Questions tagged [pronunciation]

for questions about the sound, stress, or intonation of spoken words.

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2answers
190 views

Why is the word “cello” pronounced with CH /tʃ/ and not S?

I have always been pronouncing the word "cello" and "ciao" with a /s/ sound but today I found out that they were actually /tʃ/ ⟨ch⟩. It is /ˈtʃɛloʊ/ and /ˈtʃaʊ/. The letter C gives ...
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3answers
576 views

How to pronounce IPA “/rɑːp/”? (Old English)

I'm making a video which includes some information about the ancient Saxon and Norman political organization of the English county of Sussex. One thing I am stuck on is the Old English pronunciation ...
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2answers
2k views

Are heteronyms unique to English and why do they exist?

Heteronyms are words with identical spelling and unique definition and pronunciations. For example, read (I have read that book; I will read that book), close (The door is close; I will close the door)...
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2answers
157 views

What is the history behind how date is read?

I was trying to find out if there were reading guidelines for dates, e.g., for broadcasting or competitive recitation. There seem to be a few different accepted ways of reading out dates, e.g., 1, or ...
3
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0answers
41 views

Why is “sure” pronounced with a “sh” consonant (voiceless postalveolar fricative [ʃ])? [duplicate]

A recent ELL HNQ post about "sure" put a question in my head: Wait, why is "sure" pronounced the way it is? The initial consonant is a voiceless postalveolar fricative [ʃ] as ...
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3answers
141 views

Some words I can't hear (Do they even pronounce them?) [closed]

I like watching movies with English subtitles and I totally have no idea how fast some things are being said sometimes. I mean I miss some words like can, could, did. And I can swear they are not ...
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2answers
6k views

Why does a silent “-e” at the end of a word lengthen vowels?

There's a common pattern in English spelling where "short" vowels are pronounced as "long" vowels with the addition of a silent "e" at the end of the word. E.g. bit → bite mat → mate pet → pete Is ...
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1answer
49 views

About i.e. and e.g [closed]

I have four small questions about i.e. and e.g. How do you call them, “words” or other things? When using (writing or typing), do we usually use the italic version i.e. / e.g. or the normal version i....
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3answers
1k views

Why are “bath” and “bathe” pronounced differently?

I'm specifically talking about British English. In British English, "bath" (noun) has a long vowel ([ɑː]) while the verb "bathe" has a diphthong ([eɪ]) and sounds more like the ...
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0answers
52 views

Preterit regular form pronounced like in the word “dead”

Sometimes I hear the termination of the preterit of regular verbs pronounced like in the word "dead". Example : loaded pronounced "low dead" Is that a legitimate pronunciation? ...
1
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1answer
53 views

Verification of the sound heard for the last vowel of “Virginia” in the Rolling Stones song “You Can't Always Get What You Want”

In this recording, at 3 min 18 s is found the name "Virginia" and my ear tells me that, for some reason or other, the a of this name is pronounced /e/ and not /ə/; shortly after that, in ...
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1answer
141 views

Stressed syllables in “ostentatious” and “adventurous” [duplicate]

I have been confused by the accented syllables in the words "ostentatious" and "adventurous". Although both of them have the same number of syllables, they are accented on ...
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3answers
941 views

Why isn't “examine” pronounced like “exhamyne”? [closed]

Since "mine" sounds like: https://translate.google.com/#en/en/mine Then "examine" should sound like: https://translate.google.com/#en/en/exhamyne But it does not, why? To hear the pronunciations ...
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4answers
8k views

Why do we spell the word “who” with a silent “w” when it isn’t needed?

If we spelled who without the W – making it ho like with do and to — it could still make sense, so why is there a silent W in the word who?
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3answers
4k 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 square-...
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1answer
38k views

How do you pronounce 'frappé'?

How is 'frappé' correctly pronounced? I know that it is from French origin and I used to pronounce it \fra-ˈpā\ (as I've seen on Merriam-Webster). But when my classmates heard me, they corrected me ...
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2answers
234 views

Pronunciation of ‘monotonous'

I am just curious why 'monotonous' is pronounced mo·not·o·nous and not mono.tonous following the Greek origin of the word as mono + tone. Mono and tone could be pronounced alone and actually they ...
0
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0answers
75 views

American English pronunciation

As a non-native English Speaker, I'm studying connected speech and how words link in American English. However, I've got a little bit confused. My American English Accent book explains that we must ...
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5answers
6k views

Why is “meta” pronounced differently to “beta”?

Is there an etymological explanation to this? Why is "meta" pronounced ˈmɛtə while "beta" is pronounced ˈbeɪtə or ˈbiːtə? (Pronunciations taken from Cambridge Dictionaries Online)
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3answers
4k views

Character vs Charm - Pronunciation

Is there a rule to understand how the group "Cha" has to be pronounced? "Character" sounds with a hard first syllable, while "Charm" sound softer, but I don't find how to tell which sound to use ...
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2answers
83 views

Has the pronunciation of ‘heretic’ changed over time?

One says ‘HERetic’ and ‘heRETical’ and I was wondering if ‘heRETic’ is or has ever been correct, or v.v. ‘HERetical’ (doesn’t feel ok’)
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6answers
4k views

Why does child sometimes become a two-syllable word?

I have noticed, mostly in American English, that people sometimes say "child" as a two syllable word : Chi-ald. I wish i could represent this using phonetic symbols, but I'm bad at that, so please ...
18
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3answers
242k views

“supposed to” or “suppose to”?

What is the actual spelling/pronunciation? What is the origination of this phrase?
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0answers
57 views

Are the words “how” and “howl” pronounced the same?

I can see some differences when I listen to someone saying “Howl“ with the purpose of showing how it is pronounced. But I want to know if in a native would be able to tell which word someone is saying ...
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1answer
41 views

Brand name pronouncing [closed]

I'm looking for a good website name, and was wondering how would people pronounce "Phourly". Will it be confusing?
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1answer
199 views

Change of vowel sounds preceding 'L'

I've noticed an odd pronunciation habit among some (but not all) fellow Americans, and I'm wondering if there is a name for the phenomenon. When pronouncing certain long vowel sounds (specifically /eɪ/...
8
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2answers
2k views

Is it acceptable that 'fuel' is pronounced as 'fju:ə'

One of my colleague have kept pronouncing 'fuel' as 'fju:ə'. There is omission of the 'L' sound. In the dictionary, phonetic transcription of 'fuel' is 'fju:əl' I'm not a native speaker (living in ...
2
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3answers
7k views

What is the correct pronunciation of SQLite? [closed]

I seem to be hearing many different vocalizations of the name, and I'm not sure which one is correct. The last thing I want to do is "erroneously" drop the name in a meeting, and someone feel the need ...
2
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2answers
5k views

How to pronounce “Question”?

/ˈkwestʃən/ or /ˈkwesʃən/ or both? The dictionary says that it should be pronounced like "kwes+chun", but our teacher says "kwes-shun", and insists that both pronunciations are ...
11
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3answers
8k views

What rules of English allow the first t in “patient” to make an sh sound?

What rules of the English language allow the first t in patient to make an sh sound? Why is it /ˈpeɪʃənt/ and not /ˈpeɪtənt/? Are there any other words where t behaves in this way?
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3answers
13k views

Why does the word “coffee” have two “e’s”?

We know what coffee is and where the word comes from. Coffee was originally borrowed from: The word "coffee" entered English language in 1582 via Dutch koffie,[4] borrowed from Turkish ...
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2answers
8k views

How many syllables does “orange” have, and what regional dialects show a difference in that number?

It seems whenever orange is spoken, it is spoken as one syllable. But it appears to be two. The Merriam-Webster online dictionary transcribes the pronunciation of orange as follows: \ˈär-inj, ˈär(-...
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2answers
6k views

How many syllables are in the English language?

I looked it up and most forums link to http://semarch.linguistics.fas.nyu.edu/barker/Syllables/index.txt, an NYU site that no longer works. I would like to know how many unique syllables are used in ...
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2answers
2k views

Is the pronunciation of “oa” in “broad” unique?

The "oa" in the word "broad" is pronounced like the words "or" or "awe". In phonetic symbols that is ɔː . However in all other examples I can think of it is pronounced like the "oe" in "toe". Or in ...
-1
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1answer
198 views

Are the French words related to perfume actually used in speech by English native-speakers?

I've been shopping to buy perfume and I noticed that there are quite a few French words on the packaging of perfumes. Indeed, the English word "perfume" was not written on any of them, ...
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6answers
13k views

What is the English pronunciation of “nougat”?

Nougat is a French word, deriving originally from the Latin panis nucatus - (nut bread), one of the principle centres of its manufacture being in Montélimar in Provence - presumably for the almonds, ...
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2answers
222 views

Identify English accent

My English teacher speaks, as far as I can tell as a native speaker of the German language, some really weird English. However, I'm not entirely sure if this is just my twisted perception or really a ...
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1answer
63 views

Do native English speakers pronouce b as m?

I very often study English and try to improve my listening skill with some educational materials. And I just encountered a sentence, "Once he made an alarm clock for cats – you know, to wake them ...
3
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1answer
3k views

How to pronounce “ReLU” (Rectified Linear Unit)?

A Rectified Linear Unit is a common activation function in deep neural networks and is often abbreviated as "ReLU". I usually pronounce it as /rel-you/ (with the "e" as in "relative" or "rectified"), ...
22
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2answers
4k views

Why does “signature” have a “g” sound but “sign” doesn't?

The following words don't have /g/ sound: sign, resign, design. But why is there a "g" sound in the following derived words? Signature, resignation, designate. I searched their etymologies because I ...
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3answers
4k views

The pronunciation of words which begins 'con' and 'com'

I know there is no strict rule on pronunciation of words in English but here my question is about the words which begin with 'con' and 'com', more than asking general rule. When I look at the words ...
1
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1answer
105 views

Pronunciation of English “v”

Most sources on the Internet seem to indicate that English "v" in words like "vodka" or "raven" is /v/, identical to Polish "w" or Russian "в". ...
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1answer
920 views

Accent on second syllable for “preference”

Dictionaries say that the word "preference" has got the accent on the first syllable. In a film the actor Jonny Lee Miller pronounced it with accent on the second syllable. It was not the first time ...
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1answer
801 views

Asians pronounce 'people' as 'peopo'

I listened a podcast about the pronunciation of a Chinese with words ending by "-le". And I found that I have the same problem (I'm Vietnamese). We pronounce words ending by "-le", ...
31
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4answers
94k views

Why is the word 'bologna' pronounced like 'baloney'?

Why is the word 'bologna' (as in a bologna sandwich) pronounced so differently from the way it's spelled? The word 'lasagna' isn't pronounced 'lasagney'... The American sausage is derived from a ...
0
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1answer
191 views

Difference between “æ” and “a” [duplicate]

The vowels "æ" and "a" sound the same to me. For example: "æ" is used in words like "cat" or "hat" "a" is used in words like "now" ...
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2answers
1k 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 ...
132
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17answers
182k 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 ...
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1answer
67 views

Why doesn't charcoal sound like “Karcoal”? [closed]

Well, I wanna know why this word doesn't sound like "K". You know, character sounds like "karacter" with "K" but... what about charcoal?? Thanks!!
4
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1answer
218 views

How do you pronounce a D at the end of a word followed by a word starting with D?

Read these sentences? "The red door." "The blind date." "The mad dog." I would pronounce these as "The reddoor." and the "blinddate". Sort of pausing ...

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