Is the Schwa the cause of your common grammar mistake?

The English language is a language that is spoken by more than 800 million people around the world. It is a language that is spoken globally, known by most of the world and when you read the facts that talk about the English language you will get to know that thousands of new words are added to the English language dictionary every year. It is spoken with many different accents and dialects that it is common to make mistakes sometimes but the thing is to learn from those mistakes and not repeat them. So, the ones who are new to the English language must practice consistently.

In Linguistics, which means the scientific study of language, there are branches like Phonetics and Phonology that study sound in various aspects. There are vowel sounds as well as the sounds of consonant which one studies in detail if they are a student of English Language and are interested in the scientific study of language. There are other branches of linguistics too. Those are morphology, syntax, semantics, and pragmatic. But in this article, our concern is on the sound. So to know the answer to the question that – ‘Is the Schwa the cause of your common grammar mistake?’ keep reading the article till the end.

What is Schwa?

In phonetics and phonology, Schwa is a mid-central vowel sound. It is represented with an upside-down ‘e’ like this ‘ə’ It is one of the most common sounds that is used in spoken English. Of course, there are other sounds too but Schwa is something that is used in almost every sentence. This term ‘Schwa’ was first used by German Linguists in the 19th century and talking of the English language it was first used in a text between 1890 – 1895.

Why Schwa is commonly used in the English Language?

Schwa is common because it is unstressed and is produced when the articulatory organs – the lips, tongue, and jaw are completely relaxed. Schwa is a weak, unstressed, and very short vowel sound and that is the reason it is so common in the spoken English language. It also occurs to contract auxiliary verbs and prepositions. Just to get the concept more clear in mind let us see some words –

  • The Schwa is ‘a’ in away
  • The Schwa is ‘a’ in amount
  • The Schwa is ‘e’ in taken
  • The Schwa is ‘e’ in item
  • The Schwa is ‘i’ in cousin
  • The Schwa is ‘i’ in family
  • The Schwa is ‘o’ in harmony
  • The Schwa is ‘o’ in offend
  • The Schwa is ‘u’ in Support
  • The Schwa is ‘u’ in under

With the examples provided above, we can see that how effortlessly one can use Schwa. Sometimes even without noticing and this is where the common mistake is likely to happen.

The Common Mistake – Writing and speaking are completely two different things and if it is the English language then one has to be really careful with these things because what sounds like one thing can be a completely different word in writing. The same goes with sounds like Schwa. Remember that spoken English can be broken English but it is not the case when one is writing.

Due to the globalization and mixing of cultures as well as the use of informal and slang talk in our daily life, even with strangers makes a lot of us forget the original language or the formal words that one must use while writing because they are grammatically correct. You might have noticed that the use of words like Shoulda, woulda, coulda become common. It is okay when they are being spoken but they are not grammatically correct.

So, if you are using these words in writing then yes, Schwa can be one of the causes of your grammatical mistake.

To avoid such mistakes while writing you can take the help of software that is developed to check your spelling and grammar and helps you improve your writing. This is one way of avoiding such common grammatical mistakes. You can try and experiment with different logics and methods to learn to avoid such common grammatical mistakes. There is so much on the internet that can help you!

Hope you find this article helpful, thank you for visiting the page!

Carter Martin

Leave a Comment