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

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12
votes
3answers
4k views

How can I distinguish “can” & “can't” from pronunciation?

It's very difficult for me to separate them. I was just listening to some video and it said "Fat cells can’t reproduce themselves." What I thought I've heard is "... CAN reproduce ..." Frankly, ...
0
votes
1answer
83 views

Can vs that ( /kæn/ vs /ðæt/ )

I’ve finally decided to take a look at my English pronunciation and it is being an awesome new world. I am focused on Received Pronunciation (British Standard) and one question comes to mind for which ...
-2
votes
0answers
20 views

Please reconsider the closing of this question and reopen it for a response that actually answers the question [migrated]

Look at the question that was asked here and not sufficiently answered: What is the difference between "phonetic" and "phonemic"? The question is asking whether there is a ...
2
votes
0answers
127 views

Why is /k/ sometimes spelt with a C, and sometimes with a K? [closed]

This may sound silly. But I'm really confused why, when we pronounce (the phoneme) /k/, we sometimes spell it with a C and sometimes with a K (sometimes with CK). Why wasn't 'k' used instead, in such ...
3
votes
2answers
137 views

Why do American English speakers pronounce both syllables in “challah” equally?

I live in the US, and I've noticed that "challah" seems to be generally pronounced by Americans as something like /hala:/ (or possibly /ha:lə/), with either equal stress on both syllables or a slight ...
13
votes
6answers
8k views

Why is “liquorice” pronounced (or spelt) so strangely?

Liquorice is pronounced ˈlɪkərɪʃ. But every other word I can think of ending with -ice is pronounced differently (such as police or rice). How did liquorice get such a strange pronunciation, or ...
2
votes
2answers
124 views

How to pronounce “seventeen” and “seventy”?

As titled, both of these words always sound similar to me. Sometimes, the stress of these words will shift. For example, "seventeen" will say "SEVENteen". I am not sure whether it is correct or not. ...
1
vote
3answers
21k views

What's the right way to pronounce “Louis”?

The name of the comedian Louis C.K. is pronounced LU-EE-SEE-KAY. Is the S pronounced as a part of the given name "Louis", or just the first constant of the of the letter C? Is there a canonical way ...
6
votes
5answers
3k views

Why does “ow” have two different sounds

Why is it that the "ow" in now makes the aʊ sound while "ow" in snow makes the oʊ sound? Has this always been, was it spelled differently and then changed, or was it spelled this way but the sound ...
0
votes
1answer
313 views

Reading zero as O (fifteenth letter in English) [duplicate]

I’ve observed that people read the digit zero as oh as though it were the letter O. For example, in a telephone number where 0800 is oh eight hundred. Why? Where was this decided, or can anyone ...
8
votes
3answers
5k views

How to pronounce “twenty” correctly?

Well, I usually say "twenny" instead of "twenty" (not "twendy" even). I recently noticed that I never heard the same from any native english speakers during any talks I ever had with them. Recently I ...
1
vote
1answer
130 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
4
votes
2answers
11k views

How should an English speaker pronounce “vice versa”?

When using vice versa in spoken English, I tend to just completely Anglicise it and pronounce it vise VER-ser, with only one syllable in vice. The original would be something like VEE-cay VER-sa, but ...
2
votes
2answers
186 views

Pronunciation of “compact” across English dialects, when used as different parts of speech

Googling suggests that compact has the stress on the last syllable when used as an adjective and on the first syllable when used as a noun. Is this common for all English dialects or are there ...
-1
votes
2answers
91 views

How do I pronounce my surname?

I am not a native English Speaker, but I work with English speakers on a daily basis and they have always troubles pronouncing my surname, so they will often ask me to tell them how they can pronounce ...
15
votes
7answers
2k views

How to pronounce fractions larger than a twentieth, where the last digit of the denominator is a 1 or a 2? i.e. one thirtieth is to 30 as _ is to 31

Disclaimer: I speak British English. I've noticed a lot of differences between the way Americans and Brits pronounce numbers.1 Since the question concerns this, I thought it might be appropriate to ...
1
vote
4answers
204 views

Pronunciation Feedback Required

Did I pronounce the phrase "I'm gonna be gone for five weeks" correctly? https://clyp.it/oobrogbu Phonetically it looks like: [aɪm gɑnə bɪ gɔn fər faɪv wiks]. I have no idea which words should I ...
2
votes
1answer
109 views

Pronunciation of: I want a refund

I noticed in a TV show that the phrase "I want a refund" is pronounced like [I wanna refund]. I think the /t/ is dropped and /n/ is blended into the vowel. But how do Americans differentiate between ...
2
votes
2answers
89 views

What was the original pronunciation of 'Zounds'?

According to the Online Etymology Dictionary, the exclamation 'Zounds!' comes from the phrase 'God's wounds'. This seems to suggest that the original pronunciation rhymed with 'wounds' rather than ...
2
votes
3answers
137 views

How to pronounce “Calm”?

I need to know how "Calm" is exactly pronounced (whether the L is silent or not). And I need a good reference as an evidence.
1
vote
5answers
212 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
108 views

Rhotic accent in London or in the rest of the UK?

Good evening or good afternoon for the American. I read and it is known that most British accents are non-rhotic, but I’m now in London and I have the feeling that the Rs after vowels and before a ...
2
votes
1answer
93 views

In Jamaican English, why is there no θ sound?

For example, three is pronounced as "tree," and thing is pronounced as "ting." How come Jamaicans do not have a θ sound in their accents?
1
vote
0answers
86 views

Why are these spellings pronounced “non phonetically?”

In Anglo English, the word ewe (female sheep) is pronounced "you," rather than, say, "e-weh." Likewise, the surname Ewell, is pronounced "yule," rather than "e-well." Why is that?
1
vote
4answers
92 views

What's the name for when a word changes its pronunciation because of how people read?

With greater literacy in the past 100 years, most English speakers are also proficient at writing. Sometimes due to the great divide between English spellings and the true pronunciation, people will ...
20
votes
7answers
112k views

How is “æ” supposed to be pronounced?

The Encyclopædia Brittanica still uses the symbol "æ". However, I still hear everyone pronounce it as "Encyclo pee dia", when their spelling suggests more along the lines of "Encyclo pah dia" or ...
1
vote
1answer
167 views

Should British r be spoken out in liaison?

For example, the r in "better" is not pronounced in British English. How about the "r" in "a better idea"?
7
votes
1answer
177 views

Pronunciation of Korea and Career

Are the pronunciations of Korea and Career identical?
0
votes
0answers
89 views

Confused about sound /a/ & /ɔ/ in English Vowel diagram and in English dictionary?

Given this vowel diagram: Could you explain the difference between: /a/ as in five /faɪv/ /ɑː/ as in RP arm /ɑːm/ /ɒ/ as in RP hot /hɒt/ /ɔː/ as in RP law /lɔː/ Is /ɒ/ the same as /ɔː/? ...
7
votes
2answers
9k 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
172 views

Must the tongue contact the alveolar ridge anteriorly in order to pronounce /t/ properly?

Some textbooks teach that when making the t sound, the front and sides of the tongue contact the alveolar ridge anteriorly and laterally. However, I feel very uncomfortable if I do that when ...
0
votes
1answer
190 views

Is an American “r” sound retroflexed or retracted? [duplicate]

Ok, there are two different ways to make the American r sound. They both think they are right and that the other is wrong. Make the r sound by retroflexing the tongue: Make the r sound by ...
0
votes
0answers
51 views

Can “meet her” be pronounced [miːdər] in American English? [duplicate]

I heard people say meet her as [miːdər] in an American movie. Is it ok to pronounce it like that, or am I mishearing?
0
votes
2answers
107 views

is it possible to raise the tip while raising the back and lowering the center of the tongue when making /R/ sound?

Following this video, this is how we correctly make the r sound: Let the throat vibrate since it is voiced. Round the lip a little. Raise the tip of the tongue towards the hard bump behind the upper ...
0
votes
1answer
133 views

Do we append consonants when linking words?

How should in an instant be spoken? [ɪ nə nɪn.stənt] [ɪn nən nɪn.stənt] If we use second version, then we append [n] before [ən] and before [n.stənt]. How do I correctly link words together when ...
-2
votes
1answer
53 views

We like a name but dont know how to spell it? [closed]

We like the sound of Mill-eat-a but dont know how to spell it so that shortens to Millie and not milie as in cyrus
0
votes
2answers
52 views

do native English speakers completely omit the /r/ sound in /ˈev·riˌwʌn/ (everyone)?

Most Asian non-native English speaker pronounce the /r/ clearly in the word everyone /ˈev·riˌwʌn/. However, when hearing the pronunciation of /ˈev·riˌwʌn/ in some online English dictionary, I hear no ...
2
votes
3answers
109 views

Do native speakers ever make pronunciation mistakes? [duplicate]

I've been thinking of this and I'd appreciate if a native speaker could reply. Many times I see on the internet lots of English-related material about how to pronounce correctly, and that is mainly ...
2
votes
1answer
168 views

Why do we say 'year 1993' as “nineteen ninety three” instead of “one thousand nine hundred ninety three”?

Why do we read some calendar years by their two-digit place value and not according on their numerical place value like: 1500s as fifteen hundreds and not one thousand five hundreds 1895 as ...
1
vote
2answers
67 views

Unable to pronounce 'sh'

I know a number of speakers for whom English is a second language who are unable to pronounce sh. As a result, words such as passion become something along the lines of pass-en. I'd like to know what ...
-1
votes
1answer
41 views

About TSC acronym pronunciation [closed]

How would you pronounce TSC acronym ? tē ĕs sē ? or most probably people would use a word like pronunciation Tis´ic ? :-(
27
votes
7answers
93k views
7
votes
2answers
435 views

Pronunciation of “-thwaite”

Planning a trip to Huddersfield the other day, I happened across the nearby villages of Linthwaite (pronounced lin-fit) and Slaithwaite (pronounced slow-it, or slaw-it depending who you ask). Thinking ...
0
votes
2answers
81 views

Pronunciation of ‘few’ as [ˈfjyu̯]

I was surprised to see that Wiktionary states few be pronounced as /ˈfjuː/ or /ˈfju/. I have always pronounced it as [ˈfjyu̯]. Furthermore, I've copied the pronunciation from what I've heard and when ...
0
votes
4answers
829 views

How to say fractions like “7/8” or “546/823”

I have come across the following three spoken variants for the fraction ⅞: Seven by eight Seven over eight Seven into eight I am also aware of seven-eighths but I don't want to use that as it ...
8
votes
5answers
1k views

What is the name of the phoneme produced in an upper-class Briton's pronunciation of the word “Duke”? What's different in the articulation?

When someone with a Received Pronunciation accent pronounces the word duke, as in The Duke of York, he doesn't pronounce it with a "hard" 'd', as one might pronounce the word duh, but a softer type ...
4
votes
5answers
13k views

Why “interesting” is sometimes pronounced as “intra-sting”

Why is interesting sometimes pronounced as intra-sting? The same goes for interest sometimes being pronounced without the first e.
9
votes
2answers
10k views

Is there a difference in meaning when pronouncing paytronizing or pahtronizing?

I am not a native speaker of the language and I was recently corrected when pronouncing patronizing "paytronizing" when meaning condescending. I was told it is wrong to pronounce it that way; however, ...
1
vote
2answers
71 views

Word for space-origination

How could you say something is from space? For instance, californian, french, american, etc. Spactian sounds like something that could perhaps be correct, but the spelling's transposition into ...
-1
votes
1answer
85 views

How to pronounce JOHN? [closed]

Can someone help me to pronounce JOHN correctly? People seemed to struggle to understand me.