How to Say BEACH vs. BITCH and SHEET vs. SHIT - American English


In this American English pronunciation video, I've come all the way to the beach to teach

you how to say 'beach' vs. 'bitch' and 'sheet' vs. 'shit'.

Hey Friends and Fans! We're going to get to that video in just a minute. But first, did

you know that right now, I'm on an Epic Road Trip Across America? Summer of 2014! Look

for a recap video in the fall. In the mean time, I need your support to ensure that I

can keep making great free videos every week for you on my Rachel's English channel. If

Rachel's English is important to you, please click here to find out how you can help keep

it going. :)

A lot of my fans ask me about these two word pairs, because, of course, one word in each

of these pairs is a bad word. In both cases, it's the word with the IH as in SIT vowel.

Both of these pairs are minimal pairs, which means there's only one thing that's different.

In these cases, it's the vowel sound. The 'good' word has the EE as in SHE vowel. And

the 'bad' word has the IH as in SIT vowel. I've already made a video comparing those

two sounds, so do take a look at it. But let's just talk about it one more time in the context

of these words.

Beach vs. bitch. The main issue here is the tongue position. And, that's influenced by

the jaw position. Most people have EE in their native language, ee, ee. Tongue tip is down,

and the front part of the tongue is lifting, very close to the roof of the mouth. Ee, ee.

So, the space between tongue and roof of mouth is very small. The way to make the IH vowel

is just to make that space between tongue and roof of mouth bigger. So, we may do that

by dropping our jaw more: ee, ih. Or, you might notice that some native speakers don't

need to drop their jaw, it looks the same from the outside. But the difference is happening

with the tongue position inside the mouth. So, the difference between EE and IH is IH

has more space between the tongue and the roof of the mouth. So, for 'beach', ee, ee,

my tongue is really high. For 'bitch', ih, ih, my tongue isn't as high. It's a little

more relaxed, and my jaw hangs a little bit more. Same with 'sheet', ee, ee, very high.

Shit, ih, ih, lower, more relaxed, and the jaw might be lower too.

Guys, I hope this helps. If there are two words you want to hear compared, please put

it in the comments below.

That's it, and thanks so much for using Rachel's English.

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