ɪə Sound: How to Pronounce the ɪə Sound (/ɪə/ Phoneme)

This is the ɪə sound, as in the words:

  • year /jɪә/
  • hear /hɪә/
  • really /’rɪәli/

ɪə Sound

How to Pronounce the ɪə Sound

/ɪə/ is a diphthong sound which means it is a combination of two vowel sounds that are pronounced within the same syllable.
The /ɪә/ sound is a combination of the vowels /ɪ/ and /ә/. Like vowels the diphthongs are all made through the mouth and are voiced which means that you vibrate you vocal chords to make the sound.

Unlike with vowels and consonants, when you pronounce a diphthong sound, your mouth will change position and shape as you say the sound, because they combine two vowel sounds.
 So as you say the /ɪә/ sound your mouth will start on the position of the /ɪ/ sound and finish on the position of the /ə/ sound.

In this case we are going from unrounded like we are smiling /ɪ/ to a more relaxed mouth shape and at the same time opening our mouth a little as we move to the /ә/.


How the ɪə Sound is Spelled

One of the most difficult things about learning English is the spelling. This is because spelling is often not phonetic especially the vowels and diphthongs. So you will find the /ɪə/ sound spelled many different ways.

But it is often spelled with the letters “e” or “e-a”, as in the words:

  • area /ˈeәriә/
  • clear /klɪә/
  • material /mәˈtɪәriәl/
  • here /hɪә/

Examples of the ɪə Sound

Not many words start with the ɪә sound. But one that you should know is:

  • ear /ɪә/

Here are some words with the ɪә sound in the middle.

  • real /rɪәl/
  • experience /ɪkˈspɪәriәns/
  • nearly /ˈnɪәli/
  • period /ˈpɪәriәd/

Here are some words with the ɪә sound at the end.

  • idea /aɪˈdɪә/
  • appear /әˈpɪә/
  • near /nɪә/
  • career /kәˈrɪә/

So thats it for the ɪə sound but we have made additional videos on each of the groups of sounds Vowels, Diphthongs, Single Consonants, or Consonant Pairs as well as a video explaining the the phonetic chart.


2 Responses to “ɪə Sound: How to Pronounce the ɪə Sound (/ɪə/ Phoneme)”

  1. Jamal Abdul Nasser Beissed December 19, 2016 at 4:10 am #

    Dear sir;I have noticed somewhere they consider diphthongs as long vowels which I think is not correct. I would appreciate if you kindly correct me.

    • Colin December 21, 2016 at 11:38 am #

      It is not wrong, they would often be longer but the most important defining factor of a diphthong is that they are two vowel sounds within the same syllable.

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