Each word in the book is followed by information in parentheses that shows you how to pronounce the word. The guide on this page explains how to use that information.
Long Vowel Sounds
Short Vowel Sounds
Other Vowel Sounds
|ə||ago, item, easily,|
Note that each pronunciation symbol above is paired with a common word that shows the sound of the symbol. For example, the symbol ā has the sound of the a in the common word age. The symbol ă has the sound of the a in the common word apple. The symbol ə, which looks like an upside-down e and is known as the schwa, has the unaccented sound in the common word ago. It sounds like the “uh” a speaker often says when hesitating.
Accent marks are small black marks that tell you which syllable to emphasize as you say a word. A bold accent mark () shows which syllable should be stressed. A lighter accent mark (′) in some words indicates a secondary stress. Syllables without an accent mark are unstressed.