Pronunciation - The '/ɜ:/' Sound

The /ɜ:/ sound is a vowel sound. The : at the end of the sound means that it is a long vowel sound. In fact, some have people refer to the /ɜ:/ sound as the vowel version of the letter r. This is because the /ɜ:/ sound is always followed by the letter r.

Most students that are learning English have trouble with this sound. So what makes this sound difficult for so many? Well for starters, the /ɜ:/ sound is only native to English.

Making the /ɜ:/ Sound

Start by rounding your lips a bit. The corners of the mouth come in a little bit and your lips move away from your teeth.

Raise your tongue letting the sides of your tongue touch your upper molars. With the front of your tongue dipping down a bit, but not touching any part of your mouth.

Raising the mid part of your tongue up keep the front part of your tongue from touching any part of your mouth.

Try the following word groups:

>burr, burn, berth, her, first
>bird, fir, herd, hurt
>early, earth, learn, dirty
>work, world, worth, worm
>burn, birth firm, earn
>blur, curve, dirt, purr
>stir, curb, surge, girl