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

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2answers
167 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
419 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?
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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
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2answers
133 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. ...
80
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14answers
35k 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
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1answer
229 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?
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5answers
154 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
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6answers
16k 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
96 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
316 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
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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
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2answers
57 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
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0answers
60 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
136 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
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0answers
49 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
239 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
650 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
159 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
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2answers
140 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
196 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
87 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
109 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
222 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
68 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
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3answers
124 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
868 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
659 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
72 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
413 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 ...
9
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
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1answer
48 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
82 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
321 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 ...
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0answers
56 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
372 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
314 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
99 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
210 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
51 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
113 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: ...
0
votes
1answer
106 views

Does “ng” sound at all like “Angular”?

I've started working with the AngularJS web development framework, and the first question in their FAQ is this: Why is this project called "AngularJS"? Why is the namespace called "ng"? Because ...
1
vote
0answers
116 views

Sentence stress and word linking with the problematic Y?

the question: Can I use your bathroom? phonetically looks like: [kə_naɪ ˈyuz yər ˈbæθˌrum] I think the stress should be on the verb USE and the noun BATHROOM. Am I right? Some dictionaries show the ...
3
votes
3answers
926 views

How do you pronounce the word 'vagary'?

I'm a native speaker, and I would naturally read the word VAY-guh-ri. I've never actually heard anyone say the word, I only ever see it in writing. But I also know that you can pronounce it ...
0
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0answers
61 views

Transcribing the pronunciation of “emission” on merriam-webster.com

I think the pronunciation of the word, emission, at merriam-webster.com is incorrectly labeled. According to their way of transcribing a pronunciation, their transcription of the pronunciation of the ...