10 responses to “a as in any”

  1. Jude says:


  2. TM says:

    Not in Australia – it’s three syllables, not four: sekəndri

    Also doppelganger and googleganger have a short a sound, even in Melbourne.

    • alison says:

      My source for these lists was the Macquarie Dictionary of a bit over a decade ago, and the copy is in my office and I’m at home right now, I’ll see if I can remember to look this up but I’m pretty sure I checked them all with the phonetic script. Of course the pronunciation may have changed now.

  3. Benita says:

    botany and company?

    • alison says:

      In my accent the letter “a” in “botany”, “company”, “litany”, “accompany” and “Tiffany” is an unstressed vowel (schwa) not an /e/ sound, but maybe it’s an /e/ as in “red” in your accent.

  4. Brooke says:


    • alison says:

      Hi Brooke, in my accent ‘says’ is pronounced /sɛz/ so at the phoneme level the vowel is /e/ and the spelling is /ay/ but its spelling is better explained from a morphological and etymological point of view: in the Olden Days people did say the /ae/ sound in this word, just as they said “sayed” but now we just say /e/. If you teach ‘say’, ‘said’ and ‘says’ together when you’re doing ‘ay’ and ‘ai’ as in pay/paid and lay/laid, then it makes perfect sense, it’s just that our accent has changed.

  5. Jeanette says:

    maybe the a in ‘momentary’?

  6. Jeanette says:

    Momentary may have a schwa or ‘tree’ sound, but and maybe letter a is sounded as ‘e’ in voluntarily, necessarily, unnecessarily (other words ending with ‘arily’ seem to have an ‘air’ sound)

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