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Lesson 9 - Nasal sounds

ə (SCHWA)

The schwa is the most commonly used vowel in English – around 25% of all vowels in real connected speech is the schwa, written as /ə/.

You will probably find you use this vowel in some contexts but not enough.

In this video I’ll explain how to create this vowel sound and give you lots of exercises to try.

Single words with schwa:

about, abroad, annoyed, allowed

under, never, mother, water

government, different, university, information

system, second, problem, magical, national, question.

Longer text with schwa:

What’s Better in Britain

Yes, the roads are confusing, the food portions unambitious, the peanut butter not so good, but for this American, life in the U.K. has its compensations.

“Comedy and satire, the ability to laugh at ourselves, are an important part of the U.K. character,” reads one passage from the official study handbook. In another, pubs are described as “an important part of U.K. social culture.”