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  1. #1
    nyota's Avatar
    nyota is offline Senior Member
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    Default How do you pronounce 'ate'

    I was taught not to pronounce ate (as in "I ate an apple") as 'eight'. Recently I got to know that 'eight' pronunciation is very common and 'ett' sounds weird.

    How do you pronounce "ate" in BrE, AmE or AusE? Does it vary that much depending on the region?

  2. #2
    susiedq is offline Member
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    Default Re: How do you pronounce 'ate'

    How do you pronounce

    six, seven, eight ?


  3. #3
    nyota's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you pronounce 'ate'

    eight - /eɪt/
    ate - /ɛt/

    Or didn't I get some joke?

  4. #4
    birdeen's call is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: How do you pronounce 'ate'

    /ɛt/ is uncommon in the US, but exists dialectally. It is used by some RP speakers and, I've just found out, some Northern English speakers. That's certainly not an exhaustive list. I would guess that it might be used in some Irish accents.

  5. #5
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    konungursvia is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: How do you pronounce 'ate'

    That's right. Most North Americans pronounce both /eɪt/. My Grade 10 art teacher did say the other though, he was from a small town somewhere.

  6. #6
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    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Default Re: How do you pronounce 'ate'

    I thought your title meant 'How do you pronounce "ate". There is variation, as you've heard. Strict/prescriptive RP guides require the simple vowel., as do less enlightened teachers. I think I probably favour the RP version, but sometimes use the diphthong, depending on my audience.

    b

  7. #7
    nyota's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you pronounce 'ate'

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    I thought your title meant 'How do you pronounce "ate". There is variation, as you've heard. Strict/prescriptive RP guides require the simple vowel., as do less enlightened teachers. I think I probably favour the RP version, but sometimes use the diphthong, depending on my audience.

    b
    Thanks Bob. Which version would you use/ hear at home? Among friends?

  8. #8
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    Default Re: How do you pronounce 'ate'

    I only use "eight." I wouldn't have guessed that "ett" was more refined -- quite the opposite, actually.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  9. #9
    Curt Jugg is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: How do you pronounce 'ate'

    I suspect this is mainly an American/British thing. Oxford Dictionaries Online give only /ɛt/

    definition of ate from Oxford Dictionaries Online

  10. #10
    BobK's Avatar
    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Default Re: How do you pronounce 'ate'

    Quote Originally Posted by Curt Jugg View Post
    I suspect this is mainly an American/British thing. Oxford Dictionaries Online give only /ɛt/

    definition of ate from Oxford Dictionaries Online
    As I said nyota, that's what I do; but as I also said, I sometimes slip into using the diphthong.

    b

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