Pronunciation Problems

 In Accents and Pronunciation, Grammar

How do you feel about your pronunciation?  This is not always because of your accent, but rather how certain English words are spelled. The spelling does not indicate clearly how they should be pronounced. Here are some everyday words with which you could well have pronunciation issues:

Words which will challenge your pronunciation skills:


Prerogative is quite a mouthful, so the lazy option is PUR-rog-uh-tiv. PRE-rog-uh-tiv is how you need to say it!
Often is often pronounced as it is spelt.  OF-ten. WRONG! Correctly said is OFF-en.
Height – HEY-t sounds right, but you must lose the “e” and pretend it is written as ‘HIGH-t’.
With Fruit, say ‘froot’. Ignore the “i”.
Subtle is pronounced ‘SUTT-le.   Ignore the “b”.
Chaos is pronounced as KEI-oss.  My daughter thought is pronounced CHOW-ce for the longest time.
Albeit means  “although” and this word is usually avoided in speech because you have no idea how to say it. But it is simply a string of three words “ALL BE IT.”
For Recipe, say  res-E-PEE. No, “cipe” does not sound like “ripe” it just looks that way!

Lettuce – that’s said as  let-ISS.

a pome - err, po-EM.

a pome – err, po-EM.

A Lackadaisical person might be lax, but the word is pronounced LACK-adaisical, not laxadaisical.

Elite is pronounced as ih-LEET –  not  ee-LITE.  Never.

Epitome  is again a short ‘e’ followed by something that sounds like ‘pity me’ – ih-PIT-E-MEE.

And, finally, here is a tricky one that many students living and studying English as a Second Language in the USA come up against (it is a word commonly used in coastal cities such as Miami, Boston and San Francisco):

Quay – that protected part of the harbor – is pronounced KEE.

If you can pronounce correctly every word in this poem, you can boast better English pronunciation that 90% of the native English speakers in the world.

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