When is A NOT A? A Common English Pronunciation Mistake
A /eɪ/ is the first letter of the alphabet.
A /eɪ/ is also used as the indefinite article.
A /eɪ/ is used as the indefinite article because it comes from the Old English án which meant one.
We still use the indefinite article an before a noun starting with a /ə/ vowel sound.
By 1150, the Old English án had already been reduced to a /ə/ before a /ə/ consonant sound.
The thing with a /eɪ/ is that it has both a /ə/ strong form and a /ə/ weak form.
The strong, and least commonly heard form is the emphatic form a /eɪ/.
The weak, and most commonly heard form is a /ə/.
The /ə/ is the Schwa sound, and is the most common sound in spoken English.
Here is a /ə/ sentence.
I’ve got a /ə/ cat.
It’s not pronounced as I have got a cat. That is very robotic and unnatural.
Because English is a /ə/ stress-timed language, it is pronounced, I’ve got a /ə/ cat.
The a /eɪ/ being pronounced as a /ə/.
Take a /ə/ minute to listen to how a /eɪ/ is pronounced, and you will see what I mean.
Once a /ə/ king, always a /ə/ king, but once a /ə/ knight is enough.
It’s a /ə/ joke. Get it?
I do! Once a /ə/ night, at least.
Do you think once a /ə/ night is enough?
Leave a /ə/ comment and let us know.
If you have a /ə/ friend who might like this video, share it with them, and give it a /ə/ like, too.
You know you want to.