words always have a long A sound? How do you know when the rule doesnt apply? All vowel digraphs seem to have exceptions to the rule, but how do you identitfy that? Thanks!
    I don't understand. Are you talking about digraphs (what we write) or diphthongs? The words 'paid' and 'sail' both make the same diphthong anyway (/eɪ/). I think the examples you wanted to give were 'paid' and 'said' (the latter of which doesn't have a diphthong sound at all, in spite of the digraph: /sed/).

    But the general point is that in English - unlike some other languages - there just isn't a direct/unchanging relation between spellings and sounds. The solution is to listen a lot and to use the IPA to reinforce your learning. Learner's dictionaries (the ones with 'learner's' in the title) all use the IPA. Why pay good money for it and then ignore half the information it offers.

    b

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    1
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Vowel Digraphs difficulties

    Well, as an English learner, I find it very difficult to speak English in a way that native speakers do cuz the vowels are different from those in my language :(
    It is really hard !!!

  4. #4
    BobK's Avatar
    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • UK
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    15,671
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Vowel Digraphs difficulties

    PS When I said 'paid' and 'sail' have the same vowel sound, I was speaking phonemically: /peɪd/ and /seɪl/. In Real Life there's a bit of a vocalic noise after the /eɪ/ in 'sail'; whether you call it a schwa or the onset of a syllabic consonant is up to you!

    b

Similar Threads

  1. [General] origins of English digraphs
    By Unregistered in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 30-Oct-2009, 14:07
  2. [Grammar] vowel
    By vijichingam in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 25-Mar-2009, 11:42
  3. Vowel
    By Unregistered in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 16-Dec-2006, 12:28
  4. digraphs!
    By Masobel in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 17-Oct-2005, 12:21

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •