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We will start the day with cloudy skies.

(here is the audio of the above sentence )

Is the will in this audio file pronounced as /will/ or /wəl/?

To me, I hear that the speaker's vowel for will is not as near as /ə/ or as /i/.

How does he pronounce the word?

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    Strictly speaking it probably is a neutral schwa. But that's not easy for native speakers to be aware of, since we "hear" what we expect in such contexts. I can't imagine that it would make sense for a non-native speaker to seek to emulate such diction though. Usually the speaker himself is unaware of what he's doing, but I can easily imagine it seeming "odd" if it's done indiscriminately. Best stick to enunciating all vowels except those where nearly everyone uses a schwa and knows they do. Nov 14, 2014 at 18:19
  • I hear it there as a shortened "wool", deeper than schwa. This is a regional variation. In parts of the south with twangy accents, you'll hear a dipthong, "weal". Up north, it's a high front vowel that rhymes with "pill".
    – TimR
    Nov 15, 2014 at 13:13

2 Answers 2

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"will" is a common "add-on" or auxillary word. That's why it's often contracted = "we'll, they'll, I'll, etc." Thus there is a tendency to run the two words together, and let the vowel in "will" fall to a schwa as though "we will" was one word with accent on the "we."

You'll never be misunderstood if you clearly pronounce the short i in will in all instances, though.

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This could be easily answered with a dictionary.

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/will

even has a 'listen' button

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  • I think the OP is asking about a specific instance of pronunciation.
    – user6951
    Nov 14, 2014 at 15:52

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