Pronunciation primer

Updated March 1, 2017 | Infoplease Staff

The Question:

Do you pronounce "primer" with a long or short "i" sound?

The Answer:


More specifically, it depends on which meaning of "primer" you have in mind. If you are referring to a first coat of paint or a blasting cap, use a long "i": the vowel sound found in "pie" and "high." If you're referring to a schoolbook, the preferred American pronunciation is with a short "i": the vowel sound found in "it" and "big."

-The Editors

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