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

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6
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5answers
1k views

Which syllable is stressed in the word “nineteen”?

The dictionaries list both possibilities to stress nineteen (or any other -teen, for that matter): ,nine-teen and nine-'teen. Are the two pronunciations completely interchangeable, a matter of ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

“Lambast” or “lambaste”

I looked up both lambast and lambaste in several dictionaries, but came up with no conclusions about which one is AE and which BE (if this distinction can ever be made). Moreover, the different ...
1
vote
3answers
2k views

The correct pronunciation of the last vowel in words “a priori” and “a posteriori”

English.SE, Hi, first time being here. I have had this confusion about the pronunciation of "a priori" and "a posteriori" for a long time, normally I just read the last vowel as /i/, however today my ...
1
vote
8answers
926 views

Is there a difference between “bitter” and “better” in pronunciation?

I was wondering if there was any difference between "bitter" and "better" in pronunciation? My assumption is that one is pronounced with a soft "d" as in "better" and the other one with a hard "t" as ...
0
votes
5answers
670 views

Correct pronunciation of “career”

Is it car-rear? Or, is it carry-er? The word is very commonly used among Japanese with the same meaning, and we say it like carry-er, which I suppose is wrong.
1
vote
2answers
321 views

Correct pronunciation of “Can”

How to correctly pronounce word "can" in British English and in American English? Here's somehow related answer but it is more about differences between "can" and "can't", and I'm interested how to ...
8
votes
2answers
61k views

Why do British people pronounce “Ibiza” as “Ibitha”?

My brief overseas experience in Great Britain has taught me that British people tend to pronounce Ibiza as Ibitha. My questions are as follows: Why is this the case? How did this develop? What are ...
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
2answers
2k views

Do Americans pronounce “Ellen” and “Alan” in the same way?

Do Americans pronounce "Ellen" and "Alan" in the same way? I am especially concerned with the first vowel. EDIT: Here is a quote that may be a case in point: Being a Brit also, the names "Ellen" ...
2
votes
3answers
264 views

Are “rode” and “rowed” pronounced the same?

Is there an English accent which would distinguish these two sentences? He rode from the bridge to the pier. He rowed from the bridge to the pier.
2
votes
5answers
479 views

How to pronunce the suffix “-less”

I know how to pronounce less. But in words with the suffix -less, it sometimes sounds like /lis/, other times like /les/. Which is true?
-4
votes
4answers
2k views

It's not proper.. no such thing as “unseeming(ing)ly”? [closed]

I'll keep it simple, as I've learned - the hard way - that schtick does NOT go over well, around here. So.... unseemly |ˌənˈsēmlē| adj. (of behavior or actions) not proper or appropriate: an ...
22
votes
4answers
16k views

Why does “bass” sound like “base”?

Why is bass pronounced like base? If bass sounds like base, why isn't ass pronounced as (nearly) ace instead?
1
vote
2answers
8k views

How do you pronounce “mayor”?

I have been split between two pronunciations of "mayor". Most of the people I talk to pronounce it "mair" (like the horse). But if you look on Dictionary.com the main pronunciation is "mey-er". I ...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

First or second syllable accent for “detail”?

I used to pronounce 'detail' as ['di:teil] with accent on the first syllable. However, these days I hear people (and on the radio) say [di'teil] with accent on the second syllable. Is my pronunciation ...
10
votes
1answer
2k views

Why on earth are binoculars pronounced as /bɪˈnɒk.jʊ.ləz/ instead of /baɪˈnɒk.jʊ.ləz/?

I once pronounced binoculars as /baɪˈnɒk.jʊ.ləz/ and my friend told me that it is supposed to be pronounced as /bɪˈnɒk.jʊ.ləz/ I didn't believe him as I was very sure that the prefix bi- ...
1
vote
3answers
93 views

Is there any way to convey a certain pronunciation in the English language?

Take the sentence: I want to give you the best customer experience possible. How can I change a part of the sentence so that the "the" is pronounced as "thee"?
3
votes
1answer
540 views

What are some effective ways a foreign speaker can improve pronunciation in English? [closed]

How can a foreign speaker (where a "foreign speaker" speaks English as a second language) effectively improve their spoken English by improving their pronunciation and reducing their foreign accent. ...
5
votes
2answers
845 views

Why are “nation” and “national” pronounced differently?

I was wondering why nation is pronounced nay-shun and national is pronounced nah-shu-nal. My question relates to the difference between pronouncing "Nay" and "Nah". The spelling of "nation" in ...
7
votes
5answers
2k views

Pronunciation of “a” in “make a difference” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: pronunciation of “a” I would like to know the pronunciation of a in the expression make a difference. Is it like a in ate or like a in about?
3
votes
2answers
5k views

Reading out decimal numbers in English [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How to write decimal values in words How do you read numbers like these? 0.12 "oh point twelve", "zero point one two", "zero and twelve hundreds" And these ones? ...
6
votes
2answers
433 views

How to pronounce “404 Not Found”

How do we pronounce the http status code 404 not found: four hundreds and four, four-zero-four or four-four? We usually use 200, 201, 302, 401, 403, 404, 412, 500. I have read How to pronounce ...
6
votes
2answers
602 views

How to pronounce the resolution 1280×800 in English?

How do I say "1280 × 800" in English? I'm not sure how to pronounce the "×" between the numbers. I'm talking about screen resolutions.
7
votes
2answers
314 views

How should I pronounce 't' followed by 'the'?

This combination is really hard to me. This is an example: Knowing what to check is just the start to process. Can anyone help?
0
votes
1answer
1k views

English word list with pronunciation [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Where can I obtain an English dictionary with structured data? Where can I find a digital English-language dictionary or word list containing pronunciation? I would ...
6
votes
3answers
3k views

Pronunciation of “loch”

How does one pronounce loch? I understand this is a term borrowed from the Scots. Dictionaries are not very helpful with the last syllable. What is the closest English mapping of ch?
3
votes
3answers
5k views

How Do You Pronounce “Tuesday”?

My friends have a variety of ways of pronouncing "Tuesday": Tooos-day Tyu-sday Choose-day Which one is considered correct?
14
votes
6answers
2k views

How do you pronounce “fifths”?

I find it very difficult to pronounce the words fifths (as in four fifths or parallel fifths). The consonant cluster [fθs] is very difficult for me to utter. I know that in some cases the ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

What is the intended pronunciation of “gist” (as in gist.github.com)? [closed]

Until today I've always heard it pronounced "jist" (similar to "just" or "gin"), but I just heard someone pronounce it with the same g-sound as "gold" or "give". What's the intended pronunciation?
6
votes
3answers
925 views

Should pronunciation of the r in “heart” be the same as r in “rabbit”, in UK English?

My 5 yr old daughter was given a task by her teacher to "find as many things as she can that have the sound r" with examples of rabbit, barrow, and ruler (all r's were underlined in the 3 words). ...
5
votes
1answer
870 views

Why is the verb form of “record” pronounced [ri-kawrd] but the noun form is pronounced [rek-erd]?

Is there a different origin of pronunciation style for record as a verb and as a noun? Fun fact: in OS X, if you type say "this record" and say "record this" — the text to speech system picks up the ...
27
votes
4answers
9k views

How to pronounce the programmer's abbreviation “char”

In many programming languages, char is a type name for character values. The word character is pronounced with a [k] sound, but what about char? While trying to find the answer elsewhere, I learnt ...
0
votes
1answer
483 views

What is the correct pronunciation of “pizza”? [closed]

I have a friend who is constantly suggesting we eat "Pixa" for dinner. It grinds me every time she says "Pixa", so I am trying to make sure it is truly incorrect to pronounce the 'x' sound in this ...
1
vote
0answers
66 views

Reason for ambiguous pronunciation [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Why do written English vowels differ from other Latin-based orthographies? I noticed that in English some words that have the same letters (except for the first), have a ...
12
votes
1answer
5k views

Why is the “J” in San Jacinto pronounced like an English “J” instead of an “H” in Texas?

Many Spanish words taken into English have a "J" sounding like "H", but San Jacinto follows a different rule: San Jose La Jolla San Juan Jiminez Why is San Jacinto not pronounced San Hacinto in ...
5
votes
4answers
9k views

-ing vs -in' ending

I wonder if the "g" in the -ing forms is pronounced. When I hear it it seems as if it's not pronounced sometimes or just slightly, though sometimes I've been told that I should pronounce "g" for ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

English pronunciation of “charade” as in Pink Floyd song Pigs

I was recently listening to the Pink Floyd song "Pigs (Three different ones)" and a line in the chorus goes, Ha ha, charade you are! In the context of the song I am nearly sure that the word ...
0
votes
3answers
6k views

Apostrophe before or after s? [closed]

In the sentence: The author was greatly in love with Annabel Lee and described their love for each other as greater than anyone elses’. Does the apostrophe go before or after the s in else? ...
1
vote
1answer
2k views

Pronouncing “vis-à-vis”?

When saying "vis-à-vis" in English, would you pronounce it veez-uh-veez before a word beginning with a vowel sound, as you would in French?
6
votes
4answers
5k views

“Multi-” prefix pronunciation

I often hear native English speakers pronouncing "multi-" as ['mʌltaɪ] (mul-tie), however all the dictionaries are saying that the only way to pronounce it is ['mʌltɪ] (mul-ty). Example words: ...
10
votes
2answers
1k views

Does the 18th century contraction “on't” survive phonologically in English today?

The February 18th-24th edition of The Economist has an article titled "Neurons v free will" in which the author, Anthony Gottlieb begins by quoting Dr. Johnson's statement about free will: "Sir ...
4
votes
4answers
1k views

What is the Pronunciation of “-sts” at the end of the word?

How can we pronounce words ending with -sts? lists costs tests I often heard people pronunce its like, lɪsts and kɒsts lɪsː kɔsː but which one is acceptable?
4
votes
3answers
716 views

How should “aargh” really be pronounced?

The common interjections "argh!", "aargh!", "aaargh!", etc., is pronounced, as far as I know, the same as "aaa!" For most of my life, however, I (and I imagine many other second language speakers) ...
4
votes
1answer
182 views

Pronunciation of “undoable”

As this question points out, there are two different meanings of undoable. I can't find any phonetics how they are pronounced. I guess that the difference is barely audible. Or do you stress the word ...
2
votes
2answers
299 views

Pronunciation of “you're”

Dictionaries list the pronunciation of you're as jɔː(r) jə(r) jʊə(r) Which one is more common in British or American English?
3
votes
2answers
969 views

Pronunciation of 'educate'

In India, this word is quite frequently pronounced as e-JU-cate (with a J-sound). In the dictionaries I have referred to, the pronunciation is the predictable e-dyu-cate. Is the Indian pronunciation ...
1
vote
2answers
635 views

Is it right to call it “SEO” and how do you pronounce it? [closed]

Two questions: I couldn't find a source to decide whether to assume SEO an acronym or not. How should I pronounce it? SEO stands for "Search Engine Optimization" while it is the process of improving ...
1
vote
1answer
895 views

Mixing British and American spellings in writing [closed]

I like color more than colour, but I like favourite more than favorite. For me it is better to write My favourite color is blue. Is it wrong to mix British and American spellings in writing, and ...
9
votes
4answers
2k views

Different pronunciations of “she's” depending on the meaning

According to The Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary, the contraction she's may be pronounced both with a short [i] sound(as in pit) and a long [i:] sound(as in sheep) when it means she is, but it ...
3
votes
3answers
3k views

Pronunciation and usage of “bona fide”

As I am reading books and articles, I come across this bona fide. How do you pronounce this? How do you use it properly? I know the definition is in good faith, like if you are welcomed to someone's ...