Pronunciation: Long A Sound

The “Long A” sound, also known as the /eɪ/ sound, is a vowel sound commonly found in the English language.

This sound is often represented by the letter “a” in words such as:

WordPhonetic Transcription
Cake/keɪk/
Face/feɪs/
Place/pleɪs/

One of the most interesting things about the Long A sound is the various ways in which it can be represented in written English. While the letter “a” is the most common representation, it can also be represented by other vowel combinations such as “ai,” “ay,” and “ei.”

WordPhonetic Transcription
Ray /reɪ/
Train /treɪn/
Weight/weɪt/

Now, let’s learn how to pronounce the /eɪ/ correctly so you can improve your English pronunciation


Words with the Long A Sounds

Here’s a list of words with the long “a” sound and their corresponding phonetic transcription using the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA):

These words have the vowel “a”, followed by a consonant and the vowel “e”:

WordPhonetic Transcription
Gate/ɡeɪt/
Fate/feɪt/
Mate/meɪt/
Bake/beɪk/
Lake/leɪk/
Flake/fleɪk/
Grape/ɡreɪp/
Shape/ʃeɪp/
Cake/keɪk/
Wave/weɪv/
Save/seɪv/
Brave/breɪv/
Rake/reɪk/
Sake/seɪk/
Brake/breɪk/

These words have the letters -ay in them:

WordPhonetic Transcription
May/meɪ/
Day/deɪ/
Pay/peɪ/
Ray/reɪ/
Lay/leɪ/
Way/weɪ/
Stay/steɪ/
Spray/spreɪ/
Pray/preɪ/
Play/pleɪ/
Gray/ɡreɪ/
Hay/heɪ/
Say/seɪ/

These words have the letter -ai in them:

WordPhonetic Transcription
Saint/seɪnt/
Paint/peɪnt/
Waist/weɪst/
Raise/reɪz/
Faint/feɪnt/
Brain/breɪn/
Wait/weɪt/
Aid/eɪd/
Gain/ɡeɪn/
Fail/feɪl/
Sail/seɪl/
Trail/treɪl/
Rain/reɪn/
Drain/dreɪn/
Spain/speɪn/
Main/meɪn/
Train/treɪn/
Pain/peɪn/
Chain/tʃeɪn/

These words have the letters -ei in them:

WordPhonetic Transcription
Weight/weɪt/
Eight/eɪt/
Neighbour/ˈneɪbər/
Reign/reɪn/
Veil/veɪl/
Sleigh/sleɪ/
Weigh/weɪ/
Eighty/ˈeɪti/

Videos to Learn How to Pronounce Long A

This is the first video that I recommend if you want to pronounce the sound correctly

These are other videos that you might want to check out to complement what you already learn from the previous video

#1The /eɪ/ Vowel Sound (day, great)
#2The Diphthong /eɪ/
Manuel Campos, English Professor

Manuel Campos

Hi, I am Manuel Campos, The Professor behind GatherLessons.com. I am from Costa Rica and I currently teach English at UTN