How to Produce the Beginning R Sound πŸ“Ή

So how exactly do we produce the /R/ sound?

So technically there are two R sounds, one that normally occurs at the beginning of a word, for example, read, red, right. And there is one that occurs at the end, like there, bear, mother, foster, etc. 
They are a little bit different but remember, in both sounds our tongue is not touching anything. Ok so let’s take a look at some examples of each sound. 

So let’s start with the R sound at the beginning of a word.

Like β€œrest”. With this sound, we can round lips just a little, and our tongue starts near the front of our mouth and then moves back when we are making it. So it is motion like this, rest, rest. And when you are training this sound, try to maintain it for as long as possible. Rrrrreeesssst. Rrrrrrressst. 

Some more examples:

  • Read
  • Ready
  • Right
  • Really
  • Wrong
  • Room 
  • Run

In general, I find that this sound is much easier for Brazilians than the ending /R/ sounds, but when my students do have problems, it is because they are touching the roof of their mouth with the tip of their tongue, very similar to the Portuguese /R/. So let’s check out the R at the end of words. 

So in linguistics, when we talk about the /R/ sound in the middle or at the end of words, we usually call these R-colored vowels, some teachers R-Controlled vowels, but whatever, for this course we will stick with the term R-Colored vowels. 

The important thing to understand is when the /R/ occurs after a vowel and changes the vowel sound completely. The entire quality and shape of the sound are totally different. 

I know this is a confusing concept so let’s take a look at some examples to clarify a bit.