American English Pronunciation Practice: Short and Long “A” Sounds

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Water. Love it. Hey, everyone. I’m Alex. Thanks for clicking and welcome to this
pronunciation lesson on the short “a” and the long or wide
“a” sounds in English. In this lesson, first I’m going to go sound
by sound and give you a bunch of words that have the short “a” sound, as well as some
sentences that use the short “a” sound. Second, I’m going to give you some words that
have the long “a” sound or wide “a” sound, and some sentences
that use them. And then finally, we’re going to mix them
all up and it’s going to be a lot of fun. So, when you are doing pronunciation, it can be
a little bit ridiculous when you’re practicing because you are going to be asked in
this video to exaggerate a little bit. And honestly, the exaggeration is necessary
if you really, really want to perfect, you know, your English pronunciation,
as well as have some fun with it. And also you should know that my English is
a Canadian English/Americanish English for this pronunciation lesson. So if you are looking for British
pronunciation, this maybe isn’t the video. But if you’re interested in
Canadian/American pronunciation… Yes, I know that there’s a difference, don’t kill me,
to some degree, but here’s what we’re going to do. So, first we have the
short “a” sound. And for this I drew a
picture of the mouth. In this sound your tongue is
low, in the low position. For both sounds, actually, it’s in the low position,
and your mouth is only open a little bit. So your mouth makes this
sound: “ah”, “ah”, “ah”. Now, let’s look at some words. And I just want you guys to
repeat the words after me. We’ll do it a little quickly. Okay? So, please repeat after me: “cut”, “hut”, “buddy”, “cup”, “nut”, “shut”, “putt”, “gut”, “cousin”, “does”, “was”, “nothing”, “sun”. Okay, so you should hear that “ah”,
“ah”, “ah” sound in all of these words. So, just to practice one more time let’s
go through the list one more time. This is going to
help you, I promise. Just follow me for a
few minutes here. “Cut”, “hut”, “buddy”,
“cup”, “nut”, “shut”, “putt”, “gut”, “cousin”, “does”, “was”, “nothing”, “sun”. Okay, good. Now let’s look at some
sentences with this sound. So here we have three-one, two,
three-sentences that use the short “a” sound. So I’m going to say all three first, and after
I’m going to go one by one by one, and I want you to try to say them and
repeat them after me. So the first one is:
“Buffy loves Sundays.” The second one is: “My
mother won some money.” The third one is: “Some
of the rugs are dusty.” All right, now let’s
try them one by one. Listen and repeat them after me. We’ll go word by word. “Buffy”, “loves”, “Sundays”. One more time, complete sentence:
“Buffy loves Sundays.” All right, let’s try
the second one. “My mother”, “won”,
“some”, “money”. Okay, complete sentence: “My
mother won some money.” All right? And the third one: “Some”, “of”, “the
rugs”, “are dusty”. All right, complete sentence:
“Some of the rugs are dusty.” Did you say it? All right. Good. Now, let’s look at the
long or wide “a” sound. We’re going to do the same routine, so
first this sound your mouth is wide open. “Aah”. Imagine you are going
to the dentist. Okay? And it’s a long sound. Your tongue is still low, in the low
position, but your mouth is more open. So just try it one more time, like
you’re at the dentist: “aah”. All right, let’s
do the words now. Repeat after me. “Caught”, “hot”, “body”, “cop”, “not/knot”, “shot”, “pot”, “got”, “coffee”, “doctor”, “a lot”, “honest”, “knowledge”. All right, and just like before let’s
go through them one more time. From the top: “caught”,
“hot”, “body”, “cop”, “not/knot”, “shot”,
“pot”, “got”, “coffee”, “doctor”, “a lot”,
“honest”, “knowledge”. Okay, very good. Now, just like before, let’s
look at three sentences. And I will read all three first. One: “Rob stopped shopping.” Two: “John got a job.” Three: “It’s obviously not!” Okay? So now let’s do, like
before, one by one. You guys repeat the
words after me. “Rob”, “stopped”, “shopping”. All right? Now faster: “Rob
stopped shopping.” Okay. Second sentence: “John”, “got”, “a job”. Okay, complete sentence:
“John got a job.” All right, very good. And the third one: “It’s obviously”, “not”. Okay, complete sentence
a little faster: “It’s obviously not!” All right. Nice job, guys. Now let’s mix and match
them a little bit. So what I’m going to do, you see the chart
I made at the start of the video here. There are some words where it’s only this vowel
sound that is different and the word changes. So let’s go from the top. Repeat after me and see if
you can spot the difference: “cut”, “caught”, “hut”, “hot”, “buddy”, “body”, “cup”, “cop”, “nut”, “not/knot”, “shut”, “shot”, “putt”, “pot”, “gut”, “got”. Okay. It’s a little tough, but the more you practice
it, the more you hear these sounds, the more you try to exaggerate when you’re
doing them, the better you will be. Now, chaos. Things are going to get crazy. We are going to mix all the sounds together to
make some, you know, real sentences because you can say: “Buffy loves Sundays”, but most
people use a variety of vowel sounds when they speak in their sentences. So let’s look at some sentences
that use both of these sounds. Number one, not even a sentence
really, but a noun phrase: “A hot cup of coffee.” Okay? I’m going to say them all
first, so just follow me. “Stop coming here.”, “My cousin was a doctor.”, “An honest cop.”, “Come on!” All right, so just like before let us
go through each of these sentences and phrases one by one. “A hot”, “cup”, “of coffee”. Okay, now just be ridiculous:
“coffee”, “coffee”. Okay, good. Next one. Oh, and let’s say
it faster first. Before I let you off the hook,
let’s say this one faster: “A hot cup of coffee.” All right? Second one: “Stop”, “coming”, “here”. “Here”, obviously, doesn’t
use these sounds. It’s a different sound,
but say it faster: “Stop coming here.” Excellent. Next, repeat after me: “My cousin”, “was”, “a doctor”. And the whole thing: “My cousin was a doctor.” All right? Next, I’m
just going to… This one is very short. The last two are very short, so
we’ll just say them one time. Repeat after me: “An honest cop.” One more time: “An honest cop.” All right? And the last one: “Come on!” One more time, like imagine someone is
telling you a story, you don’t believe it: “Come on!” Beautiful. Okay. So, whew, long lesson.
Huh, guys? I hope you enjoyed it. The best way to benefit from a lesson like
this is to go back, watch it again, listen to the individual sounds, and
practice, practice, practice. If you want to improve your English on your own
at home and you don’t have anyone to speak with, I can be your buddy,
I can be your friend. We can talk together like
this through these videos. So if you enjoyed this video, you can check
it out on, as always. And there is no quiz for this one because it
is a pronunciation video, but you can check out a lot of the other
videos that do have quizzes. And if you enjoyed what I do here, as always,
you can subscribe to my YouTube channel. You can check me out on
Facebook and Twitter. I have a Facebook fan page. And til next time, I just want to
say thanks for clicking, guys. And if you really, really enjoy what we do
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some of us, myself specifically, we have to travel a long way just to get to the
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that would be fantastic. Til next time, thanks for
clicking, and see you guys later. Bye-bye.

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