Questions tagged [pronunciation]

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

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23
votes
5answers
6k 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 "woman"...
246
votes
7answers
75k views

How are “i.e.” and “e.g.” pronounced?

How are i.e. and e.g. pronounced?
20
votes
5answers
69k views

What are the rules for pronunciation of years in English?

We pronounce 1923 as nineteen twenty-three; but 1900 as nineteen hundred. Why isn't year 2000 pronounced as twenty hundred instead of two thousand? What are the rules for pronunciation of years in ...
23
votes
7answers
14k views

When do I pronounce a non-existent “r” between adjacent vowel sounds?

If I say two words consecutively, with the first ending in a vowel sound and the second starting with one, when is it correct to include a non-existent r between those two words? Examples from ...
11
votes
6answers
12k views

Online tools to look up words from pronunciation

Are there online tools to look up words from their pronunciation? For example, when I hear /bεə/, I want it to tell me that there are words bear and bare that are pronounced /bεə/.
15
votes
8answers
152k views

Is there a rule in British English about how to pronounce “either”?

There are two common pronunciations of "either": British /ˈaɪðər/ and American /ˈiːðər/. If Americans are more or less consistent in this regard, then the Brits seem to be freely using both. In fact, ...
34
votes
4answers
111k views

Why are there two pronunciations for “either”?

A few weeks ago, I had a conversation with an individual who told me that pronouncing the word "either" is wrong when pronounced like \ˈī-thər\ instead of \ˈē-thər\ , but I didn't argue the point ...
16
votes
6answers
35k views

What's with the 'heigth' pandemic?

Recently I've noticed that many people are pronouncing the word 'height' as /haiθ/ That's right, heigth. I've only ever heard this pronunciation mistake in the last few years. Maybe it's just an ...
16
votes
1answer
42k views

Hwat, hwere, and hwy?

In which English accents do they put an h before every word that starts with wh? Example from Youtube. Notice his pronunciation of whisky.
12
votes
3answers
4k views

Where does “wicked” get its /ɪd/ from?

There are three ways I know to pronounce the -ed at the end of an adjective: /t/ as in cracked. /d/ as in lined. /ɪd/ as in naked I realise naked is a special case because, as etymonline states, it ...
11
votes
4answers
3k views

Reading out numbers in English

What are the accepted guidelines for reading out numbers in English? For example, should 1351 be read out as "one thousand and three hundred and fifty one", or should the "and"s be removed ...
3
votes
1answer
1k 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 lay-hoss1....
3
votes
2answers
1k views

Should the IPA of the word “conscious” be /ˈkɑːnʃəs/ or /ˈkɑːntʃəs/?

Ok, see the word "conscious" has the IPA /ˈkɑːnʃəs/ in the Oxford Learner's Dictionary However, when you listen clearly, you will feel like it should be /ˈkɑːntʃəs/ not /ˈkɑːnʃəs/. So it should read ...
46
votes
4answers
22k views

Why is “cupboard” pronounced with a silent “p”?

According to Google at least, the word "cupboard" originated in late Middle English as denoting a board that held cups. Since then, the word has evolved to mean a kind of cabinet. My question is, ...
72
votes
9answers
69k views

How to pronounce “tuple”?

A recent question has reminded me of something I’ve been wondering about for a while: what is the correct way to pronounce tuple?
40
votes
5answers
110k views

Should the number “0” be pronounced “zero” or “oh”?

I have often heard people say 101, as one-zero-one, and also as one-oh-one. Which is correct, and why? Does the difference between British English and American English have to do something with it?
56
votes
5answers
39k views

How to pronounce the programmer's abbreviation “char”

In many programming languages, char is a type name for character values. The word character is pronounced with a [k] sound, but what about char? While trying to find the answer elsewhere, I learnt ...
29
votes
6answers
10k views

How do you pronounce numbers written in different bases?

The decimal (base 10) number "2" can also be represented as the binary (base 2) number "10". Let's use binary "10" (equivalent to decimal "2") as an example. I could see a few different ways to go ...
21
votes
10answers
115k views

What is the correct pronunciation of the word “route”?

I have always used both "root" as in route 66 and "rooter" as in the networking device. The latter has gotten me funny looks often, however I could not bring myself to accept the inconsistency. Today ...
21
votes
7answers
4k views

Are “traitor” and “trader” pronounced the same?

Are "traitor" and "trader" distinguishable when spoken with any English accent? My English-speaking friends seem to pronounce them exactly the same way.
15
votes
6answers
6k views

How do you pronounce “fifths”?

I find it very difficult to pronounce the words fifths (as in four fifths or parallel fifths). The consonant cluster [fθs] is very difficult for me to utter. I know that in some cases the ...
11
votes
6answers
23k views

How do I pronounce “ratio 1:1”?

How do I pronounce "ratio 1:1"? Should I pronounce it "ratio 1 to 1"?
10
votes
3answers
7k 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?
17
votes
4answers
29k 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?
16
votes
5answers
7k views

Rhyme in Elizabethan sonnets

In sonnets from the Elizabethan period, "move" rhymed with "love" although they don't today. Recognizing that changes in spelling rarely keep up with changes in pronunciation, how were "move" and "...
3
votes
5answers
28k views

Confusion about how to pronounce the “dark L” consonant sound

"Dark L" is "L" at the end of the word or after a vowel sound. Example: ball, pull. "Light L" is "L" at the beginning or before a vowel sound. Example: light, love. There are 4 explanations of how ...
17
votes
9answers
38k views

“to bath” vs “to bathe”

Recently, I came across the verb to bathe written as bath in two English coursebooks used by Italian students. The first time I saw it, I dismissed it as a typographical error and told my private ...
14
votes
4answers
930 views

Why does “stigmata” [often] have penult stress?

I have been studying the pronunciation of Greek-derived words in English, and I've found an odd anomaly. There are (at least) two possible pronunciation patterns for plural word-forms that end in -&#...
10
votes
4answers
23k views

How to pronounce “twenty” correctly?

Well, I usually say "twenny" instead of "twenty" (not "twendy" even). I recently noticed that I never heard the same from any native english speakers during any talks I ever had with them. Recently I ...
8
votes
3answers
63k views

“Ph” for the /f/ sound; Is Old English responsible for this swap?

Is Old English responsible for creating the /f/ sound from ph, as in Philip, Pharoah, Physics, Sophia, etc? Many European countries keep the f for all of their /f/-sounding letters, as in Sofia and ...
7
votes
2answers
37k views

Reading out decimal numbers in English [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How to write decimal values in words How do you read numbers like these? 0.12 "oh point twelve", "zero point one two", "zero and twelve hundreds" And these ones? 0.345, 12....
6
votes
9answers
26k views

How do students respond to the “roll call” and how do you pronounce it?

I have two questions. In the UK, to do (or is it read?) a roll call is commonly referred to as "calling out the register". It's been so long since I was a child that I'm not absolutely sure how ...
4
votes
5answers
2k views

Are there other words with the same weird spelling / pronunciation combo as “victual”?

I've always thought that "victual" was a funny word because its spelling and pronunciation are so alien to anything else I know of in the English language. The free dictionary explains the origin of ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

Pronunciation Deleting /t/ Between Consonants [duplicate]

When I pronounce the phrase: "Look, it's the first day. I don't wanna be late." I think that the /t/ in the words "first" and "don't" can be deleted. Am I right? I'm talking about casual speech. ...
-3
votes
3answers
2k views

Why is /ɪŋk/ used with “ink” words when the actual pronunciation is /ijŋk/?

SOURCES 1) Words correctly coded /iː/ sound for "i" a) routine /ruːˈtiːn/ https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/routine b) machine /məˈʃiːn/ https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/machine 2) Words correctly ...
14
votes
7answers
12k views

What is the commonly accepted pronunciation of FAQ?

I hear FAQ(s) pronounced like a word in "FACK(s)", while I go letter by letter. In usage, what is more common? (Similar to SQL vs Sequel)
14
votes
2answers
8k views

What makes a word offensive?

Whilst I was sat on the bus yesterday, I overheard a group of teenagers discussing various things. As per the usual social requirement at that age, every 5th word was an expletive. Not exactly the ...
12
votes
2answers
1k views

Pronunciation: ‘lousy’ vs. ‘mousy’. Why?

Inspired by comments on Proper use of the word “lousy”?: The word lousy is traditionally pronounced with a /z/ sound, as though it were louzy.* Contrastingly, the word mousy is always pronounced ...
9
votes
3answers
7k views

Term for words with identical spelling but different meaning and different pronunciation

What do you call words with identical spelling but different meaning and different pronunciation? A couple examples are bass and resume.
8
votes
7answers
28k views

How do you properly pronounce 'mall'?

In America, it's pretty much universally pronounced "moll" but in the UK, I have heard a few different ways of pronouncing it: Mall (rhymes with pal) Maul (rhymes with ball and hence the American ...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

Why do we pronounce a long second vowel in “decide”, but a short second vowel in “decision”?

The "i" in decide is pronounced [aɪ], whereas the first "i" in decision is pronounced [ɪ], at least in American English. The same with pairs like collide/collision, divide/division, etc., despite the ...
5
votes
6answers
6k views

Is it affected to pronounce the “h” in wh- words such as “what”?

Almost no one does it except professors and cosmopolitans. Though some books will say that "what" should be pronounced "hwutt" and not "wutt", is it really recommended for us, the common folk, to ...
4
votes
6answers
13k views

How do you pronounce 'news'?

My coworker and I have been having this discussion for a day or two... What is the most correct way to pronounce 'new' or 'news' ? Does it rhyme with 'few' ? or 'snooze' ? Does 'new crew' rhyme? I ...
3
votes
3answers
19k views

How do I pronounce “s's” and “s'”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicates: What is the correct possessive for nouns ending in s? Pronouncing possessive words that already end in s How do I pronounce possessives that end with the awkward "s's" and "...
2
votes
3answers
5k views

Why do “bomb” and “tomb” have different pronunciations?

For example, "womb" comes from old English, whereas "bomb" and "tomb" come from old French. I'm not sure what import etymology has on pronounciation, but I was just wondering if there is any reason in ...
11
votes
5answers
3k views

Looking for a minimal triple

I am looking for a minimal triple for a particular set of phonemes. By minimal triple, I mean three actual English words that differ in one and only one phoneme between them. Examples therefore ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

Pronunciation of GUI in British English

I've heard a lot of Americans pronounce abbreviations like GUI as goo-ey. Is this the same with British English, or is it more common to spell out the word, like gee-you-eye?
6
votes
2answers
956 views

About pronouncing the 's' in plural nouns

A general rule of English pronunciation states that the 's' in plural nouns is to be pronounced as /z/ if it is preceded by a 'voiced consonant' such as /n/ or /g/, and as /s/ if it is preceded by a '...
3
votes
2answers
7k views

When to pronounce # for pound, sharp, hash or hashtag? [duplicate]

How to pronounce # in a proper way? Currently, I know it's used to pronounce "pound" in US English, "hash" in British English, "sharp" for C#--a programming language, and number sign to list items. ...
3
votes
1answer
3k views

Pronunciation of voiceless alveolar fricative /s/ as ʃ (/sh/) in slang?

Observed some words get pronounced with a /sh/ rather than /s/ in certain situations. Stripes as "Shtripes" (from some "The Wire" episode) Screw it as "shcrew it" (from a rap song) In both ...

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