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

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4
votes
3answers
100 views

Is there a word or term to describe mispronouncing a word due to someone else's accent?

In college, I had a Japanese linear algebra teacher who was not a native English speaker. The subject matter was new and difficult, so with new terminology to learn, it was sometimes to difficult for ...
2
votes
5answers
3k views

UK emphasis on the second syllable vs US emphasis on the first

Why do some British speakers of English emphasize the second syllable of words such as con-TRO-versy. One British woman I knew (living in Oxford) did this to many words including (unbelievably) the ...
1
vote
1answer
49 views

The elision of alveolar plosives

when the phrase "Can't complain" is pronounced [ˈkænt kəmˈpleɪn] I think that the T is dropped in fast speech because of the alveolar plosives. Right? I read that when T comes before these letters: / ...
0
votes
0answers
54 views

Pronunciation of “thank” using ð (voiced th) instead of θ (unvoiced th)

Both my younger siblings pronounce "thank" using ð, voicing the "th". I have never heard any other native speaker pronounce it this way. Both my parents, my older sibling, and I all pronounce "thank" ...
0
votes
2answers
401 views

How to pronounce (OS X) Yosemite in Australian English

In Australian English, is (OS X) Yosemite pronounced to rhyme with "vegemite", or the same as in Yosemite Sam, who is named after the national park?
0
votes
1answer
50 views

Word Stress in “I have a + noun”

I know that any word can be stressed in a sentence to give it emphasis, but in the following sentences I'm interested in a default unemphatic accent. When I pronounce these phrases: A: I have a ...
1
vote
2answers
77 views

So, we don't change /t/ to /d/ if /t/ is between 2 vowel sounds and /t/ is the beginning of the stressed sound in a word in American English, right? [duplicate]

Ok, see this word entertainment has IPA of /en.təˈteɪn.mənt/. Ok, now in American English if /t/ is between 2 vowel sounds then it will become /d/ cos it is flap T. But /t/ will become flap T only ...
-1
votes
2answers
44 views

How to pronounce X-mas [closed]

How should I pronounce Xmas? Is it the same as we pronounce the word Christmas?
11
votes
5answers
8k views

Why is “t” sometimes pronounced like “d” in American English?

Why, in American English, is the word Italy is pronounced /ˈɪdəli/ and not /ˈɪtəli/? What is the rule that is followed in the pronunciation of Italy to make the letter t pronounced like a d? Why is ...
0
votes
0answers
43 views

can “meet her” be pronounced as /miːdər/ in American English?

I heard people said this in an American movie--> Meet Her : /miːdər/ I it a ok way to pronounce like that? or Am I mishearing the saying?
21
votes
8answers
3k views

Are “traitor” and “trader” pronounced the same?

Are "traitor" and "trader" distinguishable when spoken with any English accent? My English-speaking friends seem to pronounce them exactly the same way.
2
votes
2answers
56 views

Do we need to put extra sound W or J in front of L in the case of /ei+L/ or /ee+L/ or /ai+L/ or /oo+L/ or /oi+L/ in American English?

Ok, let see the sale /seɪl/, that is from IPA but when speak American English, do we have to put /seɪ-jl/ (sound like sei jo) Similarly, feel /fiːl/ will become /fiː jl/ or mile /maɪl/ will become ...
2
votes
1answer
71 views

Word stress: Sorry to keep you waiting

When I heard the phrase: "Sorry to keep you waiting" [sɔri tə kip jʊ weɪdɪŋ] in an American movie it sounded to me that: Sorry, keep, and waiting are the stressed words. I may be wrong because I'm not ...
-1
votes
3answers
97 views

Which English words are commonly misused by non-native English speakers? [closed]

It's quite easy to find lists of commonly misused words. They are all over the internet. But it's not clear which of them are the MOST commonly misused words. This article says that there are 38 ...
-1
votes
1answer
85 views

Position of stress in English words derived from New Latin

In another thread on this site a question was asked about the pronunciation of the word Caribbean; that discussion focused on the position of the accent. Cognate forms of the word Caribbean have ...
-5
votes
3answers
89 views

How is 's/he' pronounced? Do we say 'She or he should …“ or ”He or she should …"? [closed]

How is 's/he' pronounced? Do we say 'She or he should ..." or "He or she should ..."? Ex.: When a person applies for a job, s/he should always bring a resume.
2
votes
0answers
86 views

a flap in “wedding” and “bidding”

I'm wondering if a flap occurs in "wedding", and "bidding" in American pronunciation? I can't hear it out here: http://www.macmillandictionary.com/dictionary/american/wedding
6
votes
3answers
500 views

How do “you” pronounce eczema?

/ˈɛɡzɪmə/, /ˈɛksɪmə/, /ˈɛksmə/ As I no longer live in the UK I don't usually hear how eczema is pronounced, so I've always pronounced it as ig-zee-muh but recently my English boyfriend told me that ...
0
votes
2answers
65 views

Word Stress Within a Sentence: Adjectives

I read this in American accent book: "Place full stress on an adjective if it's not followed by a noun. If it is followed by a noun, stress the noun more." For example I have this phrase: Have a ...
0
votes
1answer
92 views

Beauchamp. ..Beacham (phonetically spelled)?

In London there is a street in Knightsbridge spelled Beauchamp. The English pronounce it as though it were spelled Beacham. Why?
1
vote
0answers
35 views

Should you pronounce the plural 's' after a word that ends with 's'? [duplicate]

I've always said, for example, "Achilles' shield" as "Achilles-es shield". However, I've noticed others don't pronounce the plural, simply just keep it as "Achilles". Should you pronounce the '-es', ...
4
votes
3answers
2k views

What phonetic notation is Google dictionary using?

I think Google dictionary is not using IPA. But I don't know what phonetic notation it is using. For example, the "y" in prefix "hypo" is pronounced differently with following phonetic notation in ...
0
votes
2answers
111 views

How would an English speaker pronounce “valid” with a circumflex over the A?

My branding department (read my friend from work) has suggested the word "vâlid" with a circumflex over the A as a way to brand my product. He just likes the way a lowercase a looks in typography. ...
73
votes
14answers
29k views

When should I use “a” vs “an”?

In the following example, is it appropriate to use a or an as the indefinite article, and why? He ate __ green apple. I know that in the case of just "apple", it would be "an apple," but I've ...
6
votes
1answer
221 views

When did the a/an distinction happen?

Why do we have two versions of the indefinite article? When did this happen? Are there any texts where only one is used?
1
vote
5answers
120 views

Native speakers never confuse sounds of 'ma'am' and 'man'?

ma'am /ˈmæm/ noun man /ˈmæn/ interjection When you said to a lady next to you, "Shall I bring your bag, ma'am?", a guy behind you said "Thanks, man!" Have you ever had such a experience? No ...
6
votes
6answers
14k 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
86 views

American English word stress What time is it?

In the question "What time is it?" we only stress the noun "time". Am I right? The "is it" part at the end is unstressed. Right? I'm not sure if the word "what" needs secondary stress or not. I need ...
1
vote
2answers
241 views

Word stress in the phrase: I just got here [closed]

I give some context for my question: Question: Have you been waiting long? Answer: I just got here. [aɪ dʒʌst ɡɑt hɪər] When I pronounce the phrase "I just got here" I hear some stress on the word ...
1
vote
0answers
60 views

How to pronunce th+s like in paths or months? [duplicate]

I always feel it's kind of hard to pronunce them both, can either of them be dropped or reduced?
0
votes
2answers
41 views

reduce the preposition “at” or not?

I heard the question: "Are you mad at me?" in a youtube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s7GfP7kX9gY pronounced in two different ways: 'ɑr yu 'mæd æt mi? and 'ɑr yu 'mæd ət mi? Sometimes the ...
4
votes
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 ...
9
votes
4answers
7k views

Why is the initial “ts” sound (e.g “tsunami”) pronounced as “s”?

Why is the word "tsunami" often pronounced as "sunami"? Can English speakers pronounce "ts"? Is it because the initial "ts" looks foreign?
0
votes
0answers
48 views

Are both “How did you” and “Howdja” used?

How did you get here? [ 'haʊ dɪdʒʊ 'gɛt hɪər? ] I took the bus. How did you get here? [ 'haʊdʒə 'gɛt hɪər? ] I took the train. My question: are both "haʊ dɪdʒʊ" and "haʊdʒə" used in American ...
0
votes
1answer
100 views

Which one is the correct way to make the American /R/ sound? retroflexed or retracted?

Ok, there r 2 different ways to make the American /R/ sound. They both think they r right & other is wrong. -1st, making the /R/ by retroflexing the tongue -2nd, making the /R/ by retracting the ...
0
votes
0answers
43 views

Stress in the question: How about you?

If I transcribe this question "How about you?" to IPA it looks like: [ haʊ əˈbaʊt yu]. The dictionary shows the word "about" with primary stress on its second syllable but I think in my question it ...
1
vote
2answers
88 views

Are there rules how 'g' is pronounced as /j/ or /g/? [duplicate]

I'm not an native English speaker, and sometimes I'm confused with the pronunciation of 'g' and 'j' in words. It seems that 'j' is usually pronounced as /dʒ/ for example "job", "jaw". But 'g' can be ...
2
votes
2answers
563 views

the and thee (I prefer to pronounce it as thuh all the time) [closed]

My question is can I always pronounce THE with thuh instead of thee? Because unlike "a" "an" rule, pronouncing "thee" seems cumbersome for some people (including me) Note that I know the "emphasis" ...
1
vote
2answers
131 views

Why isn’t the pronunciation of “though” anyhow close to the one of “tough”? [duplicate]

The word tough is pronounced /tʌf/. The word though has a completely different pronunciation, that is /ðəʊ/. Is there a reason why the latter would not be pronounced /ðʌf/?
0
votes
2answers
77 views

What is the pronounciation of “the” before the vowel “e”? [duplicate]

How do you pronounce the vowel in the article "the" when used before "evil"? (American English)
2
votes
1answer
54 views

Rhymes for purple, orange, and silver [closed]

Are there any rhymes for the words purple, orange and silver? One of the apps on my phone says that nothing in the English dictionary rhymes with these words, and I'd like to know if this is really ...
0
votes
1answer
72 views

<u> pronounced “ew”

I'm wondering about the modern English pronunciation of "u" like the vowel in "few" in open syllables, such as "pure", "cute", "tribunal", "u", etc. What's the origin of this? (This question is not ...
3
votes
1answer
73 views

etymology and pronunciation of bowline knot

The wikipedia article for bowline gives two pronunciations /boʊlɪn/ or /boʊlaɪn/. The history section says: The bowline's name has an earlier meaning, dating to the age of sail. On a ...
1
vote
1answer
82 views

Do words with primary and secondary stress lose the secondary stress in a sentence?

I read in a textbook that certain words in English lose the secondary stress when they appear in a sentence. For example, this female name has both primary and secondary stress according to the ...
1
vote
1answer
62 views

/s/ in sin and /s/ in salt

It's clear that the pronunciation of /s/ in sin or cell is different from that in words like soul, sore, sardine etc. In Arabic there are two letters for the sound /s/: س like in sin and ص like in ...
0
votes
3answers
118 views

The T in “stair” and D in “dare” [duplicate]

I checked that their pronunciations are /ster/ and /der/ But I can't hear the difference between them! Can anyone tell me the difference and how to pronounce them separately?
6
votes
3answers
6k views

Where does the intrusive R come from in “warsh”?

My grandmother, who grew up in western Pennsylvania, pronounced wash and Washington with an intrusive R: “warsh” and “Warshington.” Where does the intrusive R come from in that dialect? It doesn’t ...
3
votes
3answers
758 views

Word Stress in the sentence “I put it on the table”

the sentence: "I put it on the table" phonetically looks like: [ aɪ pʊ_dɪ_dɑn ðə 'teɪ bəl ] and "I put it on the chair" phonetically looks like: [ aɪ pʊ_dɪ_dɑn ðə 'tʃɛər ] I think the strongest ...
1
vote
0answers
163 views

Pronounciation of with

For me its quite hard to pronounce 'with' correctly, especially when I try to speak faster. For example saying 'with sauce" nearly breaks my tongue. Do you have any advice for me? Can I reduce the ...