Home / English Lessons / [ey] vowel sound | English Pronunciation Lesson

[ey] vowel sound | English Pronunciation Lesson

Listen to the audio while reading the text:

…or watch the video!:

As was also discussed in the lesson on contracting the verb “may”, to produce the [ey] vowel sound, it’s important to remember to pull your lips back, and then push the top/back part of the tongue up against the top of your mouth to insert the [y] sound at the end of the vowel.

  • [ey]
  • [ey]

It’s important to remember that the vowel sound is not the shorter [e], but it’s pronounced [ey] with the [y] at the end.

This may feel unnatural for Spanish, Thai, Chinese and many other speakers of English, but not pronouncing the [y] can sometimes lead to confusion.


In the sentence:

  • “I need a piece of paper.”

If I didn’t pull my lips back enough, it would sound like I said:

  • “I need a piece of pepper.”

Did you hear it? Because I said a shorter [e] instead [ey], “paper” sounded like “pepper”.

Let’s practice pulling back our lips for the [ey] vowel sound, ensuring that we include the [y] consonant at the end of that sound.

Listen and Repeat

  • “made” [meyd]
  • “You made my day.” (<– an expression in English)
  • “lake” [leyk]
  • “Let’s go swimming in the lake.”
  • “sailor” [SEY lɚr]
  • “The sailors are spending the day on their boats.”
  • “chasing” [TʃEY  sɪŋ]
  • “The dog has been chasing the cat all morning!”
  • “raise” [reyz]
  • “I got a raise at work today!”

Remember, even if pulling back your lips and inserting the [y] sound feels completely unnatural to you, just practice retraining the muscles in your mouth. Do what’s unnatural, and over time, it will become easier.

Don’t forget to subscribe to the Elemental English podcast on iTunes, and please leave us a review. And if this lesson was helpful to you, feel free to share it with friends and family on Facebook and Twitter. 

ElementalEnglish.com is your resource for free English language and pronunciation lessons, 無料オンライン英語教材, 免费在线英文课程, 免費在線英文課程, मुफ़्त ऑनलाइन अंग्रेज़ी, آنلائن مفت میں انگریزی سیکھئے, Kostenloser Englisch-Unterricht Online, Język angielski online, Học tiếng anh miễn phí, Libreng Pag-aaral ng Wikang Ingles sa Internet, Libreng Pag-aaral ng Wikang Ingles Online, دروس في اللغة الانجليزية على الانترنت مجانا, Lecciones gratuitas de Ingles Americano, cursuri online gratis de limba engleza, เรียนภาษาอังกฤษออนไลน์ ฟรี, American English pronunciation, アメリカ英語の発音, 纯正美语发音, 純正美語發音, अमरीकी अंग्रेज़ी, امریکی انگریزی کا تلفّظ سیکھئے, Amerikanisches Englisch Aussprache, wymowa język angielski, Học tiếng anh miễn phí, Wastong Pagbigkas ng American English sa Internet, astong Pagbigkas ng, تعلم اللهجة الامريكية على الانترنت, American English Online, Pronunciacion de Ingles Americano en linea, pronuntie engleza americana online, บทเรียน การออกเสียงภาษาอังกฤษ สำหรับคนไทย

Leave a Reply

WordPress spam blocked by CleanTalk.