You are on page 1of 1

Pronunciation Challenge 4 By Gus


dance France annoyance appearance chance advance balance

compass pass glass embarrass mass class

gymnast fast past outlast breakfast outcast

chant can't pregnant grant implant (verb) hesitant infant

/A:/ in British English (RP) and /{/ in American English (GA): dance, France, chance, advance, pass, glass,
mass, class, fast, past, outlast, outcast, chant, can't, grant, implant.
/@/ in both British English (RP) and American English (GA): annoyance, balance, compass, embarrass,
breakfast, pregnant, hesitant, infant.
/{/ in both British English (RP) and American English (GA): gymnast

Note that the different pronunciation between RP and GA takes place when this “A” is stressed or the word
has only one syllable. Otherwise, it will sound the same, mostly /@/.
It is true that “appearance” is pronounced differently but not the “A” in “ANCE”; RP = /@"pI@r@ns/ and GA
= /@"pIr@ns/.
However, I have found quite a few exceptions. Some monosyllabic words have the same pronunciation in
both variants, such as “ass”, “pant”, “rant” and “scant” (all /{/).
One word that is pronounced differently but is in a category of its own is “want”, RP = /wQnt/ GA =
/wA:nt/ or /wO:nt/.
One interesting exception to the rule is “eggplant”. Even though it is considered the American word for
“aubergine”, the RP pronunciation for this word is /"egplA:nt/, despite the “A” being in the unstressed
syllable of the word. That can be seen in other cases in which the pronunciation of a root word is kept, as in
“bypass” /"baIpA:s/.
Another interesting case is “implant”. The stress changes when it is a noun but the sound of the “A” in RP
continues being /A:/ even though the stress is in the other syllable; “implant” the verb = /Im"plA:nt/ and the
noun = /"ImplA:nt/.
If you find more interesting exceptions, please let me know.

That’s it!

Until our next Pronunciation Challenge,