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  1. #1
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    Default pronunciation of superlatives

    Hello friends,

    As far as it is explained in grammar books, the ending of the superlative forms of adjectives -est is pronounced /-ist/. For example: biggest /'bigist/, etc. But I wonder how we pronounce the superlative of adjectives whose base form ends in -y . For example: happiest
    /ˈhpɪəst/ or /ˈhpɪst/.
    Thank you very much.
    Nataly

  2. #2
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: pronunciation of superlatives

    It becomes an extra syllable. I'm afraid I can't use the IPA symbols on this computer, but it is 'happee-ist'.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: pronunciation of superlatives

    Thank you for your reply.

    You mean we should pronounce /ˈhpɪəst/, right?

    Regards,
    Nataly

  4. #4
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: pronunciation of superlatives

    /haepi:Ist/ That's the closest I can get till I get onto a computer where I can install the fonts.

  5. #5
    Steven D's Avatar
    Steven D is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: pronunciation of superlatives

    Quote Originally Posted by tdol
    /haepi:Ist/ That's the closest I can get till I get onto a computer where I can install the fonts.

    Would you say there's a linking "y" sound in there too? I think there is.

    /ˈhpɪyəst/




  6. #6
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    Default Re: pronunciation of superlatives

    I hope this doesn't sound too dismissively simplistic, but you just say the full word with the "y" ending, and add an "ist" sound at the end. For instance, with "happiest," say the word "happy" as normal and add a dull "ist" at the end, neither slurring nor breaking the connection between the syllables (ie. three distinct syllables, but not separated).

    That would be how it is with the basic "flat" American pronunciation, at least.

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