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  1. ksmolinar

    Red face Article pronunciation


    I am a mother as well as a former ESL instructor. I know that this is a touchy subject for many English speakers, but I am not sure if it is actually correct and I don't want to talk to my child's Kindergarten teacher about it until I know for sure.

    When using the "a" as an article, is it pronounced a like the u in the "up" or a like the long sound of the letter as in "make"? Perhaps it is an accent and I am just not accustomed to it, but honestly it drives me crazy. My daughter has a book that she brought home from school and when she reads it she pronounces everything with the long "a" sound - if it is correct and it doesn't matter which way it is pronounced, I can let it go, but if not...aaaahhhhh!

    I understand the rule very well when it comes to using "a" and "and" or the pronunciation of "the" and "the" before a vowel or consonant sound, but I can't find anything on the internet about what I mentioned above.

    Thank you for your time!

  2. Barb_D's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Mar 2007
    • Posts: 19,215

    Re: Article pronunciation

    I'm my use, the long a is use to emphasize "only one."

    Do you have a pencil I could borrow? (uh pencil)
    Yes, I have a pencil - so don't lose it or I'll have none (ay pencil)

    (My unsolicited advice as a mom is to let it go and keep pronouncing things correctly at home. Your kid is reading. That's a victory. If you make her self-conscious about the uh/ay thing, she'll be hesitant to read out loud, if she even wants to keep reading at all. My kids used the word "amn't" (instead of I'm not, it was I amn't) and other interesting language-when-learning "mistakes" but I just kept modeling the right words and pronunciation rather than drawing attention to it. It's all fine now.)

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