What is the Schwa sound? How Can it Help You Greatly Improve Your Accent?

what is the schwa sound how can it help your american accent and accent reduction

What is the schwa sound?

The schwa sound is a vowel sound in the phonetic alphabet.

It is a reduced, unstressed, and neutral sound.

WHAT???

Learn more about “reduced” and “unstressed.”

 

/ə/

 

Why the schwa?

Well it has to do with the rhythm of spoken English….see we speak with a certain pattern:

Consonant-vowel-consonant-vowel etc.

And some parts of words are more important than others (learn about word stress here!)

The schwa sound is like a wildcard…a joker…

You can use it to reduce the amount of emphasis you put on one syllable…and use your energy for bigger and better syllables!

Generally, we only use the schwa if the word has more than one syllable.

Like in the word creation:

/kri ei ʆən/

But sometimes it’s used in one-syllable words when they are part of a larger sentence:

What do you mean?

/wɒ t̬ də jə min/

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Here is the schwa sound in many different words:

Again /əˈɡɛn/

Competition / kɒmpɪˈtɪʃən/

Celebration /ˌsɛl əˈbreɪ ʃən/

Support / səˈpoʊrt/

Apply / əˈplaɪ/

Opening /ˈoʊ pə nɪŋ/

Trailer /ˈtreɪ lər/

 

I hope this was helpful!

If you want to learn more about how to have a native accent…sign up for the course below!

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Happy Learning,

Simone