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  1. #1
    mpucheg is offline Newbie
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    Pronunciation of the indefinite article A

    Hi, everybody

    I´d like to know which is the correct pronunciation of the indefinite article A, sometimes is pronounced like the letter A( ei) and I´ve also heard it being pronounced like the shwa sound. Are both O.K? Is there any difference?

    Thanks in advance

    Moisés

  2. #2
    GoesStation is offline Moderator
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    Re: Pronunciation of the indefinite article A

    It's a schwa. When have you heard it pronounced like the name of the letter A?
    I am not a teacher.

  3. #3
    andrewg927 is offline Senior Member
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    Re: Pronunciation of the indefinite article A

    I just heard it yesterday "he is A OK."

  4. #4
    mpucheg is offline Newbie
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    Re: Pronunciation of the indefinite article A

    I´ve heard it on the radio (KLZ 560), even I heard Obama using it with the sound of the letter A ( President Obama Remembers ‘Biggest Disappointment’ As President | NBC News) in this interview at 1:43 sec, when he says a member of.. also on movies,videos,etc.
    On the cambridge dictionary says:weak /ə/ , strong /eɪ/
    When is it used like a weak sound and when like a strong sound?
    Thanks again for your quick reply.

  5. #5
    Skrej's Avatar
    Skrej is offline Key Member
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    Re: Pronunciation of the indefinite article A

    You'll hear it both ways, and both are equally acceptable. I'm not aware of any rules, it's more of just an individual preference. I find myself using both.

    However, the schwa probably occurs more in rapid speech.
    Wear short sleeves! Support your right to bare arms!

  6. #6
    Rover_KE is offline Moderator
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    Re: Pronunciation of the indefinite article A

    Quote Originally Posted by andrewg927 View Post
    I just heard it yesterday "He is A OK."
    In the expression A-OK, the A is not the indefinite article.

    ***

    mpucheg,

    We often use a long A to mean one of the.

    'Is your son the manager of the hotel?'

    'No - he is A manager: three of them share the responsibility.'

    You'll also hear it when a speaker pauses to recall the right word.

    'This is what I call A [pause for thought] travesty of justice'.
    Last edited by Rover_KE; 30-Jun-2017 at 11:37.

  7. #7
    andrewg927 is offline Senior Member
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    Re: Pronunciation of the indefinite article A

    I always think of it as an article otherwise the "A" wouldn't qualify for anything.

  8. #8
    Skrej's Avatar
    Skrej is offline Key Member
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    Re: Pronunciation of the indefinite article A

    If the 'a' were really an article, it'd have to follow the usual vowel phoneme precedence rule and thus be 'an okay'.

    That plus we don't hyphenate articles.

    Supposedly it originated in the 60's as astronaut slang for 'all systems okay', although I don't know if that's true or not.
    Wear short sleeves! Support your right to bare arms!

  9. #9
    andrewg927 is offline Senior Member
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    Re: Pronunciation of the indefinite article A

    Good point.

  10. #10
    mpucheg is offline Newbie
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    Re: Pronunciation of the indefinite article A

    Quote Originally Posted by Skrej View Post
    You'll hear it both ways, and both are equally acceptable. I'm not aware of any rules, it's more of just an individual preference. I find myself using both.

    However, the schwa probably occurs more in rapid speech.
    Thanks a lot for your answer. It is really clear now.

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