175: Short Vowels Minimal Sets

Practice sets like: pat, pet, pit, pot, putt.


Hi again, and welcome back to Seattle Learning Academy's American English pronunciation podcast. My name is Mandy, and this is our 175th episode.

If you follow us on Facebook or Twitter or YouTube you've already heard that we released the first video of our brand new video series to YouTube last week. I'm very excited that the Introduction to Short Vowels Pronunciation video is already live on YouTube and individual videos for all five short vowels are available to Pronuncian.com subscribers.

So you can keep up with all these developments, I'll link to our YouTube channel, Facebook page, and Twitter feed from this episode's transcript page. You can find that by going to www.pronuncian.com/podcast.

Let me say today how important Pronuncian.com subscribers are to our ongoing efforts to providing high-quality content, much of it, like these podcasts, for free. While we're happy to be able to provide so much free content, we have costs associated with video production, website programming, content creation, and bandwidth. So, if you've been wanting to go deeper into learning American English Pronunciation, consider joining the site. Site members get complete access to all of the exercises and quizzes, plus all 6 brand new short vowels videos. We'll release one more short vowels video to YouTube next month, but the rest of the videos will be for Pronuncian members only. To learn more about joining the site, go to www/pronuncian.com/join.

Staying on the short vowels theme, today we're going to practice some short vowels minimal sets. Minimal sets are groups of words that are all the same except for one sound. Studying minimal sets can be really helpful when learning to hear individual sounds. Learning to hear individual sounds makes learning to pronounce individual sounds much, much easier.

The complete exercise with all of these minimal sets is also available to site members. The link to the exercise is at the bottom of the Introduction to Long Vowels lesson, which I'll link to from the transcript page for this show.

So to begin today, I'm going to say all five short vowel sounds in the order of: short a, short e, short i, short o, and short u. I want you to repeat all five sounds from memory.

Here are all five short vowel sounds:

(short a, short e, short i, short o, and short u)

Let's do it again:

(short a, short e, short i, short o, and short u)

Now, here are minimal sets that use all five sounds in the same order. Repeat all five of these words.

pack, peck, pick, pock, puck
gnat, net, knit, not, nut
pat, pet, pit, pot, putt

Okay, now I'm going to say only two words. I want you to repeat the words, then say which two vowel sounds were in the words. Ready?

hot, hat

That was short o (short o) hot, and short a (short a) hat.

bet, bit

That was short e (short e) bet, and short i (short i) bit.

lock, luck

That was short o (short o) lock, and short u (short u) luck.

hut, hot

That was short u (short u) hut, and short o (short o) hot.

sud, sod

That was short u (short u) sud, and short o (short o) sod.

stack, stock

That was short a (short a) stack, and short o (short o) stock.

nick, neck

That was short i (short i) nick, and short e (short e) neck.

bid, bed

That was short i (short i) bid, and short e (short e) bed.

hum, ham

That was short u (short u) hum, and short a (short a) ham.

lack, luck

That was short a (short a) lack, and short u (short u) luck.

How did you do? For more listening training, Pronuncian.com members can take the Short Vowels Minimal Sets quiz which is also located at the bottom of the free lesson that I will link to from the Introduction to Short Vowels lesson. In case you were wondering, that's where you can also find the link to the Short Vowels video that doesn't have any of the marketing text that the YouTube version has.

The individual short vowel sound lessons each have links to the new short vowels videos. All the individual short vowels videos have helpful mouth and profile close-ups, and a listen and repeat practice section.

That's all for today, everyone. This has been a Seattle Learning Academy digital publication. SLA is where the world come to learn.

Thanks for listening. Bye-bye.