The Long ee Vowel Sound as in EAT vs the Short I Vowel Sound as in IT

Speaking powerfully in a full and resonant voice doesn’t just happen. It has to do with the pronunciation of certain vowels, the “e” and “i.” And of course, breathing is always the number one ingredient for successful speech in our alphabet soup. Join me as I share with you the long and short of it:

 

1. Learn the Sounds of General American English and always be understood, the first time! Here’s a great list of ee vs i words:

http://www.englishclub.com/pronunciation/minimal-pairs-i-ee.htm

 

2. The more tools you have, the easier this whole process becomes. Watch Rachel’s video for more ee vs i practice:

http://www.rachelsenglish.com/videos/ee-vs-ih

 

3. A short list with audio files–simple and clear:

http://www.avspeechtherapy.com/2013/08/20/sit-vs-seat-minimal-pairs-practice-for-i-and-ee/

 

I suggest practicing these and all your sounds using your full, rich, open voice.

Video Transcript:

The Long ee Vowel Sound as in EAT vs the Short I Vowel Sound as in IT

Hi, I’m Patrick Munoz. I’m a Voice and Speech Coach. In previous videos, such as Getting Coffee, I’ve discussed how important it is to develop a full resonant voice. Well, part of developing a full resonant voice is developing clear, articulate speech. In today’s video, I want to discuss two vowel sounds that are close to each other, but very different. The first vowels sound is the ee vowel sound as in EAT. The second vowel sound is the shorter vowel sound as in IT. So let’s practice this ee vowel sound. Take a nice breath in with a smile on your face and say, “ee”, “ee”.

Now the tip of our tongue will lower a bit and we’ll say, “i”, “i”. Let’s try them in words now. Taking a breath in, “eat—it”, “seat—sit”, “feel—fill”. If you say these words too quickly or you don’t really make them distinct, they’ll start to blend into each other and sound like the same vowel. For instance, “feel/fill” or “seat/sit”. You’ve got make them distinct.

These sounds can be very challenging for people from different regions of the country or for people whose language is not primarily English. Practice these sounds: you’ll find your speech becoming more present and more polished.

I’m Patrick Munoz. Please visit me at thevoicezone.net and follow me on Twitter @TheVoiceZone.

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