Lawless English

E

The English letter E is a vowel and has several pronunciations.

The table below lists the IPA (International Phonetic Alphabet) symbol and the standard (std) symbol used to describe the sounds of the letter E. The standard symbol is used in many English dictionaries. The phonetic transcription of each word is in parentheses.

Note that the examples are in three columns. The first column provides an example of the sound when it is word initial (at the beginning of the word). The second column provides an example of the sound when it is word internal (in the middle of the word). The third column provides examples of the sound when it is word final (at the end of the word). Notice also that for each letter the examples show different spellings that produce the same sound.

Click on the sample words to listen to the sound files. Pay attention to the sound of the letters in bold.   long e eleven incorrect

name IPA std examples
short e ĕ elegant
(lgnt)
hello
(hl)
 
long e i ē evil
(ivl)
green
(grin)
he
(hi)
il
long a ei ā     resumé
(rzumei)
schwa eleven
(lvn)
enemy
(nmi)
 

Note that the letter e at the end of a word is almost always silent.

taste
(teIst)
axe
(ks)
five
(fv)
blue
(blu)
orange
(n)
opposite
(pst)
lime
(lm)
toe
(t)

Be careful, there are some exceptions:

When the word has no other vowel, the letter e is not silent.

me
(mi)
she
(i)
he
(hi)
we
(wi)
be
(bi)

When the word ends in a double e, it is not silent.

see
(si)
employee
(mplji)
agree
(gri)

When the word has an accent mark, the e is not silent.

fiancé
(finseI)
résumé
(rsumeI)
macramé
(mkrmeI)
pâté
(pteI)

Note: English speakers rarely use accent marks. There are very few of these words in English.

Related lessons:

Read lesson
 * en español
 * en français
Exit mobile version