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

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6
votes
1answer
5k views

How did the pronunciation of the word “derby” evolve?

Brits say "dar-bee" for both the town and the race, but Americans pronounce it as it's spelled. Did Brits used to say "der-bee" too and that's why it's spelled that way but they changed over time? ...
4
votes
2answers
3k views

Does anybody pronounce the word “pillow” as “pellow”?

My girlfriend giggles whenever I say it, and I never realized that I said it differently then anyone else. But now that I am listening...NOBODY says pellow? They all say pillow. I've listened to my ...
-2
votes
1answer
60 views

Grenade or Granade [closed]

There are a lot of words that have slightly different spelling, but same semantic and sound, such as gray or grey, color or colour. There is also the case of dialog vs. dialogue (*see stackexchange ...
3
votes
2answers
674 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
52 views

Pronunciation problem [closed]

I am from India. I am very eager to learn English. So I am used to add some English words with my language. But My friends says that you are having problem with your pronunciation. I tried a lot of ...
0
votes
3answers
146 views

Advanced English Pronunciation [closed]

first thing first I hope this is not off-topic. So here's my problem: my spoken English is quite good, to the point that I'm sometimes mistaken for a native (American) speaker. However, there are ...
4
votes
6answers
20k views

Pronunciation of 'aunt' in the US

I was under the impression that all Americans pronounced aunt like the insect, ant (/ænt/), or relatively similar sounding variants such as the southern aint (/eɪnt/). According to both Webster and ...
0
votes
3answers
141 views

How can a written language develop with unspoken letters? [duplicate]

English is a language in which you write quite a few letters that you do not pronounce, or you write letters in one order and pronounce it in another. For example, centre. It is pronounced ...
1
vote
2answers
163 views

Pronunciation of the word 'infantry'

I didn't have any doubts about this word, because as I could see it is pronounced in both British and American variants as [ˈinfəntrē] - as it written - and I heard it in modern military usage ...
2
votes
1answer
460 views

How to pronounce “often” [duplicate]

At the website where people pronounce words from their languages, the page for the word often gives 15 accounts. 13 people pronounced it with silent t (ofen), and only 2 with strong t (ofTen). But ...
1
vote
3answers
116 views

Are there any words in English pronounced with /eː/ which aren't spelt with a following “r”?

In Australian English (non-rhotic) the word "air" is pronounced /eː/, in Canadian English (rhotic) it is pronounced /ɛɹ/ and most other dialects pronounce it as somewhere between those two. All the ...
1
vote
1answer
101 views

Two types of sound for letter L?

Consider two words, for example, lot and all. The phonetic symbol of l in the two words are the same, which makes me wonder why the sound of l in the first is considered to be the same as in the ...
1
vote
1answer
201 views

How are invented names like “scrypt” pronounced that include nonstandard abbreviations?

In technical contexts, I often come across terms that are invented names where some underlying meaning is not spelled out but can be inferred. This inferred meaning would often be lost if one tried to ...
0
votes
0answers
32 views

How to pronounce “Jobs's…”? [duplicate]

Should "Jobs's" be pronounced "Jobs" or "Jobsis"? Thanks!
1
vote
1answer
65 views

What does this person say in this video?

I don't know if this is allowed but I want to know what this Gwyneth Paltrow say in this video at 0:51 to be exact. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZORey6EHF3g or ...
2
votes
2answers
197 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
votes
1answer
102 views

When using symbols instead of words in writing, do I use “an” or “a” before the symbol? [duplicate]

The sentence in question: Every list item that is marked with an * is optional. The word "asterisks" isn't spelled out, so I'm not sure if "an" or "a" is the correct word to put before it.
8
votes
4answers
1k views

Pronunciation of en- prefix as ahn-

Recently, I pronounced the word enqueue as ahn-queue. The person I was talking to said he would have pronounced it with a more normal en sound (like in Ben or den). I'm not sure why I thought that ...
3
votes
5answers
2k views

Is it affected to pronounce the “h” in wh- words such as “what”?

Almost no one does it except professors and cosmopolitans. Though some books will say that "what" should be pronounced "hwutt" and not "wutt", is it really recommended for us, the common folk, to ...
0
votes
1answer
108 views

Should I use “a” or “an” before nouns starting with W [duplicate]

I have seen people saying "I am an Web developer", but by googling it, we can see that "A web developer" is much more common, and probably the right way. What is the rule here, since the W from "Web" ...
0
votes
1answer
47 views

How is the word “breve” pronounced? [closed]

How should the word "breve" be pronounced?
5
votes
4answers
955 views

How is the sentence “The symbol % is used to represent percent” read?

I have three sentences in my math textbook that use the symbol %. The symbol % is used to represent percent. Usually denoted by the symbol %. Most calculators have a key with the % symbol ...
6
votes
5answers
2k 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
160 views

West Country Pronunciation 17th to 18th century

I read somewhere that the West Country pronunciation of oi for words like fight and like would become foight and loik. Was this really more common in the 17th and 18th Century?
18
votes
5answers
3k views

Correct, clear, concise way to use “potato-potato” in writing

"You say tomato, I say tomato" and the song from the beginning. As an informal turn of speech, it can be used to show that two or more parties are talking about basically the same thing but not in ...
1
vote
1answer
1k views

Correct pronunciation of the word “Mature”? [closed]

I need to know the correct pronunciation of the word "mature". Is it məˈtʃʊr, məˈtjʊə(r) or məˈtʊr? And which one is mostly used, across the globe.
0
votes
1answer
110 views

American English: poor vs. pour [closed]

Is there any difference in the pronunciations of poor and pour in American English? I can't hear a difference (in my own pronunciation), at all. Consulting the advanced English dictionary I'm ...
2
votes
3answers
240 views

How to pronounce ‘TH’ when it comes right after [s] sound?

It's almost impossible to pronounce something like [sð] (e.g. ‘it's there’). I have heard a lot of natives pronouncing this conjunction, and every time it sounds a bit different for me, so I can't get ...
8
votes
3answers
571 views

Which does English “l” and “r” sound come under, an allophone or different phonemes?

I was very much embarrassed when I was pointed out by ELU Senpai that I made a great mistake by misspelling ‘Mod election’ as ‘Mod erection’ during ELU chat. We Japanese often make a silly mistake of ...
1
vote
2answers
48 views

Pronunciation of “accepted”

I just realized that I pronounce 'accepted' more commonly as " uh-sep-ted" than "ak-sep-ted". I'm nowhere near home (Maryland, USA) so I can't listen to see if it is a regional thing. Anyone familiar ...
22
votes
3answers
4k views

Is the “-b” to be pronounced in the word “limb”? What about “thumb”? “Crumb”?

I'm confused about the differing pronunciations of words that end in "-b". For example, I remember being told by some of earliest teachers that the "-b" in limb was meant to be silent, and one ...
6
votes
3answers
841 views

What was the original sound of rh?

The subject more or less says it all. I would like to know how rh (as in rhythm) was originally pronounced. It is listed as being something which was originally present in Latin, but, in Latin, "h" is ...
3
votes
4answers
1k views

How should one pronounce the “rofl” in “roflstomp” or “roflcopter”?

"ROFL" stands for rolling on the floor laughing but has been mushed into other words with their own meanings. Two examples: Ouch, that was a roflstomp. I'm on a roflcopter! While these are ...
2
votes
3answers
71 views

How to pronounce long numbers?

2,060,700 in words. Which is correct. (A). Two million sixty thousand and seven hundred dollars OR (B). Two million sixty thousand seven hundred dollars ...
3
votes
4answers
2k views

Why is “go” spelled with the same vowel as “do” and “to” since it is pronounced differently?

These two-letter words ending in -o are pronounced with the vowel /oʊ/: bo, go ho, jo, lo, no, so, and yo whereas do and to are pronounced with the vowel /uː/. Is there an explanation for the ...
3
votes
1answer
137 views

How would you say (write) “Where are you going?” in a Yorkshire dialect?

I think that this might be close to: Wɪər ðæ gɔːwɪn? This would roughly be Wi-er tha gaw-in? In this example, the first word would be the two words where and are put together Wɪər, but somewhere in my ...
3
votes
2answers
176 views

Please explain the pronunciation of “indict.”

The word indict is not pronounced as it is spelled (big shocker in English, right?). It looks like it should be pronounced in-dikt, but it is pronounced in-dite. Why is it pronounced like this? Are ...
3
votes
2answers
29k views

What's the correct pronunciation of “epitome”: “Epi-tome” or “Epi-tuh-mi”?

A friend said that epitome is pronounced as epi-tuh-mi and not epi-tome (with the tome like home). Who is right? Also, is the pronunciation purely dependent on the region where you learnt English?
7
votes
1answer
422 views

Is there any rule for pronouncing words beginning with “re-”?

It’s hard for me to guess how to pronounce words beginning with re- correctly. Sometimes it is /rɛ/ as in reference, but sometimes it is /ri/ as in report. Is there any rule about this?
4
votes
1answer
95 views

What is the proper pronunciation for Kipling's character-name “Mowgli”?

Does the first syllable rhyme with “glow” or with “how”? It is no use appealing to the Hindi for “Little Frog” or anything else, since Kipling confessed to making ...
0
votes
1answer
32 views

Dictionary search engine by pronunciation [duplicate]

I'm looking for some word search engine that would allow me to search words by their pronunciation. For instance, I want a list of words beginning with "ge", but pronounced as in "get" and ignoring ...
1
vote
3answers
128 views

Different prononunciations of “consummate”

How can one remember the pronunciations of consummate, which depend on its state as a verb or adjective? I venture that because its verbal definition involves intercourse, thus the "mate" rhymes with ...
0
votes
5answers
3k views

What is the correct pronunciation of the name Ceri?

Is it incorrect to pronounce the name Ceri — which is of Welsh origin I think — as seri instead of keri?
11
votes
5answers
5k 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
575 views

What’s the difference between /ӕ/ and /ɑ/?

. . . alibis . . . appetite . . . rather . . . Mark . . . [audio source] The first two a’s are different in their phonetic symbols in the dictionaries from the other two, but I can’t differentiate. ...
0
votes
1answer
63 views

Is there any rules of the 'th' sound in phonological? [closed]

I know well, the tongue is exactly going to the teeth in between(upper&under) when sounded. Yet, my point is that Do I have to place the tongue at there all the time? For example, "Whats' the ...
1
vote
3answers
733 views

How common is pronouncing the past tense of beat as /bet/?

Personally, I pronounce the past tense of "beat" (to win at a game) as /biːt/, to sound identical to the infinitive. However, I have heard a few people under the age of 30 and from either the west or ...
-1
votes
2answers
136 views

What's the Correct Pronunciation of g and t here? [closed]

Do English speakers pronounce the character (g) in (verb+ing) like "working"? and What is the correct pronunciation of the letter (t) at the end of words like (doubt)?
5
votes
3answers
525 views

Pronunciation of foreign words by foreign speakers

I've used English for a long time and it isn't immediately obvious to others that I'm native French. Whenever I speak a French word or place name in English I wonder whether I should pronounce it like ...
8
votes
4answers
1k views

How should “often” be pronounced?

I heard people saying "Of-fen" as well as "Of-ton". Till now I have been using the first one but few days ago I had an interviewer who pronounced often "Of-Ton" while interviewing.