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Cambridge Dictionary gives IPA symbol /ɡraɪp/ for "gripe" while Merriam-Webster gives /ˈgraɪp/.

Both audio clips on them sound like grape, at least sound closer to grape than to white.

When speaking very fast, do they sound nearly the same?

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1 Answer 1

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Gripe -> /ɡraɪp/
Grape -> /ɡreɪp/

This is how they're pronounced in both General American English and Southern British English.

Gripe -> [ɡɹʷaɪp]
Grape -> [ɡɹʷeɪp]

This is how I pronounce both the words (it's a detailed transcription).

  • Grape has the same vowel as mate, fate, weight -> [eɪ]
  • Gripe has the same vowel as might, fight, white -> [aɪ]

In most accents, they're distinguishable even in fast speech.

However, there are some accents such as Aussie accent and Estuary English where they might sound similar.

In Aussie English, [eɪ] is realised as [ɐ̟ɪ] (almost the same as the vowel in fight the + indicates that the vowel is advanced/fronted)

In Estuary English, [eɪ] is realised [ɐɪ] or [ʌɪ] (similar to the vowel in fight)

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