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    #1

    pronunciation of the letter U

    Hey Guys!

    It is generally understood that the pronunciation of the letter U of the English alphabet is a diphthong. Now, do you pronounce U as [iu:] (starting with a vowel sound) or [yu:] (starting with a consonant sound)?

    Thank you.

    -------------------------------
    *vowel sound /i/ (as i in hit); consonant sound /y/ or /j/ (as y in yet).
    **All systems of phonetic symbols will be accepted.
    Last edited by TaiwanPofLee; 01-Dec-2014 at 08:22. Reason: supplemental explanation

  1. BobK's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: pronunciation of the letter U

    The name of the letter 'U' starts with a glide. The symbol for that glide is /j/. The symbol /y/ is used in a phonemic transcription of French; that sound does not occur in RP (or in any variant that I've heard).

    b

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    #3

    Re: pronunciation of the letter U

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    The name of the letter 'U' starts with a glide. The symbol for that glide is /j/. The symbol /y/ is used in a phonemic transcription of French; that sound does not occur in RP (or in any variant that I've heard).

    b
    Thank you for your reply, BobK.
    The pronunciation symbol for the starting sound of the letter 'U' is [j] in such English dictionaries as Oxford Dictionary and Cambridge Dictionary, and [y] in such English dictionaries as Merriam-Webster Dictionary, American Heritage Dictionary and TheFreeDictionary.
    The Wikipedia says, "All English diphthongs are falling, apart from /juː/, which can be analyzed as [i̯uː]."

    I just want to know how native English-speaking guys really pronounce the letter 'U'.

    Last edited by TaiwanPofLee; 30-Nov-2014 at 16:36.

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    #4

    Re: pronunciation of the letter U

    I am not a teacher.

    I pronounce it in exactly the same way as I pronounce the word 'you', that is to say /juː/.

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    #5

    Re: pronunciation of the letter U

    Quote Originally Posted by Roman55 View Post
    I pronounce it in exactly the same way as I pronounce the word 'you', that is to say /juː/.
    So do I.

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    #6

    Re: pronunciation of the letter U

    Quote Originally Posted by Roman55 View Post
    I am not a teacher.

    I pronounce it in exactly the same way as I pronounce the word 'you', that is to say /juː/.
    Thank you for your reply, Roman55.

    I understand that the spelling of the word 'you' starts with a consonant letter 'y', which is pronounced /j/, and 'you' is pronounced /ju:/.

    Since the consonant sound /j/ (as y in yet) is different from the vowel sound /i/ (as i in hit), are you sure that you pronounce the letter 'U' (or 'u') as /ju:/, starting with a consonant sound /j/, but not as /iu:/, starting with a vowel sound /i/?
    Last edited by TaiwanPofLee; 30-Nov-2014 at 16:35.

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    #7

    Re: pronunciation of the letter U

    Thank you for your reply, Tdol.

    I understand that the spelling of the word 'you' starts with a consonant letter 'y', which is pronounced /j/, and 'you' is pronounced /ju:/.

    Since the consonant sound /j/ (as y in yet) is different from the vowel sound /i/ (as i in hit), are you sure that you pronounce the letter 'U' (or 'u') as /ju:/, starting with a consonant sound /j/, but not as /iu:/, starting with a vowel sound /i/?
    Last edited by TaiwanPofLee; 30-Nov-2014 at 16:34.

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    #8

    Re: pronunciation of the letter U

    Quote Originally Posted by TaiwanPofLee View Post
    Thank you for your reply, BobK.
    The pronunciation symbol for the starting sound of the letter 'U' is [j] in such English dictionaries as Oxford Dictionary and Cambridge Dictionary, and in such English dictionaries as [/SIZE][/FONT]Merriam-Webster Dictionary, American Heritage Dictionary and TheFreeDictionary."

    ...
    I assumed, as you used the symbols "[]", you were aiming to use the symbols of IPA. It is regrettable that some otherwise useful dictionaries have the same fast-and-loose attitude to standardization.

    You'll be surprised to hear, as will many other readers, that Wikipedia is not infallible. Wikipedia's transcriptions often (always?) use IPA symbols. The syllable /ju:/ does not start with an [i] (or indeed an [ɪ] - the sound in 'bit').

    b

    PS I stripped out a lot of unnecessary formatting from the quote I was trying to comment on. Sometimes there's so much meaningless formatting as to make a quote illegible; sometimes I have started a reply and then thrown in the towel. May I recommend the item on the Edit menu Paste from Word. (This may not apply to to you, but some readers may find it useful.)
    Last edited by BobK; 30-Nov-2014 at 13:27. Reason: Added to last para to answer an unanswered question

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    #9

    Re: pronunciation of the letter U

    Thank you for your reply, BobK.

    I totally agree that Wikipedia is not infallible.

    My question is not about phonetic symbols. I accept and use various systems of phonetic symbols, including the DJ, the Oxford, the KK and the IPA.

    I just want to know how native English-speaking people really pronounce the letter 'U' (or 'u') of the English alphabet. And, since the consonant sound /j/ (as y in yet) is different from the vowel sound /i/ (as i in hit), please distinguish whether you pronounce the letter 'U' (or 'u') as /ju:/, starting with a consonant sound /j/ from as /iu:/, starting with a vowel sound /i/.

    Looking forward to more replies.
    Last edited by TaiwanPofLee; 30-Nov-2014 at 17:37.

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    #10

    Re: pronunciation of the letter U

    Every native speaker that I have come across that I have heard say it has started it with /j/.

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