y sound /j/
How to pronounce the y sound
The tongue is extended forward, with the body of the tongue very near the tooth ridge and hard palate. Because the tongue is so high, the jaw is kept relatively closed during the formation of this sound. The sides of the tongue touch the top, side teeth during the sound. The lips are held mostly closed, and they are neither made tense nor into a circular shape.
NOTE: This sound is similar to a long e in both sound and formation. However, the tongue is held closer to the tooth ridge during the y sound than during the long e sound.
Common y sound spellings
NOTE: The letter y is often a part of the oi sound when it is spelled oy, as in the word toy, or part of the long a sound when it is spelled ay, as in the word day. When it is part of a vowel spelling, the y sound merges with the vowel sound and is no longer considered a distinct y sound. Instead, it is a portion of the two-sound vowel.
Compare y sound and long e
A good way to practice hearing and saying the y sound is to compare it using minimal pairs that do not contain that sound. Notice that the following words are identical, except that the word on the left begins with an y sound and the word on the right does not.
The y sound in suffixes
Non-phonetic y sound words
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Pronunciation Pages 2
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