Tell me if you want me to post this at ELU -- but please don't downvote me into oblivion. I'm happy to delete here and repost there if need be.

I thought I could explain to English speakers how to pronounce the pure E of Spanish as in meta by referencing the Canadian "eh," but it turns out that doesn't work because apparently the Canadian "eh" is a diphthong. See https://english.stackexchange.com/q/363302/112436.

So how do others explain this in writing? (If I'm explaining live, I can just demonstrate, obviously.)

  • I don't think it'd be for ELU, but rather the new Language Learning SE. Commented Nov 30, 2017 at 22:13
  • "Like the e in get"? Granted, this one is lax not tense, but that's not a problem in Spanish.
    – pablodf76
    Commented Nov 30, 2017 at 22:45

1 Answer 1


There are several words in the English language that sound "LIKE" the E in the Spanish language:

ephemeral, endeavor, energy, Everest.

That's generally the sound of the vowel.

Another way to explain this is by using the short "e" sound

The words are leg, ten, hen, web, lemon, pen, vest, nest, jet, net. Or go to the answers. Circle Words that have a Short 'E' Sound. Circle 10 words that have a short E sound. The words are ten, pen, jet, web, nest, net, pencil, envelope, leg, vest.

  • Mike, please see clarified question. // Suggest you remove the part about the syllables from this particular answer since it has nothing to do with what I was asking. (But if we don't already have a Q and A about that, maybe it would make a good separate question.) Commented Dec 1, 2017 at 13:46
  • 1
    Will do, I wasn't really sure what the OP was requesting
    – Mike
    Commented Dec 1, 2017 at 14:21

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