Usually in English, the Latin diphthong ae is Anglicized as /i/, a long e sound. The original Latin diphthong was pronounced /aɪ/, as a long i. The pronunciation of vertebrae ending in /eɪ/ with a long a is undoubtedly more common, but generally frowned upon by orthoepists as it is not supported by etymology (like the long i) or analogy (like the long e), only usage. Since all three are supported by their own argument, they are all acceptable.
- (Classical) IPA(key): /ˈu̯er.te.brae̯/, [ˈu̯ɛrt̪ɛbräe̯]
- (Ecclesiastical) IPA(key): /ˈver.te.bre/, [ˈvɛrt̪ɛbrɛ]