is the king of the consonants
R is king of the consonants because its pronunciation doesn’t change…it’s always /ɚ/…and it can make certain vowels completely disappear.
The videos below explain the importance of /ɚ/ in English pronunciation.
At the bottom of this page, I’ve linked the worksheets that I use for my pronunciation classes. You’re welcome to use any of these materials.
In 1-syllable words…e, i, wo, u + r…are always pronounced /ɚ/.
Only vowels a and o escape from the control of the king of the consonants. Take a look.
In unstressed syllables, all vowels + r are pronounced /ɚ/.
The word or is usually reduced and pronounced /ɚ/.
In some words, /ɚ/ makes complete syllables disappear.
In consonant clusters, /ɚ/ is still king of the consonants.
I use only one symbol for /ɚ/ in the videos.
The difference in pronunciation between a stressed /ɝ/ and an unstressed /ɚ/ isn’t important.
stressed /ʌ/ + r = /ɝ/ => girl /gɝl/
unstressed /ə/ + r = /ɚ/ => doctor /’dak-tɚ/
My Classroom Worksheets:
1. 1-syllable words: intro [pdf]
2. 1-syllable words: e, i, wo, u [pdf]
3. 1-syllable words: a, o [pdf]
4. 2-syllable words [pdf]
5. unstressed r [pdf]
6. disappearing vowel [pdf]
7. consonant clusters [pdf]
8. practice: or [pdf]
9. practice: Dear Lord [pdf]
10. practice: Little Orphan Annie [pdf]
11. practice: Bear and the Travelers [pdf]