3. /ɪ:/ and /ɪ/
Let’s look at the pronunciation of the vowel sounds /ɪ:/ and /ɪ/ and compare them as they are easily confused.
How do we form the /ɪ/ sound? The lips are relaxed, in a neutral position, and the central/front area of the tongue is in the middle of the mouth. The sound is a short burst.
/iː/ is long and tense. Its beginning is not identical to /ɪ/. The tongue raises slightly, but doesn’t touch the roof of the mouth. Observe in the video how my mouth shape changes. My mouth is widened.
Common spellings of /ɪ/
i: fish, kill, win,
y: physical, typical, gym
Some uncommon spellings:
e: England - English - pretty
u: business - busy
ui: build - guilt
ie: mischievous, sieve
a: - spinach, average, outage
ia: - carriage, marriage
Example Practice Sentences:
- If Mick didn’t buy lettuce can you tell him to visit the market?
- I dislike skimmed milk in my hot drink - it makes it too thin.
- Which business will win the contract with the big investor?
- Jim is selling his pink mini which is in mint condition.
- I think Mindy is going to give an emotional report on the results of the investigation
Common spellings of /ɪ:/:
e - even, theme, metre
ee - green, sheep, creep
ea - leaf, read, tea
ie - piece, field,
ei - receive, seize,
i - litre, kilo, police
anomalies - people, quay, anaemic, key
- We need to have a team meeting to discuss the legal proceedings
- At twenty past three I have to meet my niece to practice her speech.
- If she keeps teaching such easy and meaningless lessons I will have to see the Dean.
- Unfortunately, I never received a receipt and the jeans are too roomy for me.
- Studies show that if one believes they can achieve their dreams, they are more likely to succeed.
Now, let’s take a look at some minimal pairs.
Finally, let’s practice some sentences with both sounds
- The steep increase in prices in the supermarkets mean that many families eat sugar-rich foods.
- If you want some peace and tranquility you can visit the secret, hidden library.
- The movie was about a hippie in the early seventies who wanted to have a family.
- Employees are expected to carry identification certificates with them when they leave the building.
- She said every evening that she was very worried about Kim’s silly graffiti habit.