The word "parent" has this transcription: ˈpeərənt (I took it from longman). Here the letter "A" is in 4th form (when vowel + R + vowel). So it should be read like in words "care" and "bare". It has correct transcription, but when I listen its pronunciation, I hear a short sound e like in word "get".

Why is it pronounced in the different way as its transcription?

  • The standard pronunciation is the same as in "care" or "bear". The vowel may be shortened in rapid speech but it should retain some of its quality. I think this is your perception, rather than an incorrect transcription.
    – James K
    Jun 30, 2022 at 17:03
  • Looks to me like Longman shows both pronunciations. Did you listen to both?
    – Dan Getz
    Jun 30, 2022 at 17:03
  • @JamesK Oh. I clearly hear two vowel sounds after sound k in the word "care". But I head the only one sound between p and r in the word "parent". :(
    – Haru Atari
    Jun 30, 2022 at 19:17
  • @DanGetz Yes, there are two transcriptions and two pronunciations in longman: British and American. I hear the singlу sound in both of them (they are slightly different, but it definitely the single sound). And how I see the American transcription ˈperənt is correct. It contains the only one sound. But the British variant confuses me.
    – Haru Atari
    Jun 30, 2022 at 19:21
  • @HaruAtari I clearly hear two vowel sounds after sound k in the word "care". - do you mean like "kay-er"? Because it should really be one syllable, but some accents stretch it out.
    – stangdon
    Jun 30, 2022 at 20:08

1 Answer 1


I wouldn't take too seriously guidelines on pronunciation, unless they are clearly for a specific geographical region or cultural scope. Words are pronounced the way they are pronounced and the notion of "should" doesn't really have much force.

For example, I am a native English speaker, but from Scotland. I would not pronounce "parent" in either of the two ways given in that web page. Instead, I and many of my fellow countryfolk would say something like pay-rint. And we would ignore anyone who dared suggest that our pronunciation was not what it should be.

Note: That said, we would also pronounce the single syllable word, "film" as "fill-um", and the two-syllable "magnet" as "mah-gih-nit". So ah'd be careful takin' prih-nunce-iation advice fae the likes o' us! 😉

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .