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Practice English Speaking&Listening with: Vowel Sound / ə / (Schwa) as in "ago" - American English Pronunciation

Difficulty: 0

Hello there!

This is theSounds Americanchannel.

In this video were going to talk about the American vowel sound /ə/,

as in the wordago”.

You can also hear this sound in words like





Please, note that well be using a special phonetic symbol - /ə/ - for this sound.

The /ə/ sound is one of the two most frequently used vowel sounds in American English.

In fact, one in every five words has the /ə/ sound.

If you want to pronounce it like an American, keep watching.


To pronounce the /ə/ sound, you should focus on relaxing your tongue and lips.

Slightly open your mouth, relax your lips, and leave them in a neutral position.

Place your tongue in the middle of your mouth and relax it.

Remember, the /ə/ sound is very relaxed, so your tongue and lips should be relaxed when you pronounce it.

Lets try saying it:




Now, lets practice this sound in some words.

Youll see a word on a screen and hear its pronunciation.

Like this:

Youll have a few seconds to pronounce the word, if you want to.

[sound prompt to start speaking]

Lets begin!

Youre done!


By the way, did you know that the /ə/ sound is written as the letterain one-third of all cases?

More on the spelling:

Most often, the /ə/ sound is written as the lettera,” as in the wordabove,”

then by the lettero,” as in the wordtoday,”

and the lettere,” as in the wordeven.”

Less often its represented by a combination of the lettersio,” as in the wordnation”;

the letteri,” as in the wordpencil”,

and the letteru,” as in the wordproduct.”

Thanks for watching!

Hope you find it useful.

Stay tuned on our Sounds American channel!

The Description of Vowel Sound / ə / (Schwa) as in "ago" - American English Pronunciation