eɪ Sound: How to Pronounce the Diphthong eɪ sound (/eɪ/ Phoneme)

This is the eɪ sound, as in the words:

  • they /ðeɪ/
  • make /meɪk/
  • great /greɪt/

How to Pronounce the eɪ Sound

eɪ sound

/eɪ/ is a diphthong sound which means it is a combination of two vowel sounds that are pronounced within the same syllable.
The /eɪ/ sound is a combination of /e/ and /ɪ/ or /i:/.

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 /eɪ/ sound your mouth will start on the position of the /e/ sound and finish on the position of the /ɪ/ or /i:/ sound.

In this case both the sounds are unrounded so we keep our lips stretched like we are smiling but our mouth closes a little as we move to the /i:/ sound.

How the eɪ 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 eɪ sound spelled many different ways. But it is often spelled with the letters “a”, as in the words:

  • take /teɪk/
  • way /weɪ/
  • same /seɪm/
  • case /keɪs/

Examples of the eɪ sound

Here are some words that start with the eɪ sound.

  • able /eɪdʒ/
  • age /eɪdʒ/
  • eight /eɪt/
  • agent /ˈeɪdʒәnt/

Here are some words with the /eɪ/ sound in the middle.

  • game /geɪm/
  • state /steɪt/
  • later /ˈleɪtə/
  • change /tʆeɪndʒ/

Here are some words with the /eɪ/ sound at the end.

  • day /deɪ/
  • play /pleɪ/
  • away /әˈweɪ/
  • stay /steɪ/

So thats it for the eɪ 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.

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