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

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6
votes
3answers
833 views

Explanation and rules for adding and subtracting 'r's in British pronunciation?

For example, the sentence, "The Premier of China drank vodka and beer in his car with Obama." A BBC presenter would pronounce it like: The Premieh of Chiner drank vodker and bee'h in his ca' with ...
14
votes
4answers
12k views

Why is “women” pronounced the way it is?

As far as I know, it is the only word where wo is pronounced as wee. What is the reason for this? Does it have to do with the origin of the word?
2
votes
1answer
204 views

Is there a formal spelling for the English letter names?

The English alphabet has a common pronunciation. For example, B is pronounced as "Bee", C as "See" and I as Aye. Is there a formal spelling for the letter names?
2
votes
1answer
88 views

How do I know where to place the stress?

In questions that start with interrogative pronouns such as: what, when, and why, should they be stressed? For example, is the word "time" stressed in the sentence? Is "What" stressed, too? What ...
1
vote
1answer
88 views

how to read numbers of 6 digit in formal english

How to say these two numbers: 112177 eleven hundrends thousands and twenty one hundren and seventy seven one hundred and twelve thousands and one hundred seventy seven the same for this number ...
1
vote
1answer
63 views

Choose a username is easy to remember and pronounce [closed]

English is not my mother tongue language. But I am trying to pick a good internet user name for my new career life in America. And I read a lot of "How to Naming" article but still have no idea. I ...
20
votes
5answers
3k views

New Zealand pronunciation of “women” vs “woman”

I have read in a number of places that the NZ pronunciation of "women" must be rather peculiar. Quoting from just one such place: For some years I've noted the tendency of Kiwis to pronounce ...
83
votes
27answers
8k views

How to read “E = (mc)²” so as not to mistake for “E = mc²”

According to one of the questions already asked on EL&U, “E = mc²” is read as E equals M C squared. How do we read “E = (mc)²” so that it is not mistaken for “E = mc²”?
8
votes
4answers
976 views

How to read “and/or” aloud

Is this read as and or or? Because it doesn't sound right while speaking aloud. Or is there some other way you can say it?
0
votes
3answers
4k views

Pronunciation of “SUS” in “Stainless Steel SUS 304”

How do engineers and the like who are native speakers of English pronounce “SUS” (stainless steel)? Like the verb “suss”? Like “SOS” (mayday) but with “U”?
0
votes
1answer
98 views

When do and don't we link 2 adjacent words in pronunciation?

Please see this sentence "Do you like eating fruits?". If we stress the iː in "eating", then do we link k to iː so that it can become ..../laɪ'kiːtɪŋ/....? I guess that we don't link k to iː, but we ...
2
votes
3answers
170 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
80 views

Why do people write “Hellooo” instead of “Heeello” to show a prolonged sound? [closed]

I'm not a native English speaker, so I don't know what to search for on Google and similar. In chats I often read words like 'helloooo', or 'sureeee'. And as I understood it, it's meant to mimic the ...
1
vote
4answers
5k views

Why are “put” and “but” different in their pronunciation?

"Put" and "but" both end in the same letters, so why don't they rhyme? Did they start out with the same sound, and then one of them changed? Or did they start out with different sounds, and just got ...
-1
votes
0answers
476 views

Why there is difference in pronunciation of words PUT and CUT? [duplicate]

I always wonder why the words Put and Cut are pronounced differently.
5
votes
2answers
106 views

Pronunciation of -ar in Madagascar

In the movie by the same name, the characters pronounce Madagascar, /mædəɡæskɑɹ/. However, dictionaries only list the pronunciation /mædəɡæskəɹ/. Just as peculiarly, many pronounce templar as ...
2
votes
1answer
116 views

Why is /e/ generally transcribed as 'ay'?

I’ve seen pretty often in phonetic transcriptions for English speakers who weren’t familiar with the IPA the phoneme /e/ or /ɛ/ transcribed as ay: Here "lejos" (/'le.xos/) is transcribed as ...
2
votes
1answer
41 views

Text for exhibiting different pronunciations

I'm looking for a text that can be used to showcase various differences in pronunciation across English accents. For example, it could include examples of the various splits/mergers (Mary/merry/mary, ...
6
votes
13answers
2k views

Does Santy (Santa) exist outside Ireland?

It's common at this time of year for adults to ask small children What's Santy bringing you? (awkward as this is for those of us who don't celebrate Christmas). Is this pronunciation of Santa unique ...
3
votes
2answers
157 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?
5
votes
3answers
434 views

'Sag' and 'slant': Is the vowel /æ/ the same in both words?

/sæg/ /slænt/ Transcriptions from Cambridge American English Dictionary Both the words' IPA transcriptions have an /æ/ symbol. Do those two /æ/s sound the same? Are they both short or ...
6
votes
2answers
347 views

Are there rules for pronunciation of words ending in “-ton”?

Here are 4 words ending in "_ton": Proton - /ˈprəʊ.tɒn/ Cotton - /ˈkɑt.n̩/ Mutton - /ˈmʌtn̩/ Wanton - /ˈwɒntən/ Even though the words end in -ton, the pronunciation varies. ...
5
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
463 views

Why are the first syllables of “nature” and “natural” pronounced differently?

The two words nature and natural have the radical, why are they pronounced differently?
2
votes
4answers
199 views

How to pronounce a superscript ə?

And why there's a superscript ə? just found this on the dictionary.cambridge.org ...
7
votes
1answer
85 views

History/origin of the pronunciation/spelling of “Butcher”?

The pronunciation of the first syllable of butcher as /ˈbʊt͡ʃ ..../ is for non-native speakers astonishing. From spelling alone, one would probably guess that it's pronunciation would be more like ...
0
votes
1answer
50 views

BrE: monophthong in here, clear, mere, etc

Usually in BrE words like clear, fere, clear, mere, etc are pronounced with a diphthong comprising an open high front vowel followed by something resembling a schwa. However, they are sometimes ...
6
votes
2answers
287 views

Are you googlable?

The search engine Google was launched in 1998 and on that same year, the term googling was first used. The verb “to google” earned its official status in the Oxford English Dictionary on June 15, ...
0
votes
2answers
68 views

Do people really say “What is that mean” or it just sounds like that?

I often hear people saying something that sounds like "What is that mean" on TV and the Internet but I am wondering whether they really mean that or they actually say "What does it mean". If the ...
1
vote
1answer
47 views

Which one of the following is the standard American accent of the word “badminton”: “/ˈbædˌmɪtn̩/” “/ˈbæd.mɪn.tən/”?

Ok, let check this word "badminton". In online Cambridge dictionary, it is pronounced as /ˈbæd.mɪn.tən/ Source In online Merrian-Webster dictionary, it is pronounced as /ˈbædˌmɪtn̩/ Source When ...
5
votes
2answers
785 views

How do Americans pronounce the 't' in “romantic”, “countable”, etc?

As for a 't' trapped between /n/ and a vowel, I've heard it pronounced in three different ways: Maybe the formal, standard way is to fully pronounce the /t/ sound: romantic: /roʊˈmæntɪk/ ...
6
votes
5answers
861 views

Do we pronounce a “t” sound in negative contractions “n't”

I'm faced with difficulties how to pronounce contractions like don't, wouldn't, and etc. correctly. Somehow I read from some grammar British student book that "t" is not pronounced but I didn't pay ...
3
votes
1answer
68 views

What dictates how new words should be pronounced? [closed]

Say the word 'libuv', which is a relatively new support library in computer programming. If I can't find any references on the web as to how it should be pronounced, how do I say it? And in general ...
16
votes
4answers
1k views

What was going on with “quha”, “quhat” and the like in Scots and English?

From the Dictionar o the Scots Leid: Quha, Quhay, interrog. and rel. pron. Also: qwha, qha, qua, qwa, wha, vha, hua; qhaa; quhaw; quhai qwhay, whay, quay; quhae, whae; quhe, quhey, qwhey. ...
0
votes
3answers
94 views

which is the different ea pronunciation : really /ideas/disappear/mean [closed]

a couple of my classmates and I had a discussion about which is the different word.Some said it's ideas, others said "mean". and as a follow up questions does the sound of "ea" change between ideas ...
0
votes
0answers
43 views

Is Lana's “Yup!” a triphthong?

At some point in the Archer series, Lana starts saying very emphatic Yup!s. I was recently wondering about triphthongs and whether they occur in English, and found the Wikipedia entry had only a few ...
3
votes
0answers
62 views

Why is w considered a consonant? [duplicate]

I've always been taught that the character "w" in English was a consonant, except in very specific cases. However, on a recent trip to Wales, I learned that in Welsh it was considered a vowel. And ...
2
votes
1answer
95 views
2
votes
0answers
72 views

How does this word sound to English-speakers? [closed]

I want to name my project with a word from Ukrainian language. Transliterating it would be spelled as Ostriv. And I'd like to be sure that it doesn't sound bad for English-speakers or isn't hard to ...
3
votes
1answer
178 views

How to pronounce “do you”, “would you” and their negative contractions

I don't know now how to pronounce phrases like "do you", "would you" and their negative contractions. For a while ago I though it's correct to pronounce "do/would you" (and even have [not] + V3) ...
4
votes
1answer
152 views

So, “carrots too” (/ˈkærəts tuː/) can sound like “Carrot Sue” (/ˈkærət suː/), right?

Look at this video at 1:09 (Source). The man said "carrots too" /ˈkærəts tuː/ but it sounds like he said /ˈkærət suː/. The /t/ got omitted completely. However, I don't see people omit /t/ in "stamp" ...
6
votes
2answers
7k views

Participle of “center/centre” in UK English — “centring”? Seriously? [closed]

As an American, I was never shocked to see the word "center" spelled as "centre." It didn't bother me at all. Honestly. But then I saw the participle of it spelled as "centring" as opposed to ...
3
votes
1answer
72 views

What's the right prosody/pronunciation in “possessive + gerund” constructions?

From a previous post, I’ve seen that both (a) and (b) are acceptable, the difference lying in the register (formal vs colloquial) each sentence conveys. (a) She resented him being invited to open ...
8
votes
4answers
634 views

Why is service pronounced the way it is?

Why is service pronounced the way it is and not like device even though the last 4 letters of the words are identical? I would think that if they end the same way, the same pronunciation rules should ...
7
votes
3answers
544 views

Words which are pronounced differently depending on where they are in the sentence

Is there a term for words which are pronounced differently depending on where they are in the sentence? For example, when I use the word "to" at the beginning or end of a sentence (or when I'm ...
3
votes
3answers
612 views

How do you pronounce the “ng” in “language” and “English”?

I'm hearing more and more people pronounce "language" as [laŋ-wij] instead of [laŋ-gwij]. The same goes for the word "English": [iŋ-lish] instead of [iŋ-glish]. How prevalent has this pronunciation ...
10
votes
1answer
137 views

Night rain vs Night train, gemination?

The Wikipedia article on gemination claims that gemination of /t/ is the distinguishing factor between the pronunciation of the two phrases night train and night rain. In my whole life, I've almost ...
-1
votes
1answer
136 views

How to pronounce the letter /r/

I've always had difficulty pronouncing the letter /r/. Whenever i try to say /r/ it comes out as a gha, a sound similar to the arabic letter غ. Any idea how i can fix this?
22
votes
6answers
8k views

“Tortoise” and “taught us”

I’m reading Alice in Wonderland, and found the following dialogue: “The master was an old Turtle — we used to call him Tortoise—” “Why did you call him Tortoise, if he wasn’t one?” Alice ...
21
votes
4answers
4k views

Is there any online tool to read (pronounce) IPA and APA written words?

I am looking for a tool to read a word written as phonetic transcription (IPA or APA). I need it to provide users with a tool to verify if they've chosen correct IPA transcription (users will need ...