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

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-1
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3answers
138 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
114 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
106 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.
6
votes
3answers
644 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
108 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
195 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
3k 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
125 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. ...
75
votes
14answers
32k 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
227 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
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5answers
137 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
15k 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
94 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
269 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
61 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
44 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
57 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
120 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
47 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
138 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
618 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
145 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
103 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
120 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
78 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
89 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
128 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
63 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
121 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?
3
votes
3answers
795 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
629 views

What is the origin of the different pronunciations of C and G before different vowels?

In English the letters C and G usually have different pronunciation before a/o/u and before e/i. The same is true for Romance languages - French, Spanish, Catalan, Italian etc. What is the origin of ...
3
votes
1answer
65 views

How can I change my nickname so that it's pronounced correctly? [closed]

My nickname for online games is "Davarius". I'd like the 'var' to be spoken so that it rhymes with 'car'. But people always say it "Da-VARE-ius". Should I spell it different? Or just deal with it.
3
votes
2answers
362 views

Is there a name for words which are pronounced differently depending on which definition is being used?

I was thinking about the word "fillet" recently. When I teach high school freshmen about the word (in a machining/engineering context), they refuse to believe that it is pronounced "FILL-it," rather ...
8
votes
3answers
3k views

Why are almost all vowels pronounced “i” in New Zealand English?

One thing I always notice when I'm hearing Kiwis speaking English is the fact that almost every vowel turns into /ɪ/. Here's a video which illustrates the point (listen to them when they speak ...
1
vote
1answer
44 views

Name for the practice of composing sentences for ease and clarity of pronunciation? [closed]

Is there a name for the practice of composing sentences in such a way that they don't contain proximate consonants which cause difficulty when read aloud? For example: Under this criteria, "dogs and ...
0
votes
1answer
73 views

Did I stress the words correctly in this sentence? [closed]

I have this sentence: "Keep your voice down!" I'm not sure how native speakers pronounce it, but I would put a bit of stress on "Keep" and more stress on "voice" "2Keep your 1voice down!". I don't ...
1
vote
1answer
318 views

Pronunciation of “release” [closed]

My dictionary gives [rili:s], but I am hearing [rili:z] with firmly articulated "-z". Does the pronunciation with "-s" really exist? UPD: Ok, probably it's a glitch in my ears, and I cannot ...
1
vote
0answers
45 views

Common Nouns Pronunciation [closed]

Can common nouns be pronounced as we like as we do with proper nouns or is there a rule?
4
votes
3answers
358 views

Dialect “rules” and the pronunciation of individual words

Consider an American actor who is tasked with mastering British Received Pronunciation for an upcoming role. If he has a talent for vocal mimicry, as many actors do, he should have no trouble picking ...
1
vote
2answers
272 views

Mycorrhizae: how the heck do you say “zae” in greek?

So, I'm trying to sound smarter than the people to whom I'm pontificating about no-till gardening, and I'd like to include a pronunciation of "mycorrhizae" (which is, of course the plural of ...
1
vote
0answers
32 views

How do we say hexadecimal numbers? [duplicate]

When speaking series of decimal numbers, we say "one... nine, ten"; when speaking hexadecimals do we say "one... e, f, ten"? Do we say "nineteen, ateen, bteen... fteen, twenty" and so forth, or do we ...
2
votes
2answers
92 views

Idiom: Get off your high horse (American English Stress)

Get off your high horse [gɛt̬ _ɔf jər ˌhɑɪ 'hoərs] We have a flap T linked with the word OFF. I'm not sure which words I should stress in the idiom above, apart from the noun "horse" which is the ...
0
votes
2answers
203 views

I know “of” sounds like “ov”. Does “I've” sound like “If”?

I was studying connected speech and I read when we say for example I've finished my homework we pronounce the 've and f in finished as only one sound. Is it only in this case or whenever I ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

Are the different pronunciations of “species” regional differences?

As far as I know, the word "species" can pronounced either as spee-sheez or as spee-seez. I understand that neither of these is incorrect: they're just two different ways to say the same thing. I also ...
0
votes
0answers
49 views

a flap in “video”

I asked here recently about a word "oratory". Somebody told me there is no flap in American English, because a t is before a stressed vowel (second stress). It's right. But why there is no flap in ...
3
votes
3answers
105 views

Pronunciation of “bifurcate” as an adjective

It appears that the word "bifurcate" has a single spelling, but two possible pronunciations. As a verb, according to both Wiktionary and dictionary.com, the pronunciation of the verb is: ...