Questions about English consonants.

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0answers
17 views

Using 'an' before a consonant [duplicate]

Depending on the word, using an before a consonant is not right. What about in this phrase, "David has just gotten an SX250". To me, it does sound a lot better than "David has just gotten a SX250". ...
1
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2answers
181 views

Why is the letter 'X' given importance in mathematics? [closed]

In mathematics the letter 'X' is always given importance over other letters. Why is it so?
54
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5answers
7k views

If the letter J is only 400–500 years old, was there a J sound that preceded the design of the letter?

I understand that the letter "J" is relatively new — perhaps 400–500 years old. But since there has long been important names that begin with J, such as Jesus, Joshua, Justinian, etc., and which ...
16
votes
2answers
367 views

/ð/ → /d/ shift in English

As a result of a /d/ → /ð/ shift, fæder became father, hider became hither and togædere became together, giving us our modern English forms. However, I know that murder and burden have archaic forms- ...
0
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2answers
127 views

Can the words 'basic' and 'basically' be pronounced with [z] instead of [s]?

In dictionaries, I have only found the version with [s] but I heard Ryan Stiles on Whose Line Is It Anyway? pronounce "basically" with a [z].
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2answers
1k views

Is it “congrats” or “congrads”? [closed]

Is it appropriate to abbreviate "congratulations" as "congrats" or "congrads", or are both acceptable? I have seen the latter used very often which is why I'm asking.
4
votes
1answer
2k views

Name for words with same consonant sounds but different vowel sounds

Is there a name for words with the same consonant sounds, but different vowel sounds? For example: talk, take sit, site taught, tote bough, bow My son has been mixing up these sets of words. I'd ...
1
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0answers
168 views

It's hard to pronounce some consonant combinations in English [closed]

I can't figure out any ways to speak fast and smoothly some sound combinations. Would you nativer speakers provide any help? Could you tell me how your tongues move while speaking them? The dental ...
-2
votes
1answer
119 views

syllabification

I am learning how to divide syllables. I have to divide hap-py because there are two of the same consonant. Why are the two s letters in the word professor not divided? Doesn't the same rule apply ...
3
votes
2answers
673 views

Why was it necessary to divide alphabets into vowels and consonants?

This may be an extremely simple question. I know pretty much what do we do when we see any vowel but I am curious why were these two classes created in the first place. I beg pardon for another ...
3
votes
2answers
590 views

Palatalization of the initial “s” in words starting with “st-”

Sometimes I hear native speakers pronounce the s at the beginning of a word as [ʃ]. For example, straight as [ʃtreɪt], or struggle as [ʃtrʌɡl]. It sounds like German words. Is it a certain English ...
0
votes
1answer
2k views

How to pronounce the final “s” in plural nouns

Could you please help find which word below is pronounced differently from the rest with regard to the final s? caves marks exams days I choose number 2, marks.
-2
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2answers
659 views

What are the most common letters used in pairs after others in the English alphabet? [closed]

I have a question which is somewhat similar to What are the most common consonants used in English? (on wikiHow). What are the most common seven letters that come second in pairs after consonants and ...
3
votes
3answers
625 views

th followed by an s sound [duplicate]

What is the correct way to pronounce such complicated combination of sounds when not pausing for breath? As an example, how would one pronounce something like "The Eighteenth century"?
45
votes
4answers
6k views

Why are there so few English words that begin with the letter X?

If one reads a lot of children's books, it is obvious that X is a real thorn in the side for those authors looking to have each letter of the alphabet represented in their books. Most of them either ...
12
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2answers
21k views

Why is the “L” silent when pronouncing “salmon”?

Why is the letter l silent when pronouncing salmon properly?
4
votes
2answers
203 views

Does the letter i serve as a consonant in words like “onion” and “view”?

Some more words: union, behavior, Daniel. And the second i in opinion, familiar, brilliant, California. I am especially concerned with American English.
7
votes
2answers
275 views

Are there names for consonant-shifts when suffixes are added?

I saw a spelling mistake on an SO question: submittion. That got me wondering, is there a name for the shift of ‑mit‑ to ‑miss‑ in submission, permission, admission and so on? Are there other patterns ...
5
votes
1answer
394 views

About pronouncing the 's' in plural nouns

A general rule of English pronunciation states that the 's' in plural nouns is to be pronounced as /z/ if it is preceded by a 'voiced consonant' such as /n/ or /g/, and as /s/ if it is preceded by a ...
9
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4answers
6k views

“Extensible” vs. “extendible”

Where does the adjective form extensible come from and does it connote anything different than extendible? What's the difference, if any, between the two?
0
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3answers
571 views

How do I pronounce “wrong” correctly instead of “long”?

When I say "wrong" people always mishear as "long". Pronouncing "r" and "l" correctly is always a big challenge for me. In Chinese we also have a syllable pronounced like "r" and a syllable pronounced ...
1
vote
0answers
27 views

Words using all possible vowels [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Is there a word that contains all the vowels? Is there a word in English that contains the 5 letters that are exclusively vowels (a, e, i, o, u) as well as the 3 letters ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

Vowel is to diphthong as consonant is to?

While reading about diphthongs in a different question today, I noticed that while the word "diphthong" doesn't seem to contain any actual diphthongs, it does contain 3 sets of consonant groupings. ...
4
votes
3answers
294 views

What were the British equivalents of Webster's dictionary and the Simplified Spelling Board that standardized spelling and usage?

I am familiar with questions about when to double 'l' and differences between British and American spellings. However, I stumbled across this image. As you can see, several words end in the double ...
14
votes
3answers
9k views

Why is the plural form of “life” “lives”, while the plural form of “still life” is “still lifes”?

Why does the plural form of "life" is "lives", while the plural form of "still life" is "still lifes"? From Wikipedia: A still life (plural still lifes) is a work of art depicting mostly ...
2
votes
1answer
294 views

T-glottalization in West Country accents — is it a south-eastern influence?

English speakers from the West Country seem to glottalize their tees just like Estuary English speakers do. I can't find a word about T-glottalization in the West Country accents on the internet. I'm ...
5
votes
4answers
374 views

Why is “Rosen Plevneliev” pronounced with a /z/?

As I have told you in my previous question, I have heard the CBS news about the Bulgarian president visiting the US here. I don't know why, but the way the reporter has pronounced his name makes me ...
0
votes
0answers
24 views

Why isn't “training” spelled “trainning”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Is there any rhyme or reason to when one should double the last consonant when adding -ed or -ing? Focussed or focused? The double consonant Why isn't "training" spelled ...
1
vote
1answer
1k views

Usage of sound /ʒ/ in English (not /dʒ/) [closed]

I'm trying to explain to an English speaker how to pronounce the letter j in French, and was looking for cases where it appears in English. It seems that j is almost always pronounced /dʒ/. Examples ...
1
vote
0answers
26 views

Using `an` before consonants [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Why shouldn't we say “an user”? I've personally seen the indefinite article an coming before consonants in many places whereas I think that should be a ...
2
votes
3answers
568 views

French speaker here — How to pronounce “r” and “l”?

I'm a French speaker and actually I have some problems with the sounds l , r and o in lawyer. Do you have any advice for me on how to place the tongue and so on?
7
votes
6answers
5k views

How to pronounce the “v” sound?

I live in Thailand and we pronounce "w" and "v" the same. When I spoke to American people they told me that the "v" sound was different from "w". They told me to move my lower lip to the upper teeth, ...
6
votes
3answers
6k views

What English word has the most consecutive consonants?

I was driving past the village of Hampsthwaite the other day, and happened to spot the six consecutive consonants in the middle. It set me wondering whether this was the most possible, and if not, ...
4
votes
2answers
723 views

Is there any rhyme or reason to when one should double the last consonant when adding -ed or -ing? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: focussed or focused? The double consonant Sometimes, final consonants are doubled when adding -ed or -ing to the end of a verb whose penultimate letter is a vowel. ...