In British English, the phonetics symbol /ei/ corresponds to the vowel sound in words like "cake" and "play". It is a diphthong.
Some common words which practice the pronunciation of /ei/ include the following:
- with "a": ache - age - blame - brake - cake - date - escape - game - gate - lake - late - male - name - pale - paper - plate - sale - same - sane - snake - stale - state - whale;
- with "ai": aid - aim - brain - chain - fail - gain - hail - paid - rain - snail - stain - straight - train - trait;
- with "ay": day - pay - play - May - say - stay - tray;
- with "ei": eight - weigh - weighed - weight;
- others: ballet - break - café - grey - steak;
- Homophones: brake/break - grate/great - male/mail - place/plaice - plane/plain - rain/reign - sail/sale - steak/stake - tale/tail -waste/waist - Wales/whales - weigh/way - weight/wait - weighed/wade.
While /ei/ is virtually the same as the Spanish diphthong "ei", many Spanish speakers have difficulty remembering that many other words with different spellings may also have that same pronunciation in English.