Spelling the short vowel sound /ŭ/

An extra note:

There are many English words which have a very weak vowel sound, which is a bit like the short /ŭ/ sound.

Read these words aloud and listen to the sound of the vowel in the second syllable:

Spell parrot Spell lion Spell camel Spell zebra
parrot lion camel zebra


The sound in each case is rather like a soft /ŭ/ sound. This sound is called the 'schwa' (say 'shwar' to rhyme with car. ) The word 'schwa' is German, but it comes originally from the Hebrew word meaning 'emptiness' - because it often sounds as if there is no vowel there at all.

As you can see from the words above, different vowels are used to spell the schwa sound. There are no rules to tell you which vowel to use: you just have to remember what each word looks like.

Some more examples:

metal hospital moment problem travel cotton

To learn more about the schwa sound, have a look at Unit 24

This completes the unit on spelling the short vowel sounds

Print this page
share this page:

Sign up to remove this advert

Remove this advert

Your current location:

Unit 6: Spelling the short vowel sounds

Page 21 of 21

Quick guide to Spellzone

Free Trial

Sign up today

Dictionary



Sign up to remove this advert

Online help...


If you need help logging into your account, or you need more information, we are here to help.

Help