How to pronounce words ending in 'ey'?

British English Language Challenges spoken English

Do you know what Britney, Mickey and Disney have in common?

It's all about that /ɪj/ sound!

In English, when you see the “ey” spelling at the end of an unstressed syllable, it often* sounds like /ɪj/ ( traditional IPA /iː/). Think of 'three' or 'coffee' - that's the same sound you'll find in 'Britney', ‘Mickey’ and 'Disney.'

The majority of my Polish students tend to mispronounce the English words ‘hockey’ and 'jockey'. This is due to the Polonization of these English words. We even write them as "hokej" and “dżokej”. 

Exception: 

*However, exceptions exist. Consider ‘grey’ or ’gray’ - a classic case of British vs. American spelling for the same colour (or should I write ‘color’). While British spelling aligns more closely with older English, American 'gray' matches the expected pronunciation seen in words like ‘pay’, ‘play’, ‘say’ etc.

Here's a list of various words with an 'ey' ending.  

Disney /dɪ́znɪj/ /ˈdɪzniː/

Britney /brɪ́tnɪj/ /ˈbrɪtniː/

Mickey /mɪ́kɪj/ /ˈmɪkiː/

Elvis PresIey /prɛ́zlɪj//ˈprezliː/

Hockey /hɔ́kɪj/ /hɒkiː/

Sydney /sɪ́dnɪj/ /ˈsɪdniː/

Jockey /ʤɔ́kɪj/ /ˈʤɒkiː/

 

And more: 

Journey

Parsley

Monkey 

Chimney 

Honey 

Money

Valley

Alley

Trolley


Enjoy learning!



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