Proofreading Service - Pain in the English
Proofreading Service - Pain in the English

Your Pain Is Our Pleasure

24-Hour Proofreading Service—We proofread your Google Docs or Microsoft Word files. We hate grammatical errors with passion. Learn More

Proofreading Service - Pain in the English
Proofreading Service - Pain in the English

Your Pain Is Our Pleasure

24-Hour Proofreading Service—We proofread your Google Docs or Microsoft Word files. We hate grammatical errors with passion. Learn More

Username

Alex Ciprian

Member Since

June 28, 2017

Total number of comments

3

Total number of votes received

2

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Latest Comments

@jayles: Thanks! Well, you're right - there are thousands of English dialects and accents all over the world! However, this "rule" I'm talking about has to be applied only to RP (Standard English RP) and non-rhotic accents of English. As David Crystal (1995: 262) says in his The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English Language: "no other consonantal letter has such a variety of sounds, and is prone to such regional variation." My job is not to find a rule to fit them all, but only to understand whether for RP and non-rhotic accents my "rule" can be applied. :)

@jayles: So, If I am saying: "/r/ (the phoneme, i.e. the sound as in red) occurs only before a vowel phoneme (in British RP and non-rhotic accents of English) and that in every other case, it is silent.", is it enough to be considered as a "rule"? Thanks again!

Thank you very much for the post. May I ask you what happens with the "r" in the following words (in non-rhotic accents like RP): beware /bɪˈwɛə/, care /kɛə/, dare /dɛə/, there /ðɛə/, share /ʃɛə/, compare /kəmˈpɛə/, careful /ˈkɛəfʊl/, sphere /sfɪə/, figure /ˈfɪɡə/, and so on? In all of these cases the “r” is neither at the end of the word nor before consonant (rules that many BrE teachers teach for silent "r") – still, it is silent. Are there any rules that can be applied in these cases? What about: very, necessary, arbitrary, and so on - here the "r" is pronounced, but, even though in the middle of the word, there's no consonant before it (other rule BrE teachers teach for non-silent "r")? What's the rule here? What about the words: order, separate and the like? In "order", for example, the "r" is before a consonant - still, it is silent. On the other hand, in "separate" the "r" is in middle position, but there's no consonant before it - still, it is pronounced and therefore non-silent. What I am trying to learn is whether (or not) there are 2 separate rules for the “r”: one telling me when the “r” must be pronounced and one telling me when the “r” is silent. Am I missing something here? Thank you!
As I have spoken with other BrE experts, I would also like to ask you if the following conclusions are accurate enough and could be considered a rule for the pronunciation of the "r" sound (in British RP and non-rhotic accents of English):
1. "r" is silent in the following words: car, star, sister, mother, word, person, bird (/kɑː/, /stɑː/, /ˈsɪstə/, /ˈmʌðə/, /wɜːd/, /ˈpɜːsn/, /bɜːd/) because it is not followed by a vowel sound.
2. "r" is pronounced in the following words: read, write, red, Rome, grass, green, very, separate (/riːd/, /raɪt/, /rɛd/, /rəʊm/, /grɑːs/, /griːn/, /ˈvɛri/, /'sepərət/) and also in berry, carry, arrange (ˈ/bɛri/, /ˈkæri/, /əˈreɪnʤ/) because it is followed by a vowel sound.
Or, to sum up: /r/ (the phoneme, i.e. the sound as in red) occurs only before a vowel phoneme (in British RP and non-rhotic accents of English). In every other case, it is silent. Thank you!