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English Pronunciation: Long A and Short E Sounds

Long A and Short E are similar. Both are made with the mouth in a somewhat rectangular shape. With long A, the lips are wide and with Short E, the lips are relaxed. 

Long A is actually longer than Short E as well. We hold the Long A sound a bit, and we say the Short E sound quickly. 

There are a few spelling patterns in which we have both Long A and Short E words. Try reading through the words below and make sure that your Long A's and Short E's are different.

Practice Reading each word pair.

1. A. age

2. A. bade

3. A. raid

4. A. bail

5. A. tail

6. A. sail

7. A. fail

8. A. whale

9. A. main

10. A. pain

11. A. baste

12. A. taste

13. A. waste

14. A. bait

15. A. gate

16. A. late

17. A. wait


B. edge

B. bed

B. red

B. bell

B. tell

B. sell

B. fell

B. well

B. men

B. pen

B. best

B. test

B. west

B. bet

B. get

B. let

B. wet

Practice Tip: You can also use this list repeatedly with an instructor. Your instructor writes down a list of answers, then speaks the words to you. You write your answers and see if they match. You can also reverse this to check your pronunciation: you write down a set of answers, then speak, and see if your instructor was able to hear you correctly.

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