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    #1

    Unhappy Pronunciation problem

    Hi! Could any of you tell me when 'are' is pronunced as /a:/ and when as /ə/ ? And the same question about the pronunciation of 'of' when should I pronunce it as /əv/ when as /ɒv/? For egzample in the sentence: 'All the sounds we make when we speak are the result of musces contracting.'
    Please help me! I think I really don't get when it is weak and when strong.

  1. Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Pronunciation problem

    Quote Originally Posted by karolajna9 View Post
    Hi! Could any of you tell me when 'are' is pronounced as /a:/ and when as /ə/? (Don't put a space before question marks.)

    It's pronounced exactly the same as the letter R.

    In informal American speech (but NOT writing!), it is usually contracted when it's part of a question. For instance:

    - What're you doing?
    - How're you feeling?
    - Who're their friends?
    - Why're you asking?
    - Where're they going?

    In those cases, the A is silent.


    And the same question about the pronunciation of 'of.' When should I pronounce it as /əv/ and when as /ɒv/? For example, in the sentence: 'All the sounds we make when we speak are the result of muscles contracting.'

    It always rhymes with love, above, shove, and dove. No exceptions.

    Please help me! I think I really don't get when it is weak and when strong.
    Hope that helps.
    Last edited by Charlie Bernstein; 18-Apr-2015 at 01:12.
    I'm not a teacher. I speak American English. I've tutored writing at the University of Southern Maine and have done a good deal of copy editing and writing, occasionally for publication.

  2. mandrews01's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Pronunciation problem

    In BrE 'are' is a 'weak form', meaning that it is almost always pronounced as an /ə/ (the so called 'schwa') except when

    - the word 'are' is situated at the end of a sentence (as the last word)
    - at the beginning of the sentence or
    - anywhere inside the sentence.

    It is up to the speaker to pronounce it fully as 'are' or weak as /ə/- sometimes the speaker may have a particular reason to pronounce it strongly even though it would normally be pronounced weakly (for example when the word needs to be stressed for contextual emphasis).


    Michael Andrews

    Last edited by emsr2d2; 30-Apr-2015 at 20:32.

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