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42

Never! It's called "the lazy 'R'", and to my Scottish ear it sounds terrible. However, some would say it's a matter of accent or dialect. If you are learning English as second language, then you shouldn't use it at all. It's not grammar, though, it's pronunciation.


34

I have always seen this written as "to-may-to to-mah-to."


28

Martin (and commenters) are over-stating their position a bit. It's true that you never have to insert the R, but the idea that it's incorrect pronunciation stems from the idea that some English speaking accents are more correct than others. This is, of course, ridiculous. It may be worth noting that John C Wells considered the intrusive R to be part of ...


18

It appears that there is this story behind the difference in pronouciation: Tomato: Because of the song, tomayto, tomahto has come to be used as an expression meaning “unimportant difference.” The tomato originated in South America. The Spaniards first brought tomato seeds to Europe in the 1540s. The seeds produced a yellow tomato. Because of the ...


14

I support Dan Rumney's answer and I would like to explain a bit more. In non-rhotic English accents —ones in which an 'R' sound is not pronounced if it occurs before a consonant or "prosodic break"— an R at the end of a word would not normally be pronounced, unless it was followed by a word starting with a vowel, for example in the expression "tuner amp". ...


14

Rule: Use a Dictionary Yes, there is a rule, and that rule is that you must look them up in a dictionary if you are not a native speaker. That’s because words beginning with re- in English can, depending on the word, be pronounced with any of eight different vowels: /ra/ /rɑ̃/ /rɒ/ /re/ /rə/ /rɛ/ /ri/ /rɪ/ The last three or four at the end of that ...


10

You can't really read the first 2 sentences out loud. They are clearly written to be read rather than listened to because they are showing you what a percent sign looks like. If you were speaking, and trying to tell someone what the percent sign looks like, you might start by saying something like "The percent sign is used to represent percent," but then ...


6

You could use a simpler transcription, that, even if people were unfamiliar with the notation, would still convey that a difference exists: "tomāto, tomäto". The macron (overbar) indicating a long vowel was something I was taught in elementary school, and it's widely enough known that it sometimes gets used in brand names (pūr, fōn, etc). The diaeresis ...


6

I'd recommend the following strategy: For place names that actually have an anglicised name, always use that ("Paris", "Normandy", "Brittany", "Brussels", "The Dordogne"); For place names that are well-known in England, if your pronunciation of English generally is fairly proficient, then try to "anglicise" your pronunciation a little, e.g. by pronouncing ...


5

A phoneme is the smallest sound component of speech. A syllable will often consist of more than one phoneme. Speech synthesis software operates by playing a sequence of phonemes to produce intelligible sounds. Allophones are phonemes with differing sounds. For example, the B in trouble and bitter are considered to be allophones as they both consist of ...


5

Which advanced English dictionary did you use? The online version of the Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary (OALD): poor pɔː(r) (BrE) ; pɔːr (Ame) pʊə(r) (BrE) ; pʊr (AmE) pour pɔː(r) (BrE) ; pɔːr (AmE) So it seems that in both BrE and AmE, the two may be pronounced the same way.


4

Whenever the stress in such -ate words is not on the final syllable, then generally the last syllable will be: for verbs: /eɪt/ [long vowel] for adjectives: /ət/ [short schwa vowel] The speaker may use a glottal stop in either case as an allophone of the /t/. When the word stress does fall on the final syllable, however, the word will end in /eɪt/ ...


4

John Wells, formerly of University College London, highlights the phenomenon of variable stress: There are plenty of words in English that seem to change their stress depending on the phonetic context. Typical examples are afternoon, unknown, sixteen. We say the 'late after'noon but an 'afternoon 'nap, 'quite un'known but an 'unknown as'sailant, ...


4

Besides indict and its compounds, the only other word I know of with 〈ict〉 pronounced /aɪt/ is deictic, which is pronounced /ˈdaɪktɪk/. (It has various compounds, too: anapodeictic, endeictic, epideictic.) But that’s because of the 〈ei〉 not the 〈ict〉. What’s going on with indict is different. It used to be endite or indite. ɴᴏᴛᴇ ᴡᴇʟʟ: We got it from ...


4

The two l s in little are allophones - they're two different sounds representing the same phoneme (basic sound)/grapheme (symbol representing a sound). Native speakers don't normally think about those two l s as making a different sound. In Japanese, はげ can be pronounced haɣe instead of hage, so this is an example of g and ɣ being allophon In some ...


3

It actually appears that the way it is pronounced may be different. The Name Mowgli: In the stories, the name Mowgli is said to mean "frog". Kipling made up the name, and it "does not mean 'frog' in any language other than the language of the forest." Kipling stated that the first syllable of "Mowgli" should rhyme with "cow" and is pronounced this ...


3

There are no hard and fast rules that I'm aware of, but if I were reading it out loud, I would probably read the string "the symbol %" as "the percent symbol". If possible, I'd make notations in the text to remind me to do the transposition; otherwise it would be pretty easy to stumble over.


3

In all likelihood, the meaning as intended by the original author cannot be expressed exactly in speech. As it appears on the page, '%' is one of several possible glyphs that represent the same grapheme - a semantically meaningful unit of a written language. The equivalent unit in spoken language is a phoneme. Two separate terms exist because there is not ...


2

The pronunciation with the 't' is a hypercorrection. Although the 't' was long ago pronounced, it has been silent for centuries and is only recently making a comeback because people assume that not pronouncing the 't' is erroneous. It makes sense that it would be silent, by analogy to similar words that lose their 't' sound when -(e)n is added ...


2

It may actually be the area in which the actors/actresses grew up in, or their characters background. I myself grew up in the Southern U.S. and I often hear others saying Wurt instead of What, also mainly among teens. I think it is a pop culture thing as it sometimes fun to change up a word as in wurt. My friends and I often have fun just changing how we say ...


2

Maybe what you are getting at is the fact that Chinese associates tones with different basic meanings (~words), whereas English uses tones to add additional meaning (including emotion) to either individual words or groups of words. The same English word can often be pronounced with a high, low, rising, falling, or whatever tone. The basic meaning of the ...


2

I think you are asking about timing the change in voicing with the change in place of articulation. As your tongue moves from s to ð, it gradually slides down along the upper teeth and, once you are in the θ zone, voicing kicks in, giving you a ð sound. I don't think it's really possible to time voicing and θ perfectly -- you make θ first, and voicing ...


2

This is a discussion that will take none of us anywhere. What's "correct" and what's not is meaningsless to discuss. If you pronounce it like that, that's fine, but a lot of people would probably say that it's incorrect. According to dictionary.com, the IPA is /ækˈsɛptɪd/, and I don't think the difference is that major between British and American English. ...


2

All symbols prepresent a shorthand and as such were never intended to be spoken except in cases like "I gave 100%" where 100% can be spelled out as "100 percent" with no awkwardness at all in spoken language. Your examples containing "symbol %" or "symbol: %" could be invereted and articulated with pretty adequate results if you invert the verbalization to ...


1

None of those are wrong. You can use any one of them. Preference may differ based on location. Just like Americans say and write the date as Month, Day, Year and Europeans (and probably most of the world) use the format of Day, Month, Year. Both are correct. I am Australian and I would say: 2 million, sixty thousand and seven hundred.


1

I think it's worth noting that when I saw this thread in my weekly email, I (and no doubt many others) knew exactly what it referred to. It's highly likely that in my mind's ear, I heard it with the "correct" pronunciation, despite the absence of any phonetic indicators. That suggests that context matters, and that simply writing 'potato-potato' might not be ...


1

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 same exact terms, or not quite agreeing on the specifics. You could use color-colour or apologise-apologize, or one of many other spelling differences between AmE and BrE, to express the same thing. I don't think there ...


1

This looks very similar to the question asked here. You should check the answers there.


1

As a native English speaker who has reasonable command of French and especially enjoy the sound of it, I tend to like to keep the proper-noun pronunciations consistent with the language I am speaking. Take for example the French surname Jacques, which is reasonably widespread in Britain (among people of Huguenot and Walloon descent). In Britain it is mostly ...


1

Consummate is one of a fairly large number of -ate words in English whose adjective and verb forms are always, usually, or often pronounced differently. Here are 23 other words that follow this pattern: aggregate animate appropriate approximate concatenate correlate degenerate deliberate designate deviate ...



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