Hello there! This is the “Sounds American” channel. In this video we’re going to talk about
the American vowel sound /ɪ/, as in the word “it.” You can also hear this sound in words like “big,” “gym,” “English,” or “image.” Please, note that we’ll be using a special phonetic symbol – /ɪ/ – for this sound. The /ɪ/ is one of the two most frequent vowel
sounds in American English, but it exists in less than 20% of the world languages, so many people may distort it or replace it with the /i/ sound, as in the word “be.” Let’s find out how to make this sound. OK. To pronounce the /ɪ/ sound, you should focus on the correct position of your tongue. Slightly open your mouth, spread your lips
and relax them. Raise your tongue high in your mouth and push
it to the front. The tip of your tongue can be lowered just
behind your bottom front teeth. Remember, the /ɪ/ is a relaxed sound, so your tongue and lips should be relaxed, and your tongue should be at the front of your mouth. Now, let’s try saying it: /ɪ/ /ɪ/ /ɪ/ Now, let’s practice this sound in some words. You’ll see a word on a screen and hear
its pronunciation. Like this: You’ll have a few seconds to pronounce the word, if you want to. Let’s begin! Let’s pause for a moment and review the key points. Your tongue should be relaxed, raised high in your mouth and pushed to the front. Let’s continue practicing. You’re done! Congratulations! By the way, in most cases the /ɪ/ is written
by the letter ‘i’, so spelling words with this sound is fairly easy. And more on the spelling. the /ɪ/ is represented by the letter ‘i’ in 73% of words with this sound. Less often it’s written by the letter ‘e’, like in the word “English,” or by the letter ‘a’, like in the word “image,” and sometimes by the letter ‘y’, like in the word “gym.” Thanks for watching! Hope you find it useful! Stay tuned on our Sounds American channel!