From Teflpedia

air /eər/

wait /weɪt/

The sequence "ai" very reliably represents the diphthong /eɪ/. The sequence "air" very reliably represents the dipthong /eər/. Together with the article on decoding difficulties, this page sets out some common (or not…) words teachers can use to help their students become more aware of how they can sound out more correctly the different sounds corresponding to words containing "ai".

/eɪ/[edit | edit source]

  • Adelaide, afraid, aid, aim, available, brain, campaign, chain, claim, complain, contain, daily, detail, entertain, explain, fail, faith, gain, hail, Haiti, jail, mail, main, Maine, maintain, paid, pain, paint, rail, rain, raise, remain, retail, snail, Spain, stain, straight, train, trait, wait
  • Homophones: mail - male; main - Maine - mane; raise - rays; waist - waste; wait - weight;

/eə/[edit | edit source]

  • affair - air - chair - fair - hair - pair - repair - stair
  • Homophones: fair - fare; hair - hare; pair - pear; stair - stare

/ə/[edit | edit source]

  • bargain - captain - certain - curtain - fountain - mountain - villain

/ɪ/[edit | edit source]

  • porcelain

Variant pronunciations[edit | edit source]

  • As /e/ or /eɪ/: again - against
  • portrait /ˈpɔːrtreɪt,BrE , ˈpɔːrtrət/

Spelling anomalies[edit | edit source]

  • As /e/: said
  • As /aɪ/: Azerbaijan /æzərbaɪˈdʒɑːn/ - Hawaii /həˈwaɪiː/ - Taiwan - Thailand

References[edit | edit source]