phonic sound of a

This video lesson is designed for children aged 3-6 years to teach them the phonic sound of the letter “a” and how to pronounce the words starting with it.

Learning the phonics sounds of the alphabet is the first step in learning spelling and vocabulary. Phonics helps children read faster and more fluently.

What are Phonics?

Phonics is a method of teaching children how to read and write. It helps children listen to, identify, and use distinct sounds in English to distinguish one word from another. There are three types of phonics: 

  1. Those produced by letters that do not sound like its letter name, such as the “o” in “to,”
  2. Those produced by letters in combination, such as the “tion” in the word “distinction,”
  3. Those produced by only letters that sound like their letter names, such as the “o” in “of.”

With phonics, individuals or groups of letters are matched with the sounds of spoken English. As an example, the sound k can be spelled as c, k, ck, or ch.

Benefits of Learning the Phonic Sound of ‘a’

  • It helps the child to identify words when they hear the words/ sentences
  • It helps the child to understand how sound changes in letters when used in combination with letters.
  • It helps children to write the correct spellings of the words they hear or read.
  • Children can easily associate letter sounds with word beginnings.

Let us start the journey of phonics with the pronunciation of letters.

Pronunciation of ‘a’, or Sounds of Letter ‘a’

In phonics, the letter ‘a’ has five distinct sounds. Let us look at these five sounds:

Below, the sounds are abbreviated in both International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) and the American Heritage Dictionary (AHD) notations.

Sound 1 of the Letter a:

‘a’ producing short vowel sound–æ (IPA) and ă (AHD)

Examples: apple, bat, cat, cap, man

Sound 2 of the Letter a:

‘a’ producing long vowel sound–eɪ (IPA) and ā (AHD)

Examples: snake, cake, bake, gate, made

Sound 3 of the Letter a:

‘a’ producing long a sound-aa–ɑː (IPA) and ä (AHD)            

Examples: mask, car, bath, ask, grass

Sound 4 of the Letter a:

‘a’ producing o sound–ɔː (IPA) and ô (AHD)

Examples–wall, call, war, fall

Sound 5 of the Letter a:

‘a’ producing e sound–ɛ (IPA) and ĕ (AHD)

Examples–any, many, anything, anywhere

In this video, the child will explore the short vowel sound of the English letter ‘a’, and learn words starting with it, such as an axe, apple, ant, and arrow. 

The sounds of the letter ‘a’ are repeated for each word so that the child can hear and pronounce the words accurately.

More Pronunciation videos:

  1. Pronunciation of the letter ‘b’
  2. Pronunciation of the letter ‘c’
  3. Pronunciation of the letter ‘d’
  4. Pronunciation of the letter ‘e’

To watch more English language video resources, click here.

Video created by: Strykun Olena

FAQs on How to Pronounce the Sound of A

Here are some frequently asked questions and their answers on how to pronounce the different sounds of the letter A.

  • What are the sounds of the letter a?

The letter a has five different sounds in English: short A (as in “cat”), long A (as in “cake”), schwa A (as in “sofa”), broad A (as in “father”), and r-controlled A (as in “car”).

  • What are the IPA and AHD symbols for each sound of A?

The IPA and AHD symbols for each sound of a are as follows:

    1. Sound 1 – ‘a’ as in apple–short vowel sound – æ (IPA) ă (AHD)
    2. Sound 2 – ‘a’ as in snake – long vowel sound – eɪ (IPA) ā (AHD)
    3. Sound 3 – ‘a’ as in father – broad sound – ɑː (IPA) ä (AHD)
    4. Sound 4 – ‘a’ as in ball – o sound – ɔː (IPA) ô (AHD)
    5. Sound 5 – ‘a’ as in many – e sound – ɛ (IPA) ĕ (AHD)
  • What is the phonetic sound of a?

The phonetic sound of a can vary depending on the word and context. In general, it can have a short sound (like “ă” in “cat”) or a long sound (like “ā” in “cake”). It can also have other sounds, such as the schwa sound (like “ə” in “sofa”) or the “uh” sound (like “ʌ” in “up”). The exact sound of a will depend on the word it is used in and the surrounding sounds.

  • What are some common mispronunciations of the letter A?

Some common mispronunciations of the letter A include pronouncing it as a short ‘e’, as in ‘evaporate’, or as a long ‘e’, as in ‘meat’. Another common mistake is pronouncing it as a short ‘o’, as in ‘cot’.


  • English
  • Language
  • phonic sound
  • primary