- "e" - red, left
- "ea" - breath, instead
- "ai" - said, again
- "a" - many, says
- "ie" (not common) - friend
- "ue" (not common) - guess, guest
These are both front, lax vowels. However, /ɛ/ is a mid vowel and /ɪ/ is a high vowel.
You can hear the difference between /ɛ/ and /ɪ/ in these words.
2. A. peg, B. pig
3. A. left, B. lift
4. A. setting, B. sitting
5. A. bell, B. bill
6. A. many, B. mini
Now, compare /ɛ/ and /ey/:
These are both mid, front vowels. However, /ɛ/ is pronounced with a relaxed tongue, and /ey/ is pronounced with a tense tongue.
You can hear the difference between /ɛ/ and /ey/ in these words.
2. A. west, B. waste
3. A. shed, B. shade
4. A. sell, B. sale
5. A. men, B. main
6. A. teller, B. tailor
Now, practice /ɛ/ in sentences. Say the words first, then the sentences.
If you're not feeling well, you had better go to bed.
2. envelope - send - letter
I need an envelope so I can send my letter.
3. correct - best - guess
If you don't know the correct answer, make your best guess.
4. get - dressed - then - ready
I need to get dressed, and then I'll be ready.
5. next - step - recipe
What is the next step in the recipe?
6. ever - read - best-selling
Have you ever read a best-selling novel?
To practice with different varieties of English, choose another native English speaker by clicking one of the links below: