30 days of English course – The schwa – day 5

Hey friends! Welcome to  30 days of English with SHUT UP AND SPEAK ENGLISH WITH MR.LEE. Today is day 5.

Today, we’re going to take a look at the sound, which is the most important and common vowel sound in spoken English. It replaces vowel sounds which are unstressed in words. Here it goes SCHWA


So the first question comes to mind, ‘how to make this sound?’

How to make the sound: your teeth are not closed, but they’re not really open, so they are like “uh” as in “about”, your mouth doesn’t really move, your tongue is lightly touching behind the bottom front teeth. Uh…uh…uh you move just a tiny bit. Your mouth is relaxed. Any vowel letter can be pronounced as schwa and the pronunciation of a vowel letter can change depending on whether the syllable in which it occurs is stressed or not.The schwa sound is relaxed, neutral, quick and weak. It’s going to help you reduce your accent.


Where is it found?

1.  Schwa can usually be found in function words which are unstressed in the sentences.

2. It can be found in prefixes and suffixes.

3. It can be found in content words as well.

For example: I’m going to the shop to buy some eggs.


Let’s practice with schwa sound in words

A – a, about, ability, sofa, woman, America, according

E – (E becomes schwa in the cases like) : taken, the, telephone, between, believe

I –  ability, pencil, family, possibility,  O – to, mirror,  memory, police, today, tomorrow, tonight, official, lemon, computer, conversation, nation, information

U–  campus, support, supply, suppose.

Be aware of pronouncing schwa sound helps you so much in order to lose your accent. If you’re speaking English and your Vietnamese accent is way too strong, remember to pronounce schwa sound, your English will be way so easy to understand and be super cool.

Exercise #1 Watch the video about the schwa sound. Listen and repeat the words


Exercise#2 Listen to the teacher and underline the /ə/ sound in the following sentences.

  1. We went to the theater yesterday.
  2. He can speak Russian and German.
  3. Susan is famous for her Christmas cake.
  4. The pronunciation and grammar are difficult.
  5. We could ask them if they have reached a decision.
  6. A man and a woman were waiting at the station.
  7. They’re going to the mountains on Saturday.
  8. The private sector is all economic activity other than government.

Hope this has helped you a bit. Have a fabulous day.



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