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
- As /eə/: BrE - aerobics - BrE
- 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/: - 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/
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.
|British spelling||American spelling|
|archaeology||archaeology - archeology|
|encyclopedia - encyclopaedia||encyclopedia|
|hyena - hyaena||hyena - hyaena|
|medieval - mediaeval||medieval - mediaeval|
|orthopaedic - orthopedic||orthopedic|
|British spelling||Br pr||American spelling||Am pr|
|aesthetic||/iː, e/||aesthetic - esthetic||/e/|
|caesarean||/ɪ/||Cesarean, cesarean, Caesarean, caesarean||/ɪ/|