Pronunciation Problems

Common Mispronounced Words

Pronunciation practice is quite often overlooked by students because there are so many other things to worry about and study. However, you should make the time to put in an hour or two of pronunciation study each week.

 There are many words that cause pronunciation problems for students in my classes, but here are some of the most common pronunciation errors that I come across daily:

ed Endings

Students are convinced that every Word ending in “ed” has to be pronounced “id”. This is not the case. In fact, only words that end in t and d are pronounced “id”. For example, wanted and ended. Words with other endings are either pronounced with a t or a d. I strongly recommend that you study the rules for ed endings.

Ch Irregularities.

This mistake is a classic and almost every student I work with is guilty of it. Naturally, students asume that every “ch” is pronounced like the “ch” in church. Again, not true. This leads to the famous error of mispronouncing “headache”. The correct pronunciation for ache sounds more like aik. Please note the “k” sound at the end.

gh Problems

Another favorite error. I hear all sorts of strange pronunciation for words that end in “gh”. The general rule is that it is pronounced with an “f” sound. Take “cough” for example. The correct pronunciation is “kof”. And the same rule applies for words like laugh, tough and rough.

Silent Letters

I could write many paragraphs about this but to keep thing short here are some of the more usual errors with silent letters:

Island – Usually pronounced incorrectly by sounding the s but it should be “I lund” with the stress on the first syllable.

Knee, or any work that begins with a k followed by an n such as know, knock or Knowledge – Simple, don’t make that k sound!

Words with a silent b like thumb, crumb or plumb – Easy to spot. If you see an m before the b don’t sound the b.

#End of September 27, 2013 – Comon Pronunciation Problems#

What is Pronunciation?

 

Let’s Take a Look at What Pronunciation is

 

Pronunciation means to speak words. However, when learning English, students often have a difficult time making the correct sounds of English so often their pronunciation is affected negatively.

 

When an English student’s pronunciation is not correct, it can make their speaking difficult to understand. With proper pronunciation, an English student’s speaking is much easier to understand.

 

There are different aspects of learning good pronunciation. Those area include: word sounds, vowels, consonants, word stress, syllable stress, intonation, and leanring exceptions to pronunciation rules.

 

There are a lot of benefits to speaking English with good pronunciation. It will be easier to understand people, for you to be understood, job searching and job promotions will be easier, and learning English in general will be easier.

 

Check back for new pronunciation lessons and learn with us. Good pronunciation can change your English learning adventure for the better!

 

*end of September 5, 2013 pronunciation lesson*

A Lesson on Pronunciation of ed Word Endings

Pronunciation of ed Endings

 

The pronunciation of ed word endings is something that almost every student has a problem with no matter what their level. The rules of final ed pronunciation are actually very simple; the problem is that correct pronunciation is rarely taught to beginners and so the problem continues all the way through to the advanced level. Also, many students don’t think that it is very important so they don’t spend the time necessary to internalize the rules and correct their pronunciation errors. However, in your efforts to speak English well, I would say it is very important to get this small point right.

 

There are three different ways to pronounce an ed ending – d/t/id – and the ending that you use is dependent on the last letter or sound of the word before ed. Many students mistakenly believe that id is always the correct pronunciation For this reason, words like watched, worked, and washed are mispronounced. These are all one syllable words with a final t ending but students like to make them two syllable words with an id ending. For example, instead of worked being pronounced wurkt, you often hear wur ked.

 

The rules are simple so make a point of learning them and becoming familiar with them.

 

Final t Sound

When the final sound of a word with an ed ending is unvoiced, the ed is pronounced as a t sound. The difficult part is quickly knowing what an unvoiced sound is. If the word ends with a sound that you only make with your mouth it is unvoiced. Let’s look at some examples. Take the word work. This word ends with a k. Practice making the k sound and you will notice that it only comes from your mouth and not your throat. Other unvoiced sounds are p, b s, sh, ch, f, gh, q, x,  th,  (unvoiced)

 

Final d Sound

If the final sound of a word is voiced then the ed ending is a d sound. Let’s take the word loved, for example. To make a v sound, you have to put your bottom lip on your bottom teeth and blow while vibrating your throat. If you put your hand on your throat, you can actually feel your throat vibrating as you make the sound. This is a voiced sound and the final ed is pronounced like a d. So, loved is pronounced like luvd. Other examples of voiced sounds are b, l, m, n, r, w, z.

 

Final id Sound

This is an easy one because you only use final id pronunciation after two word endings – d and t. The word wounded, for example is pronounced woown did. And the word wanted is pronounced wan tid.

 

*End of July 25, Pronunciation Lesson*

Intronation In Your Pronunciation

A Pronunciation Lesson

 

Recently, I sent some money to someone using Western Union and there was a problem. I had to phone the call centre of Western Union which is based in India, where many call centers are based. The woman I talked to was very friendly. The problem was that I could not understand very much of what she said to me. I think this is a common problem for customers who need important information from call centers in India.

 

This woman had obviously studied English for many years. Her fluency was excellent and she spoke with confidence. The reason I could not understand her very well was because her intonation for English was completely wrong. The clerk at Western Union was using the same intonation as she would use in her native language. This is a common problem with students. There are so many things to study such as grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation that intonation is often forgotten.

 

After the phone call, I felt frustrated and a little angry. I realized that I had to stress more the importance of intonation to my students and practice more during class. Some languages, particularly in Asia, do not use much intonation, or, it is a completely different style of intonation to English. English is a stress timed language. This means that some words are stressed and others can barely be heard. Other languages such as Spanish are syllable timed. But how can you improve your intonation so that people will understand you?

 

As always, there are no secret methods which will suddenly improve your intonation. It takes practice over time to reach a reasonable level.  There are a few fun things you can do which will help you improve. I have had many students in my class who have improved dramatically by singing. They listen to their favorite English songs and learn all the words. Then they sing the song loudly and try to copy the exact style of the singer. If you have a bad voice, you may want to do this when no one else is around. Singing helps you to instinctively understand which words are stressed in English and which are unstressed.

 

Another excellent method is to watch short scenes from your favorite films. You can probably use the subtitle option on the DVD or you can download the script on the internet. Note where the intonation rises and falls and mark it on paper. Also make a note of which words are stressed. Don’t forget to link words together when a word ends with a consonant and the following word begins with a vowel. When you have done all this, practice reading the script out load. It’s best to only choose short parts for this exercise. If possible, record yourself and play it back so you can find out where you are having problems. Even better, ask your teacher if they will listen to your recording and give advice.

 

*End of July 18th 2013, Pronunciation Lesson*

Welcome to the Pronunciation section of our blog!

 

This is the Pronunciation section!

 

American English Pronunciation: noun The accent used predominantly within the United States of America.
American English pronunciation is the accent used in Hollywood representing the general American accent and by news casters from CNN etc. as the American accent.

 

Welcome to the American English Pronunciation area of our online blog. Pronunciation is an important part of speaking English and learning English. By simply learning how to make the sounds within American English and learning how to recognize these sounds, your pronunciation and speaking will improve.

 

Pronounce Pro publishes a DVD and CD partner method for American English pronunciation which easily and expertly instructs good pronunciation. Here you can find free lessons and tips to improve pronunciation