Ask the Editor
Editor at Large
"Fire": one syllable or two?
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
The word fire can be pronounced with one syllable or two.
Shelly asks if fire is one syllable or two because her students are using the word in haiku.
Our Pronunciation Editor Josh Guenter responds:
The word fire can be pronounced with either one or two syllables.
Native speakers can rhyme fire with higher or not.
The word higher is always two syllables. Hence, if you rhyme fire with higher, then you are pronouncing fire with two syllables, whereas if you don't rhyme these two words, then you are pronouncing fire with just one syllable.