Pure vowel 2: /e/

Next, we look at the pure vowel /e/.

How it sounds

/e/ is a shared vowel sound with English. It is the same vowel sound that we use in “vet”:

Mouth position

The lips should be spread, although are not as wide as for the /i/ sound. The tongue is also placed forward in the mouth, and about halfway up:


What to avoid

This sound is similar in part to the “ey” sound we find in words such as “they”. In this case, we are adding an additional sound to the vowel (turning it into a “diphthong” – we’ll cover these later). We need to make sure that the vowel stays pure. Here’s the sound to avoid (represented by /ei/):


Listen to the following words. Some of them use the Spanish pure /e/ sound, whereas others use the “ey” (represented by /ei/) sound that we described above. Choose which of the sounds the words use: