My old teacher found I like inserting schwa after consonants. When I was pronouncing and, I said it like /əndə/. She asked me to drop the last d to avoid the epenthesis.

Now I'm learning the word dwell and dwelling. I know I have the habit of insertion but I'm not sure if I'm doing it in the word dwell. I feel I'm pronouncing /dwel/ and /dəwel/ the same.

I watched many Youtube videos teaching consonant /d/, including Sounds American but none of them mentions how to tackle /də/. I don't see distinctions between the second phase of /d/ and /ə/.

A diagram of the tongue position for /d/

A diagram of the tongue position for /ə/

Can anyone articulate the pronunciation differences between /d/ vs /də/ ? Describing in text may be difficult, links to other resources are appreciated.

  • 1
    I know some people find it difficult to pronounce letter combinations that don't occur in their own language. I've noticed that some Indian people can't say words containing 's' followed by another consonant without inserting a vowel sound between, and English speakers have trouble with Asian names beginning with 'Ng'. All I can say is that, after saying the 'd' you immediately push your lips forward to make 'w' without any vowel sound in between. Commented Jun 17, 2022 at 16:43

1 Answer 1


Before even pronouncing the "d", your lips should already be in the "w" position -- pushed forward, rounded and tense. With your lips like that, it's more difficult to pronounce the /ə/. If you still pronounce it, it will be muffled.

  • I have heard the given name 'Dwayne' pronounced as 'Doo-wayne' by Americans, and I have never been sure whether, as a Brit, to follow suit. Commented Jun 17, 2022 at 18:28
  • @MichaelHarvey Spelled that way, I expect it to be pronounced /dwein/. Spelled "Duane", I expect /də'wein/, but I think both pronunciations are common for both spellings. When pronounced with /ə/, we round the lips after pronouncing the /d/.
    – gotube
    Commented Jun 17, 2022 at 18:32

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