Reducing the right sounds and words make English more understandable to your listeners. Reducing a vowel is a little bit like losing weight. We want our size to be smaller and less noticeable. When reducing a vowel in a word, we don’t fully pronounce that sound, but instead pronounce a more relaxed, quieter central vowel like “uh”.
What happens when you fully pronounce every vowel in “Silicon” – Silleee cone? Silly Kon? See Lee Kon? Do you understand that word? I wouldn’t. Students of English pronunciation need to reduce the weak vowels in words. English is a stress-timed language. We stress (louder, longer, higher pitch) the important words or parts of words. Most everything else is reduced to the schwa sound (uh).
Words spelled with I are the worst! Often we don’t pronounce I in weak syllables. Be sure to reduce the i to an “uh”.
accident = accədent
amplify = ampləfy
animal = anəməl
Get the free printable handout here and start practicing to improve your English pronunciation today!