From Teflpedia

The letter combination "ae" has several different pronunciations; however the only common word is aeroplane (replaced by airplane in American English). This article sets out some words teachers can use to help their students become more aware of the differences.

Words with a global spelling[edit | edit source]

  • As /eə/: aerialBrE - aerobics - aeroplaneBrE
  • As /ə/: Michael
  • As /iː/: algae, antennae (plural of antenna as part of an insect) - Caesar - larvae (plural of larva)
  • As /aɪ/: maestro - tae kwon do
  • As /eɪ/: Israel - Israeli - reggae
  • As /eɪ/, /iː/ or /ɪ/: sundae

As two separate sounds:

  • Israel: /ˈɪzriːəl/ (also /ˈɪzreɪl/)

Past tense of verbs ending in "a"

  • As /ə/: congaed, rumbaed, salsaed, sambaed, scubaed, subpoenaed /səˈpiːnəd/

Graeco-Latin words[edit | edit source]

Most words with "ae" are of Greek or Latin origin, and many of them are spelled or pronounced differently in British English and American English.

As /iː/[edit | edit source]

British spelling American spelling
aeolian eolian
anaemia anemia
archaeology archaeology - archeology
caesium cesium
encyclopedia - encyclopaedia encyclopedia
faeces feces
Graeco- Greco-
haemoglobin hemoglobin
hyena - hyaena hyena - hyaena
leukaemia leukemia
medieval - mediaeval medieval - mediaeval
orthopaedic - orthopedic orthopedic
paediatrician pediatrician
Palaeolithic Paleolithic

Other[edit | edit source]

British spelling Br pr American spelling Am pr
aesthetic /iː, e/ aesthetic - esthetic /e/
anaesthesia /ə/ anesthesia /ə/
caesarean /ɪ/ Cesarean, cesarean, Caesarean, caesarean /ɪ/
gynaecologist /ə/ gynecologist /ə/
haemorrhage /e/ hemorrhage /e/