American English pronunciation: is, it, this

Discussion in 'English Only' started by madmax_, Feb 11, 2013.

  1. madmax_ New Member

    Hello all!

    I study American English and I use Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary.
    There are two 2 pronunciations (strong and weak) for "it"/ˈɪt, ət/, "is"ˈ/ɪz, əz/ and "this" /ˈðɪs, ðəs/.

    Which pronunciation should I use when I read text or speak? Which one do you use?

    Are these (above) second pronunciations ok for Am English??

    p.s. I think I should always use 2nd pronunciation with words where there are strong and weak pronunciation - but I am not sure.

    Thanks for your help and have a nice day.
  2. KelseyGrammAr Junior Member

    Sumoto, Japan
    English -Australia
    Use the strong pronunciation at the beginning of sentences, and for emphasis.

    It's Monday.

    Use weak pronunciation in the middle and at the end of sentences.

    What day is it?
  3. Forero Senior Member

    Houston, Texas, USA
    USA English
    The weak pronunciation of these words is optional, and used only in unstressed environments, which means we use the strong pronunciation whenever the word is stressed, even if the stress is not primary.

    I often use the weak pronunciation of "is", but I use the strong pronunciation /ɪz/ whenever the word has stress (e.g. "Is that the one?", "I have no idea what that is", "if it is, there must be a reason", "What is it?") and the weak pronunciation whenever "is" is not stressed but does not contract to 's (e.g "I wouldn't say theirs is any better", "East is east").

    I use the "strong" pronunciation for "it" and "this" everywhere, but the "weak" pronunciation is used by some speakers where I might use /i/ for "he" or /(ə)m/ for "them".
  4. madmax_ New Member

    Thank you both for your explanations. I really appreciate your help.

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