the meaning of ə(r)

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colum4

Senior Member
China-Chinese
Hi,
When I look up the phonetic symbol of for in the dictionary, I find two questions.

1. what the meaning of (r) in ə(r) ?
2. the dictionary says for has two phonetic symbols, one is /fə(r)/, the other is /fɔ(r)/. I think the former is to let people read it soomthly in a sentence. Am I right?

Thank you.
 
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  • rhitagawr

    Senior Member
    British English
    The word for can have its full value to rhyme with bore - What's this knob for? In standard BE, there's no /r/ sound except before a vowel.
    But colloquially and in unstressed positions (which I suppose is most of them) it can be /fə/ before a consonant - Thanks for looking after the kids - and /fər/ before a vowel - We can't stay here for ever.
    I suppose the brackets are there to show that sometimes you hear the /r/ and sometimes you don't.
     
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    colum4

    Senior Member
    China-Chinese
    The word for can have its full value to rhyme with bore - What's this knob for? In standard BE, there's no /r/ sound except before a vowel.
    But colloquially and in unstressed positions (which I suppose is most of them) it can be /fə/ before a consonant - Thanks for looking after the kids - and /fər/ before a vowel - We can't stay here for ever.
    I suppose the brackets are there to show that sometimes you hear the /r/ and sometimes you don't.
    Hi RH,
    Thank you for your help. Could you explain the second question to me?

    Thank you.
     

    rhitagawr

    Senior Member
    British English
    I think the phonetic alphabet's a guide to pronunciation. I'm not sure that reading's got anything to do with it. If you're reading to yourself, it doesn't really matter whether you read it as /fə(r)/ or /fɔ(r)/.
     

    colum4

    Senior Member
    China-Chinese
    I think the phonetic alphabet's a guide to pronunciation. I'm not sure that reading's got anything to do with it. If you're reading to yourself, it doesn't really matter whether you read it as /fə(r)/ or /fɔ(r)/.
    Hi RH,
    Actually, ə represents two different phonetic alphabets, but in my computer, when I type, they both show ə.:)

    Thank you.
     

    Giorgio Spizzi

    Senior Member
    Italian
    Hullo.

    I think /fə(r)/ is an alternative way to represent what most dictionaries represent by means of /fə*/, i.e. a sort of reminder that in the word in question a "linking 'r' " is pronounced when the following word begins with a vowel sound.

    GS
     

    colum4

    Senior Member
    China-Chinese
    Hullo.

    I think /fə(r)/ is an alternative way to represent what most dictionaries represent by means of /fə*/, i.e. a sort of reminder that in the word in question a "linking 'r' " is pronounced when the following word begins with a vowel sound.

    GS
    Hi GS,
    Thank you for your help.:)
     

    colum4

    Senior Member
    China-Chinese
    Hi every one,
    I use another computer now.

    In dictionary, for has two phonetic symbols--/fə/ and /fɔ/, why?

    Thank you.
     

    brianleung

    Member
    Cantonese
    In dictionary, for has two phonetic symbols--/fə/ and /fɔ/, why?
    Because there are two ways to pronounce the same word, one strong form and one weak form in terms of pronunciation.

    Example:
    1. What's the book for? [strong, the second one]
    2. Thanks for your help. [weak, the one with the schwa]
     

    colum4

    Senior Member
    China-Chinese
    Because there are two ways to pronounce the same word, one strong form and one weak form in terms of pronunciation.

    Example:
    1. What's the book for? [strong, the second one]
    2. Thanks for your help. [weak, the one with the schwa]
    Hi BR,
    Thank you for your help. Yes, like your examples.

    Do you want to speak smoother so you change /fɔ/ to /fə/ ?

    Thank you.
     

    rhitagawr

    Senior Member
    British English
    I don't think it's got anything to do with speaking 'smoother.' It's a question of what is correct and natural.
     

    Giorgio Spizzi

    Senior Member
    Italian
    Hullo, colum.

    I'd hate leaving you with a false impression.
    Also /fɔ: (r)/ is an alternative way to represent /fɔ:*/, i.e. an indication that the final letter "r" in the word "for" (/r/) is usually pronounced when the following words begins with a vowel sound.

    GS :)
     
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    RM1(SS)

    Senior Member
    English - US (Midwest)
    /fɔ:r)/ is an alternative way to represent /fɔ:*/, i.e. an indication that the final letter "r" in the word "for" (/r/) is usually pronounced when the following words begins with a vowel sound.
    Note that this is BE pronunciation - most AE speakers always pronounce the r in "for."
     

    colum4

    Senior Member
    China-Chinese
    Hullo, colum.

    I'd hate leaving you with a false impression.
    Also /fɔ: (r)/ is an alternative way to represent /fɔ:*/, i.e. an indication that the final letter "r" in the word "for" (/r/) is usually pronounced when the following words begins with a vowel sound.

    GS :)
    Hi GS,
    Thank you.:)
     
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