+0
diphthong
a vowel sound made by pronouncing two vowels quickly one after the other. For example, the vowel sound in 'main' is a diphthong.

The sounds of hate, bee, high, bone, few, find, are the basic diphthongs. The bold words in the following words are also diphthongs: make, note, sure.

According to the definition a diphthong consists of two vowels which are pronounced one after the other. I don't see any diphthongs in hate, bee, high, bone, few. This statement ''The bold words in the following words are also diphthongs: make, note, sure'' is also incorrect. The fact is the examples which seem incorrect to me have been copied from the dictionaries.
1 2 3
Comments  
No, that's not really a very satisfactory explanation of diphthongs!
There are a few posts on vowels on the forum, which you should search.
Note also the difference between a vowel (an invisible sound) and a vowel letter (a visible written mark).
CJ
Definitions from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary:

diphthong:
(phonetics) a combination of two vowel sounds or vowel letters
monophthong:
a speech sound that consists of only one vowel sound
triphthong:
a combination of three vowel sounds or vowel letters

The above definitions answer some of my questions.
CalifJimNote also the difference between a vowel (an invisible sound) and a vowel letter (a visible written mark).
What is the difference between a vowel and a vowel letter?
I just take a vowel as a soul and a vowel letter as a body. The soul breathes life to the body.
Students: Are you brave enough to let our tutors analyse your pronunciation?
Definitions from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary:

diphthong:
(phonetics) a combination of two vowel sounds or vowel letters
monophthong:
a speech sound that consists of only one vowel sound
triphthong:
a combination of three vowel sounds or vowel letters

The above definitions use the expressions vowel sounds and vowel letters. What is the difference between a vowel sound and vowel letter?
Help!
Jackson6612diphthong:
(phonetics) a combination of two vowel sounds or vowel letters
monophthong:
a speech sound that consists of only one vowel sound
triphthong:
a combination of three vowel sounds or vowel letters

The above definitions use the expressions vowel sounds and vowel letters. What is the difference between a vowel sound and vowel letter?
Two vowel letters are something you can see with your eyes in a word like soul. Two vowel sounds is something you can hear with your ears only, not see in print: gave. In the last example there is only one written vowel, a. There may be languages in which diphthongs are pronounced even when they are not represented by a single vowel letter.
CB
Teachers: We supply a list of EFL job vacancies
Hi CB,

Do you mean that vowel ''a'' in gave is accounted for two vowel sounds.But how can one vowel letter stand for two vowel sounds? And thanks for the help.
English is not pronounced as it is written. Gave is pronounced [geɪv].
CB
Hey CB, how about [gaɪv]? Seven, [aɪt], [noɪn], ten. Emotion: stick out tongue

Hi Jackson,
vowel letters are A, E, I, O, U.
Vowel sounds are all those sounds you use while speaking that are not consonants. The most common vowel sound in English is the schwa (IPA symbol: /ə/). IPA is the phonetic alphabet often used in phonetic transcriptions in dictionaries.
So, for example, BEAT is written with two vowel letters, but it's pronounced with one vowel sound (IPA symbol: /i/). And SO is written with one vowel letter, but it's pronounced with a diphthong, which is a vowel that sounds like two different sounds joined together (IPA for "so": /soʊ/).

But remember that not everyone speaks the same way, so there are people who use different sets of vowel sounds, diphthongs, etc.
Site Hint: Check out our list of pronunciation videos.
Show more