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Unit 2. Plane, Plan.

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The vowel sounds /ei/ and /æ/

Unit 2; Part A

When you say the letters of the alphabet, A has the long vowel sound /ei/. You hear this sound in the word plane.
But the letter A is also pronounced as the short vowel sound /æ/, as in the word plan.

Listen to the sound /ei/ on its own.
Look at the mouth diagram to see how to make this long vowel sound. 

Listen to the target sound /ei/ in the words below and compare it with the words on each side.

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meat     mate     met
come    came    calm
white    wait      wet
buy       bay       boy

 

Listen and repeat these examples of the target sound.

          play    played    plate
          grey    grey       great
          аim     age        eight 
The rain in Spain falls mainly on the plain 

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Unit 2; Part B

Listen to the sound /æ/.
Look at the mouth diagram to see how to make this short vowel sound.
Listen to the target sound /æ/ in the words and compare it with the words on each side.
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mud    mad     made
sing    sang    sung
pen     pan      pain
hot      hat      heart

The fat cat sat on the man's black hat
Listen and repeat these examples of the target sound.

         bank    beg       back
         can      cash      catch
         ham     has       hat


 
idea.jpgImportant for listening!
In most accents, the following words have the vowel /æ/ask dance castle bath fast. But in South East England, speakers change the A sound in words such as these to /a:/. (For more about /a:/ see Unit 14.)
 

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Unit 2; Part C

Spelling

  frequently
/ei/
A-E (mate),  AY (say), EY(grey), El (eight), Al (wait). EA (great)
/æ/
A but note that if there is an R after the A (and the R does not have a vowel sound after it), A has a different pronunciation, for example arm: see Unit 14.

 



Exercises


Write words for the things in the picture in the correct part of the table.  Key
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/ei/ Keycake; table; baby; train; eight        /æ/ Keyhat; hand; cat; map; rat           

  cake  

 

  apple  

 

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flag.jpgThese words all contain the vowel sound /æ/. Make another word with the same consonant sounds, but changing the vowel sound to /ei/.
Example:
pan
1    at       
2    mad   
3    man    
  pain  
_______eight, ate 
_______made, maid
_______main        
plan
4    tap
5    ran      
6    hat    
  plane  
_______tape 
_______rain
_______hate 



wizard.jpgListen and circle the word with a different vowel sound. Key1. salt   2.far
3. watch   4. said
5. care   6. square
7. heat

Example:   black  want   mad   hand
1    sad    bag    salt    tap
2    far   fat   map   add
3    watch   catch   match    land
4    rain    said    fail    train
5    case   lake   name   care
6    space   change   plate   square
7    break    great    heat    weight

Then listen again and check.


Listen and circle the word you hear.  Key1.man
2. cap
3. heart
4. pen
5. hay

1    Man or men?    Did you see the man / men? 
2    Cap or cup?    Have you seen my cap / cup?
3    Hat or heart?    She put her hand on her hat / heart.
4    Pain or pen?    I've got a pain / pen in my hand.
5    Hay or hair?   There are bugs in this hay / hair.

Follow up: Record yourself saying the sentences in 4, choosing one of the two words. Make a note of which words you say. Then listen to your recording in about two weeks. Is it clear which words you said?

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