IPA phoneme /eə/
Some common words which practice the pronunciation of /eə/ include the following:
- with "ar": bare - care - dare - fare - hare - rare - scare - share - spare - square;
- with "air": air - chair - fair - hair - pair - stairs;
- with "ear": bear - swear - tear - wear;
- homophones: air/heir - bear/bare - hair/hare - pear/pair - their/there/they're - there's/theirs - where/wear/ware (as in software).
Anticipated pronunciation difficulties depending on L1
Preconceived ideas and other interferences from L1 obviously interfere in many cases with how students perceive - and pronounce - sounds/words in English. The following sections aims to point out some of the most typical difficulties teachers and students may encounter regarding pronunciation.
When using words containing this vowel sound, Spanish speakers tend to confuse it with /ɪə/ or /ɜː/ i.e. without practice, they tend not to distinguish between "beer" and "bear". And tear vs tear really irritates 'em.