Learn to use the English schwa sound and you will improve your English pronunciation!
Schwa sounds like “uh” and is the relaxed central vowel (made with the tongue relaxed in the middle of the mouth and the jaw held open to the middle position.) It is spelled several different ways, so you’ll need to memorize it sometimes. We hear it in the words nut, luck, tug and sudden. Here it is spelled like expected with a “u” (schwa is also called short U). But it’s spelling varies as in the words love, mother, was and the. For more understandable English, learn these common words and pronounce mother, love, was and the with the “uh” sound.
- mother = muh ther
- love = luv
- was = wuz
- the = thuh
We also reduce weak syllable vowels in multisyllabic words like poLICEman or PREsident. We use the schwa sound:
- policeman = puh LICE man
- president = PRES uh dent