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ESL forum > Grammar and Linguistics > about vowels    

about vowels


about vowels
Hi guys I am looking for some vowel songs on youtube and found out that my belief that vowels are / a e i o u/ seems not really correct because some song they just sing/ say the letters names and called it vowels. So which one is correct? Letters a e i o u or sounds / a e i o uh/???

4 Dec 2015      


I suppose it is the sounds rather than the actual letters if you are discussing the use of a/an.
Hour begins with a written consonant, but with a vowel sound , so we say, "an hour".
Uniform begins with a written vowel, but with a pronounced "y" at the beginning, so we say, "a uniform". 

5 Dec 2015     

United States

FrauSue is exactly right. For a, e, I, and o, a word that starts with one of those letters always uses "an." Words that begin with any consonant letter other than h always follow "a." However, if a word starts with a silent h, as with FrauSue s example of "hour," use "an." If it starts with a pronounced h, use "a," such as "a house." For words that start with u, as you noticed, "an" is used before a short u sound, such as "an umbrella." Almost every word that begins with a long u sound also has the "y" sound before the u, so use "a," such as FrauSue s "a uniform." Always go by the sound, not just the letter.

5 Dec 2015     


thank u guys, That;s what I believe  but then, I am going to have a lesson about the / u:/ / o/ and / au/  sounds.To warm up I want to let the kids sing the vowels song, then I looked on youtube and found these stuffs. There is only few songs use the sounds / a e i o uh/ and many use the letters, that s really confusing me. 

6 Dec 2015     


Hi again,
The songs you link to are for younger learners so don t introduce the vagaries of silent letters! The a/e/i/o/u rule is a really good rule of thumb when you first introduce the idea of vowels and consonants. The subtleties can come later. 

8 Dec 2015