I'm having trouble with this, is there a way of remembering which 'e' to use in Italian, they sound the same to me?
I had trouble with this one too when learning Italian, the way I remembered it is very basic I know, but I used this with my son.
è is the 3rd person singular of the verb essere = he is/she is/it is. My son remembered it by like being the dot that goes over the I in is
e means and
é with the accent to the right is never on its own it goes on the end of words for example perché and creates a high end note to that word.
Silly I know but we have never forgotten. Give it a go.
Contrarily what happens in English, where godness knows how many vowel sounds are :-) , in Italian we have only seven vowels:
a (IPA: [a]),
è (grave stress, open sound, IPA: [ɛ]),
é (acute stress, closed sound, IPA: [e]),
i (IPA: [i]),
ò (grave stress, open sound, IPA: [ɔ]),
ó, (acute stress, closed sound, IPA: [o]),
u (IPA [u]).
"e" and "o" can sound respectively "è" and "ò" only in stressed syllables, in unstressed syllables their sounds are surely "é" and "ó".
On the other hand, usually, you will find stress mark only on words in whitch stress falls on the last syllable and on monosyllables that have a homograph with a different meaning. How can you distinguish the quality of "e" and "o" in words that have no mark? Simply you cant! :-) You must know the word pronunciation as in English you do. But don't worry, many Italians, me included, don't know the exact pronunciation of every word.
So if you'll say, for example, "pésca" (fishing) instead of "pèsca" (peach), nobody will care, the contest will make clear the meaning by itself.
É - it is/this is. also it means a person he/she because exist such verb like "essere" what conjugates as:
lui/lei è (!)
Just E/e means just "and" :)
And é actually you can find just in the ending of some words, for example like "perché".
You have had good answeres I just can tell something simple and funny to learn the sounds.
Stay in front of the mirror and open eyes and ears:
Open a lot your mouth imaging to touch both the ears and shout È (your throat talks)
Open your mouth to breath and say aloud E (your nose talks)
Open your mouth a bit imaging to draw a circle with your lips and say É (and not O) (your chin talks)
a funny way I know ... Learn with funny and you will got it.