ɪ Sound: How to Pronounce the /ɪ/ Phoneme

This is the ɪ sound. As in the words:

  • in /ɪn/
  • it /ɪt/
  • with /wɪð/

ɪ sound

How to Pronounce the ɪ sound

The ɪ sound is a Vowel sound and it’s technical name is the ‘Near-Close Near-Front Unrounded Vowel’. Remember that the key to pronunciation s physical and the name tells us about how the sound is made physically. In this case your tongue is close to the top and the front of your mouth. Unrounded refers to your lips because they are stretched out as if you are smiling and not rounded.
All vowels are made through the mouth and are voiced so you vibrate your vocal chords to make the sound.
It is similar to the /i:/ sound, but it is shorter.
/ɪ/ not /i:/.

How to Pronounce the ɪ sound

To produce the sound put your tongue close to the top and the front of your mouth, and stretch out your lips, then make a short voiced sound with your mouth closed.
The /ɪ/ sound is normally spelled with the letter ‘i’ as in the words:

  • this /ðɪs/
  • give /gIv/

But it can also be spelled with the letter ‘e’. As in the words:

  • become /bɪ’kʌm/
  • because /bɪ’kɒz/

Like with all vowels in English, the spelling can be very inconsistent and you will always find alternative and unusual spellings of the vowels sounds. It is one of the most difficult things in English but you just have to learn it.

Here are some words that start with the ɪ sound

  • if /ɪf/
  • into /’ɪntʊ/
  • include /ɪnˈkluːd/
  • enough /ɪˈnʌf/

Here are some words that have the ɪ sound in the middle:

  • which /wɪtʆ/
  • his /hɪz/
  • think /θɪŋk/
  • will /wɪl/

This symbol is not often used at the end of words because when words end with this sound it is normally part of the Diphthong /ɔɪ/, or it is the extended vowel sound /i:/
So that is it for the /ɪ/ 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 phonetic chart.

4 Responses to “ɪ Sound: How to Pronounce the /ɪ/ Phoneme”

  1. bonnie February 19, 2016 at 4:12 am #

    i want to download the videos. How do i do it?

    • Colin April 26, 2016 at 4:54 am #

      English language club is funded by the advertising that appears on our website and YouTube channel. For that reason we are unable to offer the videos offline. However, we will consider making some downloadable packs of videos available for purchase from the site soon.

  2. Liber April 30, 2016 at 3:51 pm #

    Great post, one thing though, “think” is not transcribed /ðɪnk / .
    It should read /θɪŋk/. Correct me if I`m wrong, thanks.

    • Colin May 1, 2016 at 12:57 pm #

      Yes you are right that is a mistake. Sorry about that.

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