Spelfabet

Learning the building blocks of words - sounds, their spellings, and word parts

again

against

creme fraiche

said

saith

7 thoughts on “ai as in said

  1. Gloria Louis-Fils

    In the ai as in said list, I don’t know if the Australian pronunciation is the same, but in the states we would also include curtain, certain, fountain, captain, and mountain in this list. Your website is so helpful!

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      1. Christie S.

        Interesting! I am thinking this would be a dialect thing. To be more specific, in Philadelphia we pronounce those words you mentioned with a short i for the ai spelling. That is based on our dialect or accent. I am sure that it other parts of the state and country, people pronounce ai in those words with a short e sound. This is all fascinating!

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    1. alison Post author

      I pronounce “plaid” to rhyme with “dad”, not “said” and “red”, so I classify it with “plait” as a funny spelling of /a/ as in cat. In my non-rhotic accent the word “air” is a diphthong (/e/ plus schwa) so for spelling purposes I count it as a separate vowel with multiple spellings, as in hair, care, bear, there and their.

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  2. Clare Herriges

    I’m from Wisconsin. I believe the list: fountain, mountain, curtain are short e when spoken brightly , positively. But when tired, frustrated or upset, they would be pronounced short i. In the case of hair, air, bear…. the Spelling would be called a diphthong because it is two letters, but the sound isn’t schwa. It’s just a short e. All of these sound /spelling elements are either auditory imprints or sight imprints, respectively. They could be referred to as ‘mirrors’. Sound/spelling mirrors.

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