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How do you pronounce the suffix "less"? Is it pronounced like "i" in "list" or "e" in "the"? Some examples: endless,helpless,careless,fruitless Thank you!!!
Dec 12, 2016 2:39 PM
Answers · 7
My answer is different, I'd say that it's nearly always the vowel ə (which is how "e" in "the" is commonly pronounced). You can Google for pronunciation. Also, incidentally, my memory of the Birmingham accent (UK) is that they'd pronounce "fruitless" as "fruitliss". So, like the "i" in "list". But that's regional.
December 12, 2016
I agree with Steve and Jerry. It's theoretically a schwa /ə/, but keep in mind that the schwa represents a neutralized vowel, and tends to vary depending on the following consonant (if any). A following M or dark L will move the schwa further back in the mouth, while most consonants (like N or S) will move the schwa forward, giving us a barred-I /ɨ/ (like a partially neutralized version of /ɪ/). These differences are normally allophonic rather than phonemic in nature, which means that they are incidental and not easily noticed by native speakers. Notice how we use /ə/ in the last syllable of “America,” but /ɨ/ in the last syllable of “American.”
December 12, 2016
Is it pronounced like "i" in "list" or "e" in "the"? NO It sounds like the e in "west" or "best".
December 12, 2016
I think I do the Neanderthal grunt: ugh! Basically the schwa vowel. Ugh! Ugh! Sometimes it's more like the 'e' in west and best. I suppose I'm making a bit more effort on these occasions?
December 12, 2016
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Language Skills
Chinese (Mandarin), English
Learning Language
English