The eə Sound (/eə/ Phoneme)

This is the eə Sound, as in the words:

  • their /ðeә/
  • where /weә/
  • area /ˈeәriә/

How to Pronounce the eə Sound

This is a diphthong sound which means it is  a combination of two vowel sounds that are pronounced within the same syllable. The eә sound is a combination of /e/ and /ә/.

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 eə sound your mouth will start on the position of the /e/ sound and finish on the position of the /ә/ sound.

How the eə phoneme 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 eә sound spelled many different ways. But it is often spelled with the letters “e” or “e-a”, as in the words:

  • there /ðeə/
  • parent /ˈpeərәnt/
  • air /eә/
  • yeah /jeә/
  • various /ˈveәriәs/

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

  • care /keә/
  • wear /weə/
  • hair /heә/
  • share /ʆeә/
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