English Pronunciation Podcast
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English Pronunciation Pod 64

SaturdayJun 5th, 2010
Vowel Quiz #3-
The Difference between /æ/ and /ɛ/:
Do you know how to pronounce these two vowels distinctly and correctly?


In this week's podcast, we're going to take another quiz to test your knowledege of the vowel
sounds of English.
This week's quiz will focus on the difference between the vowels /æ / and /ɛ/.
We're going to test your ability to hear the difference between words like " bad " and "bed."
Being able to hear and say the subtle difference between these two vowel sounds is an important part of speaking English clearly and correctly.

Mastering this vowel distinction can be quite challenging. Many students make the mistake of replacing the /æ/ sound with /ɛ/ For example, instead of staying "sad" /sæd/ they might say "said"/sɛd/. This can be confusing to your listener. With the right amount of practice and training, you're going to be able to pronounce the difference correctly,
just like a native speaker would.

Before you take this quiz, I recommend that you listen to podcasts #5 and #6. Podcasts #5 and #6 teach you how to pronounce /æ/ and /ɛ/ distinctly and correctly, in full detail.

You can also find instruction and lots of training exercises on my English pronunciation course in mp3 -
Best Accent Training.

Vowel Quiz: /æ/ vs. /ɛ/

You're going to hear three words. The words sound very similar. The only difference between them is the vowel sound they contain. Some words will contain /æ/ and other words will contain /ɛ/.

Listen and repeat each word and write down the words in the order that you hear them.


First, let's review how to articulate theses two vowel sounds:
Remember for /æ/, your tongue is flat and forward, your jaw drops and your lips are spread.

Listen and repeat: /æ/

For /ɛ/ your tongue is forward and the tip is somewhat raised. Feel the sides of your tongue gently touching your molars (back teeth). Spread your lips slightly.

Listen and repeat: /ɛ/

Write down the words in the order that you hear me say them.

1. ... .... ....

Answers: see below

2. .... .... ...

Answers: see below

3. ...  ... ...

Answers: see below

4. .... ...... .....

Answers: see below


1.ten ... tan ... ten ...

2.Dad ... dead ... Dad ..

3. said ... said... sad ...

4. guess ... gas... gas ...

Learning to speak English with a standard American accent is a gradual process but if you
work at it regularly and practice as often as you can, you're going to improve!

Accent reduction is primarily a physical activity you need to repeat and repeat the new sounds of English until they become a habit. This is known as muscle memory- the ability to do something without thinking about it.

The process is a lot like the training that dancers musicians and athletes go through. They repeat and repeat
until they achieve perfection!

The Right Training Tools for Better Pronunciation:

It's important to have right training tools in order to improve your accent.

That's why I recommend that you check it out my English Pronunciation Course in mp3 format- Best Accent Training mp3s!

No matter what your first language is, Best Accent Training has the lessons you need
for speaking English clearly and correctly.

All the sounds of English in one course!

Best Accent Training mp3s contains all the sounds of English with step by step instructions and practice exercises.
You'll get all the vowels of English, all the consonants, syllable stress lessons, intonation lessons and connected speech!

Best of all, Best Accent Training is a fast and easy download that you can put on your mp3 player and take with you wherever you go!

Any questions, comments or suggestions ? Contact us at:   contact@englishpronunciationpod.com

Thank you and see you next time!


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After practicing with Best Accent Training daily,
I can say that my English communication has improved 100%. "

- Domingo Ponce Rodriguez- - Marketing Manager USA (Spain)

Get the full accent reduction course in mp3 now


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