Americans and Canadians like vowels. For good pronunciation and accent reduction, often vowels need to be held for a long time. Listen to some Americans talking, and pay attention to the length of the vowels. For example, listen to this scene from “Scary Movie”:
American English has 14 vowel sounds. The following words all have different vowel sounds and clearly sound different:
fall fell fill feel full fool file foul fail foil foal
hat hot hit heat hut hoot height hate
lack lock lick leak luck look Luke like lake
mat met mitt meet mutt moot might mate moat
Here’s a chart showing more lists of words like these: Vowel Chart
This vowel sound is the name of the letter E, and usually the letter E is part of the vowel.
The vowel in “leave” is made with the mouth almost closed and the tip of the tongue almost touching or slightly touching the back of the bottom front teeth, and the middle of the tongue lightly touching the roof of the mouth.
This sound is represented several ways in written English:
ee, for example feed, bleed, and green
ea, for example peach, leap, and meat
ie, for example thief, brief, and berries
y, at the end of a word, for example many, berry, tiny, salty, family, and rainy.