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

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1answer
27 views

Word Sress 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 ...
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0answers
40 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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2answers
84 views

Why the extra syllable in words like these ending in -r and -l?

First-off, I'm not a native speaker. I've noticed that a lot of words ending in -r and -l are pronounced as if they had an extra syllable. Especially when they have a -ee- or -ai- sound. Consider ...
3
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1answer
77 views

Is the split in pronunciation of “detail” regional, semantic, or irrelevant?

Or maybe just haphazard? Something else? When I want to refer to a small military unit put together to carry out a specific task, I'll call it a DEtail, accent on the first syllable. When I want to ...
-4
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0answers
46 views

A Most Euphonic Word? [on hold]

Which word literally rolls off the tongue in a most agreeable way? I am at odds to work this out. My accent is Scottish so this greatly affects any possible answers. ... My 1st clarification ...
1
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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
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3answers
2k 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 ...
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2answers
97 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. ...
71
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14answers
26k 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
215 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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0answers
35 views

Word stress in the phrase: I'll get it

I think the phrase: "I'll get it" can change its meaning based on which word is stressed. I'll get it to communicate I'm the one who will pick up the phone. I'll get it when someone insists and ...
1
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5answers
109 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
14k 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
85 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
220 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
148 views

Is “fillet” a different word in “salmon fillet” than in “leather fillet”

In the question "Is there a name for words which are pronounced differently depending on which definition is being used?" it was suggested by two people that when the word "fillet" is used to describe ...
1
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0answers
60 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?
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2answers
33 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
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3answers
965 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
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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?
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0answers
44 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
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1answer
83 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 ...
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0answers
35 views

can “meet her” be pronounced as /miːdər/ in American English?

I heard people said this in an American movie--> Meet Her : /miːdər/ I it a ok way to pronounce like that? or Am I mishearing the saying?
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0answers
40 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 ...
0
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1answer
218 views

any rules for pronouncing “V” sound?

For example, "Is there any cars available?" When the speed of speech is getting faster, it isn't really going easy to make sure of making a lip formation about V where the bottom lip must be behind ...
2
votes
3answers
129 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
64 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
518 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
121 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/?
3
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2answers
92 views

What do you call “rhymes” which are spelt but not sounded the same way?

Here is an example from T. S. Eliot: And even the Abstract Entities Circumambulate her charm; But our lot crawls between dry ribs To keep our metaphysics warm. I expect most people would say ...
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2answers
58 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
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1answer
38 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
128 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 ...
0
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1answer
64 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
77 views

Is it true that only unstressed words in a sentence, which have H at the beginning of the words, will be dropped in American English?

Is it true that only unstressed words in a sentence, which have H at the beginning of the words, will be dropped in American English? Off course, these H words will not be the beginning of the ...
3
votes
1answer
66 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
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1answer
58 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
60 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
1answer
67 views

Pronunciation of 'Arguable'

I know that the proper pronunciation of 'arguable' is /ɑr gju ə bəl/. I do not doubt. But it often bothers me when reading this word, that it somehow sounds like 'argu r able'. While not sure, I ...
0
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3answers
109 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?
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3answers
5k 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
630 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 ...
1
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0answers
162 views

Pronounciation of with

For me its quite hard to pronounce 'with' correctly, especially when I try to speak faster. For example saying 'with sauce" nearly breaks my tongue. Do you have any advice for me? Can I reduce the ...
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2answers
604 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
53 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
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2answers
246 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
42 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
44 views

“long” <i> - inconsistencies in the relationshipt between orthography and pronunciation

I'm wondering about the dual pronunciations of the letter /i/ in open syllables- usually it has the realization [a͡ɪ], representing the regular outcome of long i after the great vowel shift, but ...