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English Pronunciation

Prepared by Ms. Andy Fojas

Mouth Positions and Exercises for R and L Sounds

Two Steps to "R" 1. Say "arrrr" ... (dotted line in figure above) 2. Continue voicing, curl tongue back. (solid line)

Two Steps to "L" 1. Say "ellll" ... (dotted line in figure above) 2. Continue voicing, reach tongue forward. (solid line)

R and L Exercises A. Practice these sounds slowly, until you can say them with clear contrast. 1. ara, ala, ala, ara, aray, alay, alay, aray, aree, alee, aro, alo, alo, aro. 2. eera, aala, eeray, eelee, eero, eelo. 3. aria, alai, aru, alu, alere, ara, aro, eelo. 4. la, lay, lee, lo, lu, ra, ray, ree, ro, ru. 5. ra, la, ray, ree, ro, lo, ru, lu. B. Practice saying the following words: 1. ray, row, reap, red, room, rye. 2. lay, low, leap, led, loom, lie. 3. day, dough, deep, dead, doom, die. C. Practice saying the following:

1. Is it right? Is it light? 2. What's a lamb? What's a ram? 3. Where's the load? Where's the road?

No, it is wrong. No it is dark. A baby sheep. A male sheep. It is in the truck. It is in the city.

D. Practice saying this nonsense verse: I think that's not an alligator; It's not a crocodile. It won't go in an elevator, Because the people smile.

Mouth Positions and Exercises for V and B Sounds

A. Practice saying these contrasts. 1. vet - bet 2. van - ban 3. very - berry 4. vase - base 5. vote - boat 4. vine - bind

B. Practice saying the following. 1. He wants to buy a boat. 2. He wants to buy my vote. 3. What's a bat? 4. What's a vat? 5. What's a vine? 4. What's a band?

F and P Exercises A. Practice saying these contrasts. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. fat -- pat fail -- pail fine -- pine fool -- pool fast -- past foal -- pole feat -- peat foot - - put faint -- paint fun -- pun fore -- poor free -- plea

B. Practice saying these questions and giving the correct answer: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. What does fast mean? What does past mean? What is a fool? What is a pool? What does fine mean? What is a pine? What does fair mean? What does pair mean? What is a pear? What does fear mean? What is a foal? What is a pole? 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. It means quick. Something has happened. A stupid person. It's a place to swim. It means very good. It's a kind of tree. It can mean it's good. It's two of a kind. It is a kind of fruit. It means being afraid. It is a baby horse. It's a long stick or rod.

Mouth Positions for Th and T Sounds

A. Practice the difference saying these words.

B. Practice the following. The teachers are quick to suggest That we study quite hard for a test It takes lots of thought To learn what we were taught But I think I prefer just to rest.

1. they - tray 2. than - tan 3. clothe - close 4. clothing - closing 5. thin - sin 6. thought - sought 7. thank - sank 8. throw - sow 9. math mass

Mouth Positions for Th and S (Z) Sounds

A. Practice the difference saying these words. 1. then 2. thee 3. clothe 4. booth 5. thought 6. thank 7. thin 8. theme 9. math 1. Zen 2. zee 3. close 4. booze 5. taught 6. tank 7. tin 8. team 9. mass

B. Practice the following. 1. What's a path? A place to walk. 2. What's a pass? A free ticket. 3. What does rising mean? Going up. 4. What does writhing mean? Twisting or turning.

Mouth Positions for Sh and Ch Sounds

A. Practice the difference between "sh" and "ch." 1. share 2. shoe 3. sheep 4. dish 5. cash 1. chair 2. chew 3. cheap 4. ditch 5. catch

B. Practice the following. 1. Where's my share? There isn't enough. 2. Where's a chair? It's in the other room. 3. What are you washing? The dishes. 4. What are you watching? A TV program.

C. Practice this to give clarity between these words. 1. with -- witch 2. both -- botch 4. theme -- team 5. then -- Chen 6. thrash - catch

Mouth Positions English Vowels

A. Learn the contrast of "but" and all the other vowels.

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.

beat bit bait bet bat bot bought boat book boot

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.

but but but but but but but but buck but

B: Practice saying the following questions and giving the answers. 1. Is it a big cat? 2. Is it a big cut? 3. What's a buck? 4. What's a book? 5. Was it cut? 6. Was it caught? 7. What's a skull? 8. What's a school? 9. Do you need many? 10. Do you need money? 11. What's a goal? 12. What's a gull? 1. No, it's a dog. 2. No, it's not too deep. 3. It's one dollar. 4. The thing you read. 5. No, it was broken. 6. No, it's still free. 7. It's the protection for your brain. 8. It's a place for learning. 9. No, I only need a few. 10. Yes, I need ten dollars. 11. It's an aim or purpose. 12. It's a seabird.

C: Practice contrasting the columns of words. He Him 1. read 2. teach 3. reach 4. bean 5. speak 6. needle 7. seem 8. keep 9. thief 10. cream 11. theme 12. spleen 1. Why did you sleep? 2. Why did you slip? 3. What's a sheep for? 4. What's a ship for? 5. When will you leave? 6. Where will you live? 1. gift 2. picnic 3. nickel 4. little 5. Britain 6. symbol 7. syllable 8. myth 9. pickle 10. simple 11. list 12. hiss 1. I was tired. 2. The floor was wet. 3. It's to produce wool. 4. To carry things on the water. 5. I leave in two weeks 6. In Britain.

D. Practice saying the following questions and their answers. Voicing Exercises Voicing: In unstressed syllables, consonants are often reduced in clarity, just as vowels are reduced. However, in stressed syllables emphasized words, it is important to make the consonant sound clear. One of the most basic distinctions between English sounds is voicing. To understand the meaning of this term, press your hands against your ears and make this sound: sssssssssssssssssss (unvoiced) Now continuing to press your hands against your ears, make this sound: zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz (voiced) Another way is to test the difference is to put your hand on your throat. You should hear a vibration for "zzzz" but not for "ssss." Try them both again until you can feel the difference. The vibration is called voicing. All English vowels should be voiced. A. Voiced 1. zoo 2. lazy 3. raising 4. van 5. leaving 6. either 7. game 8. bay 9. do

Unvoiced 1. sue 2. lacy 3. racing 4. fan 5. leafing 6. ether 7. came 8. pay 9. to C. Practice contrasting the following English sounds, voiced and unvoiced.

B. Listen to the following statement. Then practice saying the statement and the correct response. 1. He raised a horse. (z) 2. He raced a horse. (s) 3. We need a good president. (z) 4. We need a good precedent. (s) 5. She prizes old books. (z) 6. She prices old books. (s)

1. Where did she keep it? 2. Did it win? 3. Help elect one. 4. Let's set one. 5. Doesn't she like old ones? 6. Is that her job?

1. buy 2. they 3. van 4. dime 5. zoo 6. measure 7. Jane

1. pie 2. think 3. ban 4. time 5. sue 6. mesh 7. chain

Voicing and Syllable Length A: Practice saying the following words and practice the contrast. Vowel Shorter Final consonant unvoiced 1. half 2. safe 3. leaf 4. batch 5. rich 6. excuse (noun) 7. use (noun) 8. proof (noun) 9. rice 10. peace 11. lice 12. pace 13. bus 14. Miss 15. close (adjective) 16. loose (adjective) Vowel Longer Final consonant voiced 1. have 2. save 3. leave 4. badge 5. ridge 6. excuse (verb) 7. use (verb) 8. prove (verb) 9. rise 10. peas 11. lies 12. pays 13. buzz 14. Ms. (pronounced Mizz) 15. close (verb) 16. lose (verb)

B: Practice saying the statement and the correct response. 1. He wants peas. Not Carrots? (z) 2. He wants peace. Not war? (s) 3. There's something in my eyes. Call a doctor. (z) 4. There's something in my ice. Call a waiter. (s) C. Americans do not pronounce the final sounds of p/b, t/d, and k/g fully. Voiced d g b Unvoiced t k p 1. bet -- bed 2. sat -- sad 3. debt -- dead 4. feet -- feed 5. back -- bag 6. rack -- rag 7. cap -- cab 8. mop -- mob 9. rope -- robe D. Check yourself for accuracy in distinguisging to voicing and length of syllables. 1. She saw the place. (s) 2. She saw the plays. (z) 3. He wants peace. (s) 4. He wants peas. (z) 5. That book has no use. (s) 6. Use this book. (z) 7. Is that Miss Brown? (s) 8. Is that Ms. Brown? (z)

Stops and Continuants A. Besides voicing, another fundamental distinction between English sounds is whether they are stop sounds or continuant sounds. In some sounds, the air is stopped inside the mouth (stop sounds). In other sounds the air flows out without being stopped (continuant).

To feel the difference between a stop sound and a continuant make an "sssss" sound as long as you can. That is a continuant sound. Now make a "p" sound (not adding a vowel). Can you continue the "p" sound? No, because the "p" is a stop sound. Is the "th" a stop sound or a continuant? See picture above. Stops boy, day, go, judge, toy, tense, take, tank, ten, ton pan, too, cake, chew, point Continuants me, then, low, vote, not, zoo, pleasure, and all vowels think, fine, say, shoe, thank, thing, that, those, than, them, these, this

Voiced Unvoiced

B. The continuant sound in a picture below left is an English "r." It does not stop the airflow. The stop sound is an English "d" or "t" (depending on the presence or absence of voicing).

Say a word in your language with an "r" sound. Does the tongue touch the roof of the mouth? Even if you touch quickly, that stopping of the airflow will make an American listener think you said "d." To make an American "r" clearly, the tip of the tongue must not touch. C. Say the following nonsense sounds. Practice not touching the tip of your tongue to the roof of your mouth. ara ara aray aray aree aree aro aro aru aru

D. Practice these contrasts. E. Practice contrasting the consonants p/f, ch/sh, t/th, and b/v in the following pairs of words. Stops a deal I did a day dead Dan dot doe doom dust deal Continuants a reel I ride a ray red ran rot row room rust real 1. pat 2. chair 3. tank 4. tank 5. soup 6. boat 7. wrote 8. bake 9. ban 1. fat 2. share 3. thank 4. sank 5. sue 6. bow 7. row 8. bay 9. van

F. Listen to these questions. Then practice saying the questions and their answers. 1. Do you like soup? 2. Do you like Sue? 3. What are you watching? 4. What are you washing? 5. What does fine mean? 6. What's a pine? 7. What does thought mean? 8. What does taught mean? 9. What is the date? 10. What is the rate? 11. What's a ram? 12. What's a dam? 13. Is it dead? 14. Is it red? 15. What is a ship? 16. What is a chip? 17. Where's the vote? 18. Where's the boat? 19. What's a van? 20. What's a ban? 1. Only tomato soup. 2. yes, she's nice. 3. A movie. 4. The dishes. 5. Something like good. 6. A type of tree. 7. The past tense of think. 8. The past tense of teach. 9. June first. 10. Twenty percent. 11. A male sheep. 12. A wall to hold water. 13. No, it's alive. 14. No, it's orange. 15. A water vehicle. 16. A small piece. 17. On the paper. 18. On the water. 19. A small bus. 20. A prohibition.

G. Which of the following words end with a continuant sound? Practice sayng both groups. H. Practice contrasting the consonants p/f, ch/sh, t/th, and b/v in the following pairs of words. I. 1. have 2. teethe 3. eyes 4. half 5. teeth 6. Ice II. 7. cab 8. made 9. bag 10. cap 11. mate 12. Back

1. What's a bill? 2. What's a pill? 3. Where's the path? 4. Where's the bath? 5. Is it gold? 6. Is it cold? 7. Do you have the time? 8. Do you have a dime? 9. What's a girl? 10. What's a curl?

1. It's paper money. 2. It's medicine 3. It's over the hills. 4. It's in the bathroom. 5. No, it's silver. 6. No, it's hot. 7. Yes, it's 2 o'clock. 8. No, i'm broke. 9. It's a young woman. 10. It's a twist of hair.

I. 13. wife 14. both 15. bath 16. loathe 17. rove

II. 19. wipe 20. boat 21. bat 22. load 23. robe 24. live

Check for the distinction between voiced and unvoiced stops. 1. bowl 2. best 3. ghost 4. die 5. I've got to go. 6. Tom 7. peer 8. buck 9. tack 10. rock 11. slick 1. pole 2. pest 3. coast 4. tie 5. I've caught a cold. 6. atom 7. seer 8. puck 9. pack 10. pock 11. trick

Did you use puffs of air for "p," "t," and "k?"

Rhythm A. Each language has its own rules for rhythm. Clear English speach depends on the way varying lengths of syllables produce a characteristic rhythm. You will be much easier to understand if you use a proper English rhythm. Syllable rhythm rules: 1. Clear vowels are full (long). Unclear vowels are reduced (short). ._____ above ._____ along ._____ around

2 Vowels in succession are usually of different length. a. . ____ . mama b. . _____ . a basket c. __ . ___ absolute . ____ . banana . ___ . the record _____ . ___ Have some fruit. . ____ . Alaska . _______ . Nebraska

. ____ . . impossible

. __ . . It's possible.

3 When two or more full vowels are spoken in succession, length is added to each vowel. This makes the speech sound emphatic (strong). a. ____ ___ passport ____ __ mailbox ___ __ airport ____ __ maintain

B. Listen to the following limerick to practice rhythm. A STUdent was SENT to TACOma InTENding to EARN a diploma He SAID, "With the RAIN, I don't WANT to reMAIN, I THINK I'd preFER OklaHOma."

C. In the following sentences, the last three words are dramatically slowed down because there are three vowels in succession. Practice saying them. 1. Give me your permission to go right now. 2. We're all very proud of that fine young man. 3. The government intends to stop all drugs. D. Practice the rhythm of the following words. 3 syllables reduction suggestion correction intention frustration 4 syllables opposition obligation registration dedication interaction 5 syllables administration examination simplification clarification justification 6 syllables identification reinterpretation reunification reexamination rejustification 8 syllables internationalization

E. Practice these sentences. 1. There's been a reduction. 2. She made a suggestion. 3. There's a lot of opposition. 4. How high are the prices? 5. A passport shows identification.

Review A. English Rhythm Listen to this limerick and practice the rhythm. Notice that "young maid" and "most" are lengthened because they have full vowels in succession. This makes them more emphatic. There was a young maid from Madras Who had a most magnificent ass; Not rounded and pink, As you probably think--It was grey, had long ears, and ate grass. B. Clarity; Voicing and Length of Syllable Practice the following words. Lengthen the vowel before the final voice sound. 1. have -- half 2. save -- safe 3. use (verb) -- use (noun) 4. prove -- proof 5. rode -- wrote 6. bed -- bet 7. rag -- rack 8. bug -- buck 9. cab -- cap 10. close (verb) -- close (adjective)

C. Clarity; Contrast between Stops and Continsuants 1. What color is rust? Usually orange. 2. What color is dust? Usually gray. 3. Tammy thinks they teach that theory too much. D. Clarity; Puffs of Air. 1. pan -- ban 2. pole -- bowl 3. pace -- base 4. tie -- die 5. toe -- doe 6. tense -- dense 7. came -- game 8. could -- good 9. cash dash

E. Stress Patterns

relative photograph discipline agency anyhow

agreement photography arrangement participate alternate

economic automatic indication argumentative absolutely

F. English Rhythm A word said by itself is like a small sentence. It must have all the rhythm and emphasis of a sentence. Word Stress 1. atTRACtive 2. absoLUTE 3. reSPONsible 4. ElectrifiCAtion G. Limericks Practice the following limericks. Tap the emphasis to be sure of the rhythm. I KNEW a MAN from ArkanSAS Who ATE a ROCK that BROKE his JAW. "WHAT do you THINK" He SAID with a WINK, "PerHAPS it's BAD to EAT them RAW." There was a young lady one fall Who wore a newspaper dress to a ball. The dress caught fire And burned her entire Front page, sporting section and all. Once in the rain I saw a man, Strolling with an umbrella in hand. When I said it was insane To walk in the rain, He said "Well then, I'll just stand." Sentence Stress 5. It is ACtive. 6. Have some FRUIT. 7. It's POSSible. 8. She went to the STAtion.

Strange Spelling and Pronunciation Items qu This combination of letters has some quixotic pronunciations. 1. In quick, question, quail, quarrel, quest, quell, quit, quiet, and many others qu gets pronounced as KW. 2. But queue gets pronounced the same as cue and quay as key. Don't ask why. Also some new words with Q now leave off the U after the Q. ck The CK combination mostly gets pronounced as just a K with the C having no voice. 1. Thus check is pronounced a chek, peck as pek, mock as mok, and others. rh The RH combination generally gets pronounced as an R with the H being silent. 1. This is true in such words as rhythm, thyme, rhyme and arrhythmia. 2. But why rhythm gets pronounced as rith-them is anyone's guess. gh This combination of letters has some very varied sets of pronunciations. 1. In words such as laugh, tough, trough, enough, trough, and cough the GH gets a pronunciation of an F. 2. In other words the GH is silent: Such as: taught, caught, sought, bought, wrought, ought, fought, haughty, naught, fight, sight, light, might, right, blight, bough, plough, dough, though, borough, furlough, and others. 3. In some words the H in GH is silent. Such as ghost, ghoul, ghastly, afghan, Ghana, ugh, sorghum, yoghurt, and others. Gn Words using GN have varied set of pronunciation rules 1. Some words beginning with GN such as gnat, gnaw, gnarl, gnome the G is silent. 2. In words with IGN not at the beginning of the word such as champaign, and Campaign, sign, arraign, deign, ensign, feign, foreign, reign, align and others the G is silent. 3. In words with IGN at the beginning of the word such as ignite, ignition, ignoble, ignore and others the G in GN is the end if the first syllable and the N in GN is the beginning of the next syllable.

4. In words with UGN such as impugn, oppugn and others the G is silent while others such a repugnant the G is the end of a syllable and the N the beginning of the next syllable. 5. In words with OGN such as cologne and others the G is silent while others such as recognize the G is the end of a syllable and the N the beginning of the next syllable. 6. In words with EGN such as pregnant, impregnable, the G in GN is end of one syllable and the N in GN the beginning of the next syllable. 7. In words with AGN such as magnet, magnolia, magnificent, magnify, diagnose, and stagnant, the G in GN is end of one syllable and the N in GN the beginning of the next syllable. Words Ending in AMB, IMB, OMB, and UMB In all of these words the B is silent. 1. These words include: lamb, jamb, climb, limb, bomb, comb, entomb, tomb, womb, crumb, dumb, plumb, numb, rhumb, thumb, succumb. 2. Also many of these that also add ER to the end such as dumber, the B is also silent. 3. However some exceptions to rule 2 above are limber and number where the B is not silent. Words Ending in GUE In all words except one the UE is silent. 1. These words include: analogue, catalogue, colleague, league, dialogue, epilogue, fatigue, tongue, plague, intrigue, monologue, morgue, prologue, rogue, travelogue, vague and vogue. 2. The one exception is dengue which is pronounced as "deng-ge." Dengue is a high fever disease caused by mosquitos and generally known as dengue fever. Words Ending in TIAL 1. There are some 118 of these. 2. In most of these the TIAL gets pronounced as SHEL. These include deferential, credential, essential, experiential, initial, partial, martial, potential and many others. 3. In those with an S in front of the TIAL the TIAL gets pronounced as CHOL. These include bestial and celestial. Words Ending in CANT and CENT 1. There are about 50 ending with CENT. In these the CENT gets pronounced as SENT. 2. These include accent, adjacent, cent, ascent, decent, docent, innocent, iridescent, lucent, nascent, percent, recent, relucent, reticent, translucent and others. 3. There are about 30 ending in CANT. In these the CANT gets pronounced as KANT or KENT. 4. Those getting pronounced as KANT include cant, decant, descant, recant, and scant. 5. Those getting pronounced as KENT include indicant, intoxicant, lubricant, peccant, significant, secant, and vacant. Silent Letters American English has many silent letters, mostly because we borrow words from many other languages and at times follow their rules although other times we do not. 1. Why guess gets pronounced as gess can make you to wonder why there is a U. 2. In herb and heir the H is silent.

3. In sword and two, the W is silent. In isle, and island the S is silent. In aisle both the A and S are silent. 4. Other examples of silent letters are in mortgage where the T is silent and the P in pneumonia. Also the L in salmon is silent. But the L in salmonella is not silent. 5. In isthmus the TH is silent, fortunately it is the only combination of ISTH. 6. In debt the B is silent Other oddities 1. One gets pronounced as won, two gets pronounced as to or too with the W being silent. 2. We changed the OU to O in colour to make color, favour to make favor, but left it in for four. Of course to make more inconsistent we took out the U in forty but left it in fourteen. How do you like fourteen forty-four? 3. Two weird pronunciations are lettuce. It gets pronounced as "let-us", and exemtp as "ig-zempt". Words that Rhyme and Some that Do Not 1. Some oddities of rhymes are root pronounced the same as route. 2. Coal rhymes with sole and soul, pour with poor and pore, and soar with sore. But pour does not rhyme with sour, your or dour. 3. The word your does not rhyme with pour, hour, dour but does rhyme with fur. 4. However sour rhymes with power and hour. Boor, bore and boar all are pronounced the same. 5. I'll, aisle, and isle all get pronounced the same. Right, write, rite and wright (as in shipwright, wheelwright) all are pronounced the same. We're gets pronounced the same as weir, beer as bier, seer as sear, and peal as peel, we as wee and whee. Vocabulary: THE HOLY BIBLE WORDS asunder = completely apart art = are behold = look cast = throw, threw, thrown commandment = a command from God doth = does fighteth = fights Gods house = church hath = has lest = in case pestilence = a disease of epidemic proportions rent = to tear shalt = shall spake = spoke thee = you thereof = also thou = you unto = to verily = truthfully

ye = you General Rules

Each new line must begin with a capital letter Verbs in the bible in the third person singular, which end in ETH or TH now have ES or S (see hath, fighteth, doth, etc. above) Verbs do NOT have capital letters. The second person singular and plural both have an old English pronoun. (See the next box) Any pronoun, or possessive adjective, which refers directly to God must have a capital letter. (e.g. You, Your, His, Thee, Thy, etc.) Anything which 'belongs to God' must have a capital letter. (e.g. His Word, His Son, etc) Anything which refers, or belongs to us, or anyone else, does NOT have a capital letter (our world, my pets, etc.), otherwise, it would make us as important as GodESSIVE ADJ

Subject Pronoun

Thou = you (singular) Ye = you (plural)

Object Pronoun Thee = you

Possessive Pronouns Thine = yours

Possessive Adjective Thy = yourLARY USED IN THE HOLY BIBLE

Old Sentences

It came to pass = It happened He saw him no more = He never saw him again Why callest thou? = Why are you calling?. There is none good but one = There is only one good one. She begat a son = She gave birth to a son