english pronunciation tips

English Pronunciation Tips: 3 Difficult Words & How to Pronounce Them

Although many English learners find linking and word reductions quite difficult, it actually makes pronunciation much easier! You aren’t required to put so much effort into producing the language when you link and reduce words within a sentence. There are many rules to learn and principles to practice for accurate linking and more natural English pronunciation, but instead of focusing on the rules today, let’s focus on a few English pronunciation tips and make 3 difficult words a little easier to say.

Whether you were able to join us live on YouTube or not, you can now watch the replay and review the lesson notes in this ‘Everyday English’ lesson review.

In this lesson you are going to learn:

  • how to accurately pronounce 3 difficult words in English
  • how to practice and improve your pronunciation on your own

3 Difficult Words & How to Say them in English

This week I highly recommend reviewing this full lesson with the video. Although I always think you should review the materials together, the dictation practice and sentences we review in the video lesson are important for you to use, shadow, and study with.

Asked

If you look at this word individually and break down the pronunciation, you may think that you’d pronounce it like:

ask-T: with the ending -ED pronounced like a -T

This is true, but only when you say the word individually with emphasis (not when speaking naturally in a sentence). However, this word is different than those with a similar word pattern like “talked” and “picked”, where the “KT” is strongly pronounced.

The easiest and most natural way to say this word is “asst”

You can review these sentences in today’s video.

I asked.

I asked her.

I asked them.

I asked if she could.

Clothes

What makes this word tricky is the “-thes” combination of letters. We know that our tongue needs to come slightly out and between our teeth when we produce the “TH” sound. The “S” sound is made with our teeth closed and together (review the video), whether it is the “s” or “z” sound. So the effort that it takes for our mouth, tongue, and surrounding muscles to do that while speaking at a natural conversational pace is tough!

The trick here is to pronounce this word like “cloze

Here are some sentences to review from the video.

I have so many clothes.

Put the clothes away.

Clothes are really expensive here.

Months

This word has the same difficulties and for similar reasons as the word ‘clothes’ from above. I’ve heard it mispronounced a lot among my students, and it’s unfortunately a word that is used all the time when talking about past and upcoming plans, and used a lot in business interviews, TOEFL speaking responses, etc..

This word has a trick too though, and it’s to say it like “munts’

Let’s review the following sentences from the video.

There are 12 months.

It’s been 3 months since I saw her.

Months have gone by.

Practice Makes Perfect

For pronunciation, it’s all about shadowing and repetition! Utilize the video and the sentence examples from this lesson to practice pronunciation on your own. Use a video to record yourself and compare our mouth positions. Record your audio and again, compare our sounds. These recordings will help you identify where your weaknesses are or where you still are having issues with accuracy.

Create some of your own sentences using these words and write them in the comments for others to use while they study.

 

Until next time,

Happy Studying ♥

Do you know a friend studying English, please share this article with them!

 

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