The letter combination "ir" has several different pronunciations, mainly /ɜːr/ and /aɪər/ when stressed. This article sets out some words teachers can use to help their students become more aware of the differences.
For "irr" see Decoding exercises: "irr".
Stressed[edit | edit source]
- /ɜːr/: bird - birth - circumstance - circle - confirm - firm - first - girl - girth - Shirley - shirt - sir - skirt - virgin
- /aɪr/: environment - pirate - spiral - virus
- /aɪər/: Ireland - iron
- with magic e: acquire - desire - entire - fire - hire - require - retire
- /ɪr/: Iraq - spirit
Unstressed[edit | edit source]
- /ər/: admiration - confirmation - expiration - giraffe - inspiration - perspiration - respiration - Virginia
- /ɪr/: miraculous - mirage
Variant pronunciations[edit | edit source]
- Iran /ɪˈræn, ɪˈrɑn, aɪˈræn/