Subtitles section Play video Print subtitles In this American English Pronunciation video, we're going to compare the vowel and diphthong sounds of American English. You've already seen my set of 33 videos, The Sounds of American English. In these videos, we went over the specifics of the mouth position for each sound including all of the vowel and diphthong sounds in American English. In this video, we're going to do side by side comparisons of vowel and diphthong sounds that are similar. Seeing how similar sounds are different should help you solidify the individual sounds. Let's get started. Notice how the lips are completely relaxed for AH but the corners pull back and up for AA. AH AA AH AA Notice how there is more jaw drop for AH. Press your tongue down in the back for this vowel. AH UH AH UH Notice how the corners of the lips pull back and up just a bit for the AA vowel. This is the word 'sat'. The lips are more relaxed for EH. This is the word 'said'. Sat Said Sat Said Notice how the lips are totally relaxed for AH but flared a bit for AW. AH AW AH AW IH has more jaw drop. The tongue arches closer to the roof of the mouth in EE. IH EE IH EE EH has more jaw drop. This is the word 'said'. In IH, the front part of the tongue arches closer tot he roof of the mouth. This is the word 'fix'. Fix Said Fix Said The jaw drops less for EE. Here, EE is in the word 'please'. Notice how much the jaw drops for the first sound of AY. This is the word 'pay'. Pay Please Pay Please The jaw drops more for the first sound of the diphthong in the word 'pay' but the tongue is forward for both sounds. Here, the IH vowel is in the word 'fix'. The second half of the diphthong is the same sound as the IH vowel. But here, the jaw drops a little less. Pay Fix Pay Fix The mouth position for the EH vowel in 'said' looks identical to the first half of the diphthong in 'pay' but look at the jaw for the second position of the AY diphthong. Less jaw drop. Pay. Said. Notice how the lips and mouth are totally relaxed for the UH as in Butter vowel but for the UR vowel, the lips flare and the tongue is pulled back. UH UR UH UR There is more jaw drop for the UH as in Butter sound which is usually stressed than for the schwa which is always unstressed. Here, it looks like there's no jaw drop. UH The lips round much more for the OO vowel. Flare them for the UH as in Push vowel. UH OO The lips flare a bit for the UH as in Push vowel but are totally relaxed for the UH as in Butter vowel. UH Remember to start your lips in a relaxed positionfor OO. For the OH diphthong, the jaw drops a lot for the beginning sound. Then the lips make a tight circle for OO and round but not as much for the second sound of OH. OO OH The beginning position of OH looks a lot like the AH vowel but the tongue pushes down in the back for the AH vowel. The ending position of the OH diphthong has lip rounding but the lips are always relaxed for the AH vowel. OH AH Notice how the corners of the lips pull back for the first sound of the OW diphthong but the lips flare for the AW vowel. The jaw drops much less and the lips flare a little for the second half of the OW diphthong. The mouth position doesn't change for the AW vowel. OW AW Now, we'll see and say all those sounds and words again, mixed up in a different order. Say them with me in slow motion. AA AH AW AH AA AH Sat Said AA UH UH AW UH OO UH UR UH Sat Said AA AH AW EE IH Fix Said EE IH Pay Please Fix UR UH OO UH OH OO This video is one of 36 in a new series, The Sounds of American English. Videos in this set will be released here on YouTube twice a month, first and third Thursdays, in 2016 and 2017. But the whole set can be all yours right now. The real value of these videos is watching them as a set, as a whole, to give your mind the time to take it all in and get the bigger picture. Most of the materials you'll find elsewhere just teach the sounds on their own in isolation. It's a mistake to learn them this way. We learn the sounds to speak words and sentences, not just sounds. Move closer to fluency in spoken English. Buy the video set today! Visit rachelsenglish.com/sounds Available as a DVD or digital download.