This tag is for questions about the sounds, intonation, and stress of how words are uttered or produced.

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4answers
2k views

pronunciation US-UK in words like semi

I am trying to find a document that explains pronunciation differences en /E/ and /I/ sounds between UK and US styles. I think US pronunciation does a lot /'sɛmay/ than UK /'sɛmi/. Where can I find an ...
3
votes
3answers
636 views

Elision in the pronunciation of “probably”

A student of mine has pointed out that in casual speech, my tendency is to pronounce the word "probably" as something like prah-lee. I am a native speaker of American English without a specific ...
1
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1answer
1k views

Pronunciation of “again”

What is the Standard British English1 pronunciation of "again"? I looked in Wiktionary and it gives two UK pronunciations, /əˈɡeɪn/, and /əˈɡɛn/. 1 I mean Standard British English as in the tag ...
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2answers
1k views

What is the pronunciation of the 'a' in aqueous?

My teacher pronounces aqueous as "ay-kwee-ous", and as a result that's what my class has learnt. However, I've become aware through several pronunciation guides (including Howjsay.com and a ...
3
votes
2answers
709 views

Can “pussy” be pronounced with /ʌ/ (uh)?

My friend insists it can be. Here is a video he provides as a proof (watch it cautiously, brain damage is possible). Is this nonsense or not? Maybe it is a local phenomenon? Or just a speech defect?
2
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1answer
454 views

Is there a word that means “over-enunciate the k sound”?

I am trying to say the word week but focus on the k sound at the end and really emphasize it. I tend to do this naturally in my everyday speech. It kinda sounds like an odd throat sound when I do it. ...
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1answer
426 views

Pronunciation of “Oceania” in British English

How is Oceania properly pronounced in British English? Is it /ˌəʊʃɪˈɑːnɪə/, or /ˌəʊʃɪˈɑːnə/? I know a lot of people who use the latter, but I have always been taught the former.
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1answer
205 views

Why are we supposed to say the “a” as an “e” in “any” and “many”?

I speak Australian English, but I seem to pronounce the words many and anything differently from how the vast majority of people here do so. I pronounce it using an a sound rather than an e sound ...
3
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1answer
456 views

Name, Conditions, and Pluralization of “Conscience' sake”

In some versions of the Bible, 1 Cor. 10:25 contains the phrase conscience' sake with no s following the possessive apostrophe of conscience, which does not end with s, as in: New American ...
2
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1answer
105 views

Why do I not hear /k/ in sanctuary?

sanctuary (Oxford) /ˈsæŋktʃuəri ; ˈsæŋktʃueri/ It is /k/ that I don’t hear in the website’s pronunciation. Do they drop /k/ under some pronunciation rule? - it happens that /ŋ/ and /k/ all are ...
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1answer
686 views

Do people with a lisp write in the same way they pronounce?

Just curious to know whether people having a lisp (speech defect) write in the same way as they pronounce the word. For example they pronounce s as /θ/ and z as /θ/. So, do they write 's' as 'th' like ...
11
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3answers
1k views

Why is “does” sometimes pronounced “is”? [duplicate]

I'm watching a movie at the moment and I came across something that I've always found strange in the English language. In some questions, mostly something like "What does he look like?", the does is ...
3
votes
2answers
1k 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
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1answer
3k 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.
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2answers
198 views

how do we read this sentence '50X better software quality'

I am browsing a website. There is one sentence: 50x better software quality here x should mean times, but I don't know how to read it. Can someone explain it to me?
1
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1answer
1k views

't' pronounced as 'ch'

In some words, the pronunciation of t is actually closer to ch, as in fortune. Is this is a recognized phenomenon in English pronunciation? Does it have a name? What other prominent examples can be ...
2
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3answers
2k views

What’s the word for the habit of writing “play’d” or “revolv’d”?

I’m working on an 18th-century manuscript, and I’m trying to explain to others the use of ’d in past tense verbs. Is there a word that encompasses the usage of ’d in early 18th-century manuscripts? ...
5
votes
2answers
722 views

Character vs Charm - Pronunciation

Is there a rule to understand how the group "Cha" has to be pronounced? "Character" sounds with a hard first syllable, while "Charm" sound softer, but I don't find how to tell which sound to use ...
1
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1answer
706 views

How to pronounce '-ing' followed by a vowel

I'm getting into English recently and I'm a little confused by the way people pronounce a word that starts in a vowel right after a word ending in -ing. For example: You have to bring it up now? ...
0
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1answer
315 views

American Pronunciation of words in England and vice versa

I realise this maybe a touchy subject for some of the members on here but i have found that a lot of people in Britain have taken to Americanising the pronunciation of words. I was wondering if this ...
10
votes
3answers
3k views

“nt” pronounced as “n” in American English (as in “Internet”): what is it called?

I know that pronouncing "t" as "d" is called a flap t, but is there a name for pronouncing "nt" as "n" in some words, as is common in American English? Examples: "Internet" is pronounced as "inner ...
0
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0answers
32 views

English phonetics References [duplicate]

What are some great references on English pronunciation practices? The book The Big Book of Beastly Mispronunciations was mentioned in an answer on this site. Is it considered authoritative? What ...
2
votes
5answers
276 views

How should one pronounce “Brichester”?

I know that there is this issue where Worcestershire and Leicester are pronounced as "Wustersher" and "Lester", so I wonder how Brichester is pronounced. Also, is there any special rule which could ...
3
votes
3answers
2k 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"?
1
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1answer
753 views

How to guess the pronunciation of some inconsistencies in English?

I’m not a native English speaker, and I have a lot of problems when is comes to pronouncing words like archive, archon, zealot, heal, health. Why is the ch sometime pronounced like a k? Why is the ...
8
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1answer
344 views

How to Pronounce “Deictic”

I'm going to be talking about demonstrative pronouns, and I need to say "deictic" aloud. Looking at several dictionaries, I have three options for pronouncing the word: (1) 'dīk-tik (IPA: [ˈdaɪktɪk]), ...
0
votes
2answers
251 views

How to pronounce “Zoubin Ghahramani”? [closed]

Zoubin Ghahramani is a computer scientist and statistician. I tried Google translate but it sound a little weird. Does anyone know the pronunciation of his name? Is it from another language other than ...
3
votes
1answer
75 views

Should I answer the phone with “Mr. Beltz’s office” or “Mr. Beltz’ office”?

How would you pronounce the following when answering a phone for a boss whose last name is Beltz? Some people are saying Mr. Beltz’s office, pronouncing the extra s, and someone else thinks you should ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

What is the term for a shortened word that is pronounced based on phantom letters?

I'm only posting out of curiosity. But recently I've begun to wonder what you would call a shortening of a word that only sounds correct when spoken, and the pronunciation cannot be inferred from its ...
2
votes
1answer
322 views

pronunciation for consecutive /d/ and /ð/

Mr. Barnett has slammed the figure as outrageous. (Aussie ABC News) /d/ and /ð/ are made at different places, we don’t drop any one of them when pronouncing, like the news anchor, do we?
2
votes
2answers
589 views

What is the pronunciation of “liceity”?

"Liceity", meaning lawfulness or legitimacy, is a word that seems only to be used to describe certain religious actions from the Roman Catholic point of view. The word is not present in any major ...
2
votes
1answer
6k views

Why is “sew” pronounced as “so”?

Why is sew (/səʊ/ or /sō/) pronounced similar to so rather than to few or sue? Looking at its etymology, Old English siwian "to stitch," earlier siowian, from Proto-Germanic *siwjanan (cf. Old ...
8
votes
2answers
4k views

Why is “k” added to “panic” when suffixes added (as in “panicky”)?

When adding any suffix to the word "panic," a "k" is added after the "c". Examples: panicked, panicking, panicky. Why is this the case? Are there any other English words that do the same? I'm also ...
5
votes
4answers
5k views

What's the correct pronunciation of “Israel”?

From Google I have gathered there are several ways for pronounce Israel, I have pronounced it is-rye-el. From googling it some seem to indicate it acceptable and another says it is vulgar and should ...
2
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1answer
2k views

How to pronounce “sheet” properly? [duplicate]

How to pronounce sheet to minimize the risk of confusion with shit? Usually what one means is clear from the context, but it'd still be very awkward if it accidentally sounds like shit.
2
votes
3answers
740 views

Can an acronym be pronounced as a construction of letters and words?

I've found this question Pronouncing acronyms in which people discuss how to pronounce acronyms, and they can be pronounced either as single letters or as a single word. However I would like to know ...
0
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3answers
664 views

When we will use soft and hard sound in 'c'? [closed]

Sometimes we use the soft sound, and sometimes the hard – but why? Is there any rule?
3
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1answer
2k views

“dispatch” v “despatch” [closed]

Using it in the example of: Can you log despatch and delivery of documents? Three questions: Is despatch a misspelling of dispatch that made its way into the dictionary? Could I use dispatch ...
2
votes
1answer
933 views

difference between American and British /ӕ/ sound

When I presented British /ӕ/ sound to three Korean English-familiar persons online - they are doing answering English-related questions activities [case 1; case 2], and asked what sound it’s like /ӕ/ ...
6
votes
1answer
4k views

How do you pronounce coitus? [closed]

Everywhere I've checked for pronunciations online it's CO-IT-TUS. Every time I've heard someone use it in real life it's COY-TIS. Since so many people pronounce it in the latter form, does that mean ...
4
votes
1answer
6k views

What exactly is the “schwa” sound?

What exactly is the "schwa" sound? As a non-native speaker, I hear this sound as not being a pure and clean sound. I mean I know that every vowel sound may vary depending on whether the syllable is ...
5
votes
1answer
824 views

Why does the “e” in judge vanish in the word “judgment”?

The in the word "judgment", the "e" from "judge" is absent. Three questions on this: Why is this? Is there a name for such a contraction? How and why does the "g" still retain its "soft" ...
3
votes
5answers
2k views

Why does “contrary” have two different pronunciations?

I have the impression all Anglophones pronounce contrary with stress on the second syllable (cont-RARE-ee) when applied to a person's actions or disposition, as in: Mary Mary quite contrary, How ...
0
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2answers
3k views

Why are “put” and “but” different in their pronunciation? [closed]

Why are "put" and "but" different in their pronunciation?
4
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3answers
1k views

What is the proper pronunciation of “kitten?”

The American Heritage Dictionary says 'KIT-n' but speakers in my locale (west coast US) say 'Ki with short i, glottal stop, n.' There is no 't' sound. Do we speak slang, a dialect, or are we ...
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1answer
1k views

Pedagogue vs. pedagogy vs. pedagogical

How do people choose to pronounce the -agogue suffix in these three words? pedagogue pedagogy pedagogical The first is a reasonably common word and its suffix is surely consistently ...
3
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1answer
394 views

When a consonant and a vowel meet together, from where the sound start?

By IPA chart in Wikipedia, [m] is made, up in front of the mouth, and [ɑ] down at the back. In this case, where do you say [ma] is made? I mean, is [ma] made in the middle of the both positions of ...
0
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1answer
172 views

When two open-front vowels meet, does one become, typically, weaker?

. . . at last [ət-lӕst] . . [audio source] I guess, from the two lots’ pronunciations, that when [ӕ] is accompanied by [ӕ], one which is lesser important in meaning becomes weaker and change into a ...
2
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4answers
260 views

Why numbers are sometimes pronounced as individual numbers?

456 four hundred fifty-six. four, five, six. Is there any rule or something? Is the second one just for faster pronunciation?
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0answers
131 views

Pronunciation of '-ing' endings as '-een' [duplicate]

Recently my daughter told us she’d had a supply teacher at school because her regular teacher was “at home pukin’.” The pronunciation of the -ing ending as in’ [ɪn] (rather than [ɪŋ]) seems to be ...