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Tips for Pronunciation

Ideas and advice from EC members on best ways to learn English

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Re: Tips for Pronunciation

Postby englishhelps » Sat Jun 27, 2009 3:28 pm

Another tip is to make sure that you pronounce your end consonants properly. For example, the word "end". Make sure that you pronounce the letter d properly. If you don't, it would seem like you're eating your words and it will make it harder for your listeners to decipher what you're saying.

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Re: Tips for Pronunciation

Postby englishhelps » Wed Jul 15, 2009 5:12 am

Before you pronounce a word that you've never pronounced before, imagine the pronunciation first in your mind. Imagine what sound it will make and the positioning of your mouth when you say it.

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Ultimate Test of Pronounciation

Postby rando » Sat Jul 18, 2009 3:37 am

Try this ultimate test of pronounciation from ....

The Chaos

by G. Nolst Trenite' a.k.a. "Charivarius" 1870 - 1946

Dearest creature in creation

Studying English pronunciation,

I will teach you in my verse

Sounds like corpse, corps, horse and worse

I will keep you, Susy, busy,

Make your head with heat grow dizzy.

Tear in eye your dress you'll tear,

So shall I! Oh, hear my prayer,

Pray, console your loving poet,

Make my coat look new, dear, sew it!

Just compare heart, beard and heard,

Dies and diet, lord and word,

Sword and sward, retain and Britain.

(Mind the latter, how it's written).

Made has not the sound of bade,

Say said, pay-paid, laid, but plaid.

Now I surely will not plague you

With such words as vague and ague,

But be careful how you speak,

Say break, steak, but bleak and streak.

Previous, precious, fuchsia, via,

Pipe, snipe, recipe and choir,

Cloven, oven, how and low,

Script, receipt, shoe, poem, toe.

Hear me say, devoid of trickery:

Daughter, laughter and Terpsichore,

Typhoid, measles, topsails, aisles.

Exiles, similes, reviles.

Wholly, holly, signal, signing.

Thames, examining, combining

Scholar, vicar, and cigar,

Solar, mica, war, and far.

From "desire": desirable--admirable from "admire."

Lumber, plumber, bier, but brier.

Chatham, brougham, renown, but known.

Knowledge, done, but gone and tone,

One, anemone. Balmoral.

Kitchen, lichen, laundry, laurel,

Gertrude, German, wind, and mind.

Scene, Melpomene, mankind,

Tortoise, turquoise, chamois-leather,

Reading, reading, heathen, heather.

This phonetic labyrinth

Gives moss, gross, brook, brooch, ninth, plinth.

Billet does not end like ballet;

Bouquet, wallet, mallet, chalet;

Blood and flood are not like food,

Nor is mould like should and would.

Banquet is not nearly parquet,

Which is said to rime with "darky."

Viscous, Viscount, load, and broad.

Toward, to forward, to reward.

And your pronunciation's O.K.,

When you say correctly: croquet.

Rounded, wounded, grieve, and sieve,

Friend and fiend, alive, and live,

Liberty, library, heave, and heaven,

Rachel, ache, moustache, eleven,

We say hallowed, but allowed,

People, leopard, towed, but vowed.

Mark the difference, moreover,

Between mover, plover, Dover,

Leeches, breeches, wise, precise,

Chalice, but police, and lice.

Camel, constable, unstable,

Principle, disciple, label,

Petal, penal, and canal,

Wait, surmise, plait, promise, pal.

Suit, suite, ruin, circuit, conduit,

Rime with "shirk it" and "beyond it."

But it is not hard to tell,

Why it's pall, mall, but Pall Mall.

Muscle, muscular, gaol, iron,

Timber, climber, bullion, lion,

Worm and storm, chaise, chaos, and chair,

Senator, spectator, mayor,

Ivy, privy, famous, clamour

And enamour rime with hammer.

Pussy, hussy, and possess,

Desert, but dessert, address.

Golf, wolf, countenance, lieutenants.

Hoist, in lieu of flags, left pennants.

River, rival, tomb, bomb, comb,

Doll and roll and some and home.

Stranger does not rime with anger.

Neither does devour with clangour.

Soul, but foul and gaunt but aunt.

Font, front, won't, want, grand, and grant.

Shoes, goes, does. Now first say: finger.

And then: singer, ginger, linger,

Real, zeal, mauve, gauze, and gauge,

Marriage, foliage, mirage, age.

Query does not rime with very,

Nor does fury sound like bury.

Dost, lost, post; and doth, cloth, loth;

Job, Job; blossom, bosom, oath.

Though the difference seems little,

We say actual, but victual.

Seat, sweat; chaste, caste.; Leigh, eight, height;

Put, nut; granite, and unite.

Reefer does not rime with deafer,

Feoffer does, and zephyr, heifer.

Dull, bull, Geoffrey, George, ate, late,

Hint, pint, Senate, but sedate.

Scenic, Arabic, Pacific,

Science, conscience, scientific,

Tour, but our and succour, four,

Gas, alas, and Arkansas.

Sea, idea, guinea, area,

Psalm, Maria, but malaria,

Youth, south, southern, cleanse and clean,

Doctrine, turpentine, marine.

Compare alien with Italian,

Dandelion with battalion.

Sally with ally, yea, ye,

Eye, I, ay, aye, whey, key, quay.

Say aver, but ever, fever.

Neither, leisure, skein, receiver.

Never guess--it is not safe:

We say calves, valves, half, but Ralph.

Heron, granary, canary,

Crevice and device, and eyrie,

Face but preface, but efface,

Phlegm, phlegmatic, ass, glass, bass.

Large, but target, gin, give, verging,

Ought, out, joust, and scour, but scourging,

Ear but earn, and wear and bear

Do not rime with here, but ere.

Seven is right, but so is even,

Hyphen, roughen, nephew, Stephen,

Monkey, donkey, clerk, and jerk,

Asp, grasp, wasp, and cork and work.

Pronunciation--think of psyche--!

Is a paling, stout and spikey,

Won't it make you lose your wits,

Writing "groats" and saying "grits"?

It's a dark abyss or tunnel,

Strewn with stones, like rowlock, gunwale,

Islington and Isle of Wight,

Housewife, verdict, and indict!

Don't you think so, reader, rather,

Saying lather, bather, father?

Finally: which rimes with "enough"

Though, through, plough, cough, hough, or tough?

Hiccough has the sound of "cup."

My advice is--give it up!


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Re: Tips for Pronunciation

Postby englishhelps » Sat Jul 18, 2009 8:35 am

Haha. That's pretty hard! Just do it slow and focus on pronunciation.

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Re: Tips for Pronunciation

Postby englishhelps » Tue Jul 21, 2009 6:56 am

In order to master pronouncing the English language, you have to master the "schwa" sound. I believe it is the most common sounds that is used in many words.

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Re: Tips for Pronunciation

Postby englishhelps » Tue Aug 04, 2009 10:30 am

It's also a good idea to invest in a recording device. Read out loud a chapter of a book. Then have a native speaker listen to it and ask him if he understood you well. It doesn't matter if you have an accent. If you pronounced it correctly, he should be able to understand what you were saying.

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Re: Tips for Pronunciation

Postby englishhelps » Sat Sep 05, 2009 4:56 pm

One of the most commonly mispronounced words are "tree" and "three". You should practice pronouncing this because we always say those words. :)

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Re: Tips for Pronunciation

Postby clevermae » Tue Jan 25, 2011 11:43 pm

I agree with you pirate! I had fun doing a tongue twister with my friends, and now I am proudly say I am good in english pronunciation. It's the best way to improve your pronunciation by just playing and enjoying to twist your tongue. :roll: :lol:

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Re: Enjoy pronouncing

Postby easylsl » Fri Apr 13, 2012 10:36 am

Pirate wrote:When the English tongue we speak
Why is break not rhymed with weak?
Won’t you tell me why it’s true
We say sew, but also few?
And the maker of a verse
Cannot rhyme his horse with worse?
Beard is not the same as heard,
Cord is different from word,
Cow is cow but low is low,
Shoe is never rhymed with foe,
Think of hose and dose and lose,
And think of goose and yet of choose,
Think of comb and tomb and bomb,
Doll and roll and home and some,
And since pay is rhymed with say,
Why not paid with said I pray?
Think of blood and food and good;
Mould is not pronounced like could,
Why is it done but gone and lone
Is there any reason known?
To sum it up, it seems to me
That sounds and letters don’t agree.

This poem is very good, hope U like it like I do :) . So just practise :idea:

Thank you pirate :) :thumbsup:

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Re: Tips for Pronunciation

Postby DmitryL » Sat May 19, 2012 8:04 pm

The first post claims that 'threw' and 'through' are pronounced identically... I wonder is it really so? Could anybody confirm?

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Re: Tips for Pronunciation

Postby Josef » Sun Jan 05, 2014 6:06 am

DmitryL wrote:The first post claims that 'threw' and 'through' are pronounced identically... I wonder is it really so? Could anybody confirm?

Yes, I confirm. The word "threw" (past tense of "throw") sounds the same as "through".
"We are not wholly bad or good, who live our lives under Milk Wood"
prayer of the Reverend Eli Jenkins in Under Milk Wood by Dylan Thomas

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Re: Tips for Pronunciation

Postby TrietLe » Wed Jun 11, 2014 10:11 am

I'm teaching English (primarily speaking and listening) to over 40 students in my hometown.

And here are 2 things I've learnt:

1. Tongue Twisters are extremely effective.

The majority of my students struggled with pronunciation.

So I taught them the correct pronuciation followed by many tongue twisters.

Due to the rigorous use of a specific sound in a typical tongue twisters,
students remember the pronunciation almost perfectly.

Thus, after a practice, words with similar pronunciation are no longer
problems for them.

2. Tongue Twisters are fun:

Students love it and I think most of us do.
It's fun to read, listen and play with.

So, I think training with tongue twisters is a wonderful to upgrade your pronunciation while
having some great fun.
Founder of, a free site dedicated to help English learners improve their accent and change their lives.

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Re: Tips for Pronunciation

Postby ritzkevin » Fri Sep 11, 2015 3:06 pm

I'm an English tutor teaching English online through Skype. One of the tips that I usually give to my students is to exercise their mouth (and even the face) to warm up your articulators when speaking.
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Do you want to improve your English or Filipino? I can help. FREE trial

Skype id: housedog1983

Watch my YouTube video:

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Re: Tips for Pronunciation

Postby DrNorman » Fri Feb 12, 2016 8:44 am

I have recently put together a video which shows you how to position your tongue and mouth for a range of English consonants.
I have another one for vowel pronunciation. You can find it at
Enjoy! I hope you find them useful!
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