Sounds of Letter A

By Chris Nkwocha and Yinka Fapetu

When we speak, read or spell, some of the letters of the English alphabet could be just tricky.  The sound they make keep changing as they appear in different words. This change is more performed by vowels though sometimes a few consonants join in.

This explains why common letters are not reliable and must not be trusted as they cannot guide what we say when we read. Instead, they mislead us. You may know that the E in pet is not the same in Pete. And the O in not doesn’t sound like the O in note. While you may not appreciate the depth of this knowledge, it might delight you to know that the letter called A has about ten different sounds.

Obviously, the A in mat and mate are not the same. But far from obvious are the three different sounds of A in advantage. Acclamation also presents us with three different sounds of A. the A in want as well as the A in water though not the same are deceptive. The A in ago and the A in age are miles apart in sound.

If you think you can pronounce woman because you can say the three letter word man, you are grossly misguided just as your being able to say ball does not suggest you can say ballet. The A’s in care, parent, fare are unique. The A’s in father, village, and what are amazingly different in pronunciation.

Let’s now expose the tricks and changing nature of A using some word examples.

Sounds of the Letter A

Letter A says /ᴂ/ in

Apple

Mat

Sat

Pat

Sad

Cat

Bat

 

Letter A makes the /ə/ sound in

Ago

Away

Annoy

About

Above

 

We hear the /ᴐ:/ sound of Letter A in

Water

Also

Almighty

Call

Halt

 

Letter A makes the /ɒ/ sound in

Want

Was

Wat

 

Letter A makes the /I/ sound in

Vintage

Cottage

Footage

Courage

 

We hear the /e/ sound of Letter A in

Any

Many

The /eə/ sound of Letter A is what we have in

Care

Rare

Share

Parent

Dare

Letter A makes the sound /a:/ in

Father

Bath

Path

Letter A sounds  /Ʌ/  in

What

 

Letter A says its name /eɪ/ in

Dame

Date

Make

Made

Cake

Bake

Take

 

The words advantage and acclamation where we have four different sounds of A explains the “chameleoness” of letter A.

Now take this quiz and see if you can identify the sounds of letter A in the words.

Sounds of Letter A

Click 'Next' to begin!

Choose the option that has the correct sound for the letter A in Fall
Choose the option that has the right sound for letter A in Wash
Click the option that has the correct sound of letter A in Escape
Click the option that has the correct sound of letter A in Says
Click the word that has the same sound as letter A in Image
Choose the option that has the correct sound for letter A in Hare
Click the option that has correct sound for letter A in Again
Choose the word that has the correct sound of letter A in Although
Click the option that has the correct sound for letter A in Ware
Click the option that has the correct sound for the letter A in Homage
Choose the option that has the correct sound of letter A in Always
Choose the option that has the correct sound for letter A in Planet

 

Choose the option that has the correct sound for letter A in Channel
Choose the option that has the correct sound of letter A in Shape
Click the option that has the correct sound for letter A in What
Click the option with the correct sound for letter A in Walk
Choose the option that has the correct sound for letter A in Attend.
Choose the option that has the correct sound for letter A in Many

Click the option that has the right sound for letter A in Ward

Click the option that has the right sound for letter A in Panel

 


Thank you for taking Sounds of Letter A.

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