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Words ending in schwa

The schwa is the most frequent vowel sound in English speech. It is always short and
unstressed. Schwa is so easy so pronounce (your jaws slightly open, your lips and tongue
relaxed) that most Spanish learners find it extremely difficult to pronounce they tend to
pronounce it in a similar way to any of the 5 Spanish vowels, according to its spelling.
There are in the CALD:

989 words ending in -ar;


6,691 words ending in -er,

289 words ending in -ir;


1,300 words ending in -or and
1,236 words ending in -ur.
More than 10,000 words end in schwa.

PRONUNCIATION
FUNCTION WORDS (WEAK FORMS)
the

for

to

their

will travel

would say

scare,

bear

AUXILIARY VERBS
are broken

were going

have done
IN FINAL DIPHTHONGS

/e /: software,

flair,

air,

pair,

IN FINAL TRIPTHONGS

/a / higher,

prior,

buyer

Remember 3rd person singular present verb and plural s after schwa are always /z/

/()z /: appears, years, offers, customers, beginners, errors

PRACTICE
Underline any vowel pronounced / /:
according, character, thousand, certainly, even, different, system, family, possible,
mountain, period, purpose, opinion, control, season, today, method, command, consider
success, suppose, condition, famous

-tion is always pronounced / -n /


suffix -ous is always pronounced / -s /

suffix