3 Long vowels , diphthongs and triphthongs
Find a Teacher Enterprise. Do you know the terms monophthong diphthong and triphthong? In this article you'll learn the difference, and learn a deeper principal of English pronunciation too! Vowels can be monophthongs, diphthongs or triphthongs.
To understand these terms you must first understand what a syllable is, and the best way to explain that is with an example. Say each of these words to yourself:. Mouse 1 syllable. Rabbit 2 syllables. Kangaroo 3 syllables.
Barracuda 4 syllables. Hippopotamus 5 syllables. As you can hear, a syllable is a 'unit of pronunciation'. If we say that a word has one syllable or two syllables, that says something about the rhythmic character of the word.
A word has two syllables when there are two vowel sounds divided by a consonant sound, or, to put it another way, two vowel sounds connected by a consonant sound. And so on. This is a two-syllable word. Now that you understand what a syllable is we can look at monophthongs and diphthongs.
A monophthong is where there is one vowel sound in a syllable, and a diphthong is where there are two vowel sounds in a syllable. Here we have the same two vowel sounds but this time they are stuck together in one syllable, without any consonant dividing them. To put it simply: a monophthong is a single vowel and a diphthong is a double vowel. Everything is Connected. At this point you might be feeling that this is getting quite complicated, but remember: all of the diphthongs and triphthongs are made from the monophthongs.
So, once you learn the monophthongs, the diphthongs and triphthongs are quite easy. Also, 4 of the monophthongs in English are simply shorter versions of other monophthongs.
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All the 24 vowel sounds are derived from only ten basic sounds. Every single word in English, regardless of its spelling, is pronounced using some combination of these ten sounds.
Take some time to think about this principle. It will really help you on your journey into understanding the British accent. Thanks for reading!
Understanding Vowels: Syllables, Monophthongs, Diphthongs & Triphthongs
John Colt. Teaches English.
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Sounds produced by Vowels - Monophthongs, Diphthongs and Triphthongs
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