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In British English, we pronounce the word 'progress' as pro—gress.

Whereas in American English it's pronounced as prog—ress.

So how would Americans pronounce the word 'progression'?

It sounds wrong to me to be pronounced as anything other than pro—gresh—on.

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  • If by ‘pro-gresh-on’ you mean /prəʊˈɡrɛʃ.ɔn/, then I disagree. That does not sound natural to me at all, in BrE or AmE. I don’t recall ever hearing anyone pronounce it like that. Everyone I’ve heard say it has said /prəˈɡrɛ.ʃən/, with reduced vowels in the first and last syllables, and with the /ʃ/ sound perceptively belonging to the final syllable. Feb 9 '14 at 17:07
  • Both American and British English shift the stress when going from product to production. Americans do the same thing with progress and progression. Feb 9 '14 at 17:19
  • And Walker's Critical Pronouncing Dictionary (printed in 1823 in London) gives the American pronunciation for progress. So AmE pronounces it in the historically correct way. Feb 9 '14 at 17:25
  • I'm BrE, and I tend to accentuate the first syllable when using progress as a noun, but the *second syllable when it's a verb usage. In progression it's always the second syllable. Feb 9 '14 at 17:43
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    While you didn't ask this, in the US the prog-ress pronunciation is usually used for the noun. The verb form is often pronounced pro-gress, albeit with a somewhat shorter vowel sound than some British pronunciations.
    – bib
    Feb 9 '14 at 22:34
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You are correct that, in the US, progression is pronounced with pro- as the first syllable, not prog-.

But the most significant shift is the emphasis being placed on the second rather than the first syllable. Many in the US would still pronounce the o in the first syllable with a shorter sound, like a schwa, rather than a true long o.

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    I would say that pronouncing the o unreduced is quite rare. It sounds overly stilted (hypercorrective, perhaps?) to me—both in BrE and in AmE! Feb 9 '14 at 17:04

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