Welcome to Daily Tips on Learning English. Today’s tip is on how different vowel lengths are used to differentiate words ending in voiced and voiceless consonants.

Let’s take an example. There’s something in my eyes. There’s something in my ice. The last words in the examples, eyes and ice differ in 2 ways. One difference is the word eyes end with the sound “z”, and ice end with the sound “s”. The other difference in the pronunciation of “eyes” and “ice” is how the vowel sound “ai” is pronounced. In the word “eyes”, it is longer. In the word “ice”, it is very short.

Listen to the examples again, and note that the final consonant sound is not as clear as the difference in the length of the vowel. There’s something in my eyes. There’s something in my ice. Listen again. There’s something in my eyes. There’s something in my ice. Listen to some other examples of words that are identical except for the final consonants and the vowel length. Cap, cab, plate, played, seat, seed. Today’s tip is to pay more attention to the length of vowels, as this difference is very important in distinguishing some words. Till then, tomorrow, to another tip on learning English.