The Y Sound

Picture: Rachel’s English

The letter Y can be pronounced with the ‘yuh’ [j] sound, as in yes, yard, yoghurt. Or with the ‘ai’ [aɪ] sound, as in spy, cry, try. Or with the long ‘e’ [ɪ] sound, as in baby, chubby, tidy.

Though it seems a small matter, this little sound can really change a word. For instance, with “music”, we say “myoo-zic”, not “moo-zic”. This word is so popular that if it is mis-pronounced, people really may not interpret what you are saying, or it may take a while for them to get you. Notice that “particular” also has the Y sound, we say “per-ti-kyoo-lur”.

Here are the examples of Y sound within words:

Y with R — secure = Sek-YuR /sɪˈkjʊər/

Y with C — cute = KYooT /kjuːt/ 

Y with M — music = MYoo-zic /ˈmjuːzɪk/  

Y with F — fuel = FYool /ˈfjuːəl/ 

Y with -ON endings — million = Mil-Yen /ˈmɪl·jən/  

Y with I — ‘iron = I-Yern /ˈaɪərn/ 

Y & Others — popular = Pop-Yoo-lur /ˈpɒpjʊlər/

The Y Sound Practice

Now, I want you to pronounce the following passage. Pay more attention to the ‘yuh’, ‘ai’, and ‘e’ sound. Remember, not all words with the letter Y in it sounds with the Y sound.

Yesterday when Sawyer was with his dad looking at used cars for sale, he saw one of the salesmen playing with a yo-yo. The man was performing a lot of unique tricks while Sawyer watched in amazement. He wanted to learn how to use the yo-yo like that. He asked the salesman how long he had used a yo-yo. The man told him he had practiced since he was eight years old.

“My first yo-yo was yellow,” he recalled. “I bought it at a yard sale with money I made selling homemade yogurt. I had to save up for a few weeks.”

Note: Practice to pronounce that passage with the linking sound and reduced speech form (I’ve explained them in two different articles). Pay attention to some words with the’Z’ sound pronunciation.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s