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English Vowel Pronunciation

Unlike many other languages, the pronunciation of a single accented vowel in English depends on the letters near it. For example, in American English, the a has a different sound in all the following words or word pairs: mane; man and manner; mar; mare and marry; mall and walk; warm. When the a forms part of a double vowel, its sound is also affected: wait and way; sauce and saw; head and heat; boat.

The Regex Dictionary can be used to compile lists that group English words according to the way they are spelled, which is usually a good indication of how they are pronounced. For example, an a (not preceded by another vowel) is normally pronounced /eɪ/ when it comes before a single consonant plus either vowel or y (same, baby, etc.); it is normally pronounced /æ/ when it comes before two consonants or a single consonant at the end of a word (scatter, cat, etc.).

In the following examples, we attempt to compile lists of words in which the letter a is pronounced the same, based on its position within a word. In most cases there will be exceptions, for which we try to allow by using our filter. Nonetheless, there will be cases —such as when the a forms part of an unaccented syllable—, that will have to be edited out.

Checking the Group results by pos? box will group results according to part of speech.


a sounds /eɪ/ — mane, same, later, crane, lady
Strings To match Filtered by


Group results by pos?
Match words ending in consonant + a + consonant + (vowel or y). Filter out hyphens, words of 6 letters or longer and words ending in ar + (vowel or y).

a sounds /æ/ — man, black, dash, sat
Strings To match Filtered by


Group results by pos?
Match words ending in consonant + a + 1 or 2 consonants. Filter out hyphens, words of 6 letters or longer, words that include ar, al or aw, and words ending in y.

a sounds /æ/ — manner, brass, fanny, savvy
Strings To match Filtered by


Group results by pos?
Match a consonant + a + a doubled consonant. Filter out hyphens, words of 7 letters or longer, and words including arr or all.

a sounds /a/ — mar, shark, Mars, guitar
Strings To match Filtered by


Group results by pos?
Match words ending in a consonant + ar + an optional consonant. Filter out hyphens, words of 7 letters or longer, the string war, and words ending in ry.

a sounds // — mare, carol, daring, scare, canary
Strings To match Filtered by


Group results by pos?
Match words ending in consonant + ar + (vowel or y). Filter out hyphens and words of 7 letters or longer.

a sounds // — marry, barrel, carrot, narrow
Strings To match Filtered by


Group results by pos?
Match the string arr Filter out hyphens and words of 8 letters or longer.

a sounds // — mall, all, bald, falter, talk
Strings To match Filtered by


Group results by pos?
Match a consonant + al followed by either l, t, d or k. Filter out hyphens and words of 7 letters or longer.

a sounds // — warm, war, award, toward, warp
Strings To match Filtered by


Group results by pos?
Match the string war. Filter out hyphens and words of 7 letters or longer.

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