How to say it - /ɪə/ & /eɪ/
Diphthongs are two vowels together. They are different from single vowels because they are sounds made when you move your lips, tongue and mouth; but your mouth stays still in normal vowels. Watch and listen to the animations on the following pages to see this.
These are the characters that represent diphthongs in the phonemic alphabet.
To make this sound, say /iː/, then move your tongue back and down and your lips less wide to make the /ə/ sound.
The spelling of /ɪə/ is sometimes:
'eer'; eg. 'beer' /'bɪə/
'ear'; eg. 'near' /'nɪə/
'ere'; eg. 'here' /'hɪə/
'ier'; eg. 'prettier' /'prɪtɪə/
'ia'; eg. 'Australia' /ɒs'treɪlɪə/
A common problem for students is the difference between 'beer' and 'bear'.
= + To say this sound, say a long /e/ sound followed by a very short /ɪ/ sound. Two sounds together, and don't say them separately. The /eɪ/ sound is made as you move your mouth. You need to move your tongue up from /e/ to /ɪ/, and close your mouth slightly.
This is a common sound; eg, for the 'ay' in 'pay', the 'a' in 'shade', the 'ai' in 'tail', the 'ei' in 'eight', the 'ea' in 'steak' and the 'ey' in 'Hey!'.
Video of Mouth
Follow the instructions as they appear in the video.