Pronunciation of "ei"

< Previous | Next >

xun.zhou

New Member
Chinese-China
Hello,

i am very confused about the pronunciation of "ei".

Need I pronunce it as a combination of "e" and "i" clearly?

thanks.
 
  • e2efour

    Senior Member
    UK English
    By "ei" you appear to mean what we called the letter "a" (as in ABC).
    Make has the same sound, but estimate only has this sound when it is a verb (e.g. Can you estimate the distance between Beijing and Hong Kong?).

    But in Can you give me an estimate? the stress is on the first e and the "ate" does not sound like eit.
     
    Last edited:

    xun.zhou

    New Member
    Chinese-China
    By "ei" you appear to mean what we called the letter "a" (as in ABC).
    Make has the same sound, but estimate only has this sound when it is a verb (e.g. Can you estimate the distance between Beijing and Hong Kong?).

    But in Can you give me an estimate? the stress is on the first e and the "ate" does not sound like eit.
    Many thanks!

    So if the phonetic symbol is "ei", I should always pronuance "e" and "i" both clearly, right?
     

    Keith Bradford

    Senior Member
    English (Midlands UK)
    Yes and no. The sound is actually a combination of a long 'e' sound, followed, without any pause or separation, by a short 'i'.

    It makes a single syllable, distinct from (for example) say it or paying, where the same two sounds are used but divided into two syllables.
     

    Cenzontle

    Senior Member
    English, U.S.
    I think the English sound that you are talking about has a strong resemblance to the "ei" of "Beijing".
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    Note the 'ɪ' symbol

    May -> /meɪ/
    Make -> /meɪk/
    Mate -> /meɪt/

    To hear how these (and any other words) are pronounced, visit the WRF dictionary (see the search box above) - this has recordings of the words pronounced in many accents and dialects. :thumbsup:
     

    xun.zhou

    New Member
    Chinese-China
    Note the 'ɪ' symbol

    May -> /meɪ/
    Make -> /meɪk/
    Mate -> /meɪt/

    To hear how these (and any other words) are pronounced, visit the WRF dictionary (see the search box above) - this has recordings of the words pronounced in many accents and dialects. :thumbsup:
    Cool! Many thanks!
     

    xun.zhou

    New Member
    Chinese-China
    I think the English sound that you are talking about has a strong resemblance to the "ei" of "Beijing".
    As i am Chinese, i can feel clearly there is an obvious difference between the "ei" in Beijing and "ei" in English. In Chinese, "ei" is a single syllable. But in English, I guess "ei" is a double syllable, right?
     

    xun.zhou

    New Member
    Chinese-China
    Yes and no. The sound is actually a combination of a long 'e' sound, followed, without any pause or separation, by a short 'i'.

    It makes a single syllable, distinct from (for example) say it or paying, where the same two sounds are used but divided into two syllables.
    OK. So it is actually a single syllable. But if i treat it as a single syllable, i would feel confused about, for example, "hit" and "hate". How stupid i am...
     

    JamesM

    Senior Member
    There is a difference between the sound /eɪ/ and the letters "ei". I hope you're not mixing the two up.

    For example, in the word height the vowel sound is /aI/. In the word eight the vowel sound is /eI/. In the word forfeit the vowel sound is /i/. In the word heir the vowel sound is /ɛ/ (in my accent).

    The combination of "ei" in a word does not tell you how to pronounce it.
     
    Last edited:
    < Previous | Next >
    Top