'was' and 'were' sound in a sentence - skillUP Centre

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Phonetics and Phonology

'was' and 'were' sound in a sentence

'was' and 'were' UK sound

'was' and 'were' have two kinds of UK sound: strong and weak. When 'was' is unstressed in a sentence we pronounce it as a weak 'was' and it is /wəz/. On the contrary, strong 'was' is stressed in a sentence as  /wɒz/. For strong 'was' example, At 9 o'clock last night I was (/wəz/) watching a movie. He was (/wəz/) feeling much better last night. On the other hand,  He wasn’t (/wɒznt/) a hardworking student 3 years ago, was (wɒz/) heWhen 'were' is unstressed in a sentence we pronounce it as a weak 'were' and it is /wəʳ/. On the contrary, strong 'were' is stressed in a sentence as /wɜːʳ/. For example, We were /wəʳ/ having a good time until it rained. We were /wəʳ/ delighted with the results. For example, Were (/wɜːʳ/) you coming to the cinema with us tomorrow? ( The speaker is negative here.) You were (/wɜːʳ/) doing this work! (The speaker is surprised.)

'was' and 'were' US sound

'was' and 'were' also have two kinds of US sound: strong and weak. However, weak or unstressed 'was' experience is similar UK 'was' sound. It is different for strong or stressed 'was' and it pronounces like /wʌz/. For example, The conductor said it was (/wʌz/) the worst quake he ever knew. (The speaker is serious.) All were surprised to find that he was (/wʌz/) not with them. (The speaker is focused.) On the other hand, strong or stressed 'were' is pronounced as /wər/ and weak or unstressed 'were' is pronounced as /wɜːr/. For weak 'were' example,  I don't know where they were (/wər/) planning to sit. They were (/wər/) faithful straight liners. For strong 'were' example, You were (/wɜːr/) going to the party! ( The speaking is surprised.) Were (/wɜːr/) you coming to the cinema with us tomorrow? ( The speaker is negative here.)

Author: Md Ariful Hasan

References:

BBC Learning English. (2016, September 30). Pronunciation: The words “was” and “were.” YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=psI7E_J1zPo&list=PLcetZ6gSk96-ayXj5thbTpbh2vHWpP08o

Cambridge Dictionary. (2021b, April 28). was definition: 1. past simple of be 2. past simple of be 3. past simple of be. Learn more. https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/wasOxford Online English. (2017, November 3). Weak Forms - How to Pronounce Weak Forms in English. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=31-xVBwGNDY

Oxford Learner’s Dictionaries. (n.d.). was - Definition, pictures, pronunciation and usage notes | Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary at OxfordLearnersDictionaries.com. Retrieved May 4, 2021, from https://www.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com/definition/english/was?q=was

Your Dictionary. (n.d.). Use was in a sentence | The best 500 was sentence examples. Retrieved May 4, 2021, from https://sentence.yourdictionary.com/was


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