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    #1

    Pronunciation of first syllable as 'in' or 'en'

    Do American and British native speakers pronounce the first syllable of words such as 'engage' and 'encourage' as 'in' or 'en'? In my country, the first syllable of all such words are pronounced as 'en', and if I pronounced it as 'in', I would be corrected or be taught of as not knowing how to pronounce such simple words.

    Thanks.

  1. 5jj's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Pronunciation of first syllable as 'in' or 'en'

    Quote Originally Posted by Tan Elaine View Post
    Do American and British native speakers pronounce the first syllable of words such as 'engage' and 'encourage' as 'in' or 'en'? In my country, the first syllable of all such words are pronounced as 'en',
    The Longman Pronunciation Dictionary gives both pronunciations, and /ən/, for both dialects. It also says that they can become /ɪŋ/, /eŋ/ and /əŋ/. You should not be corrected

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    #3

    Re: Pronunciation of first syllable as 'in' or 'en'

    Thanks, Fivejedjon.

    I left out two words. They are 'editor' and 'edition'. The first syllable of the former is, according to my dictionary, pronounced as 'ed', while the latter's first syllable is pronounced as 'i' as in 'in'. Do native speakers pronounce 'edition' as stated in my dictionary?

    Thanks.

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    #4

    Re: Pronunciation of first syllable as 'in' or 'en'

    Quote Originally Posted by Tan Elaine View Post
    I left out two words. They are 'editor' and 'edition'. The first syllable of the former is, according to my dictionary, pronounced as 'ed', while the latter's first syllable is pronounced as 'i' as in 'in'. Do native speakers pronounce 'edition' as stated in my dictionary?
    Yes. Wells and Roach both agree with your dictionary, as do the ALD and COD. I think I'd accept /ə/ (as in 'about') for 'edition'.

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    #5

    Re: Pronunciation of first syllable as 'in' or 'en'

    Many thanks, Fivejedjon,for being so thorough in sharing your knowledge.

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    #6

    Re: Pronunciation of first syllable as 'in' or 'en'

    Quote Originally Posted by fivejedjon View Post
    Yes. Wells and Roach both agree with your dictionary, as do the ALD and COD. I think I'd accept /ə/ (as in 'about') for 'edition'.
    What seems to be happening with /ɪ'dɪʃən/ is what's called 'assimilation'; in /'edɪtə/ there is no stressed /ɪ/. (But I'm not saying there's a rule of the sort that a foreign student could usefully learn. There might be a rule here, but I suspect that if formulated it would be harder to learn than all the examples put together. )

    b

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