Speak English Naturally: Silent Syllables


Hello. My name is Emma, and in today's video, I am going to teach you about some pronunciation

mistakes that you're probably making. So, if you look beside me, I have a bunch of words.

These are some of the most commonly mispronounced words in English by English... By students

who are learning English. So today, I'm going to teach you

how we actually pronounce these words.

So, the title of this video is "Silent Syllables". All of these words have a silent syllable

in them. Now, you may be wondering: "What is a syllable?" Well, a syllable is usually

a vowel sound, sometimes it can also be a consonant-vowel sound. So, if that's a little

bit confusing, let's look at some examples.

Here is the word "cat". It has one syllable. If I clap my hand, "cat". Okay? Now, compare

this to the word "student", which has two syllables. Compare this to the word "beautiful",

which has three, and we have here the word "incredible" which has four. Okay? So each

of these has a different number of syllables. You'll also notice that the length of the

word is different. "Incredible" is longer than "beautiful", "beautiful" is longer than

"student", and "student" is longer than "cat". Okay?

So, a silent syllable is a syllable that people believe we're supposed to pronounce, but we

don't actually pronounce it. Let's start with this one, because this is the most common

mistake I hear in my classrooms. Many students pronounce this word as "com-for-ta-ble", they

believe it has four syllables. This is not true. I want you to listen carefully to how

I pronounce this word: "comfterble", "comfortable". How many syllables did you hear? "Comfortable".

If you said three syllables, you are correct. So we do not pronounce "com-for-ta-ble", mm-mm,

we say: "comfterble". Okay? So if I wrote this how it's almost pronounced,

it almost looks like: "comfterble". Okay?

The next word that I hear a lot of students making a mistake with... This is one of my

favourite types of food, I hear a lot of students say: "choc-o-late", where they pronounce this

"o". In English, we don't pronounce that. We usually say... So we don't say "choc-o-late",

which is three syllables; we actually say: "choclate", "chocolate", "chocolate". How

many syllables does that have? If you said

two, you are correct. It's almost like this

"o" doesn't exist. So I want you to repeat after me: "chocolate", "comfortable". Okay, good.

Now, the next sound, or... The next word many students mispronounce is this one. First off,

they often miss... Mispronounce the "v" sound, which is "veg", "vegetable". Many students

say: "veg-e-ta-ble". Okay? So many students think it has four... Four syllables, but in

fact, it doesn't. Tell me: How many sounds does this have: "vegetable", "vegetable"?

It has three. Okay?

So I'm actually going to start writing this. "Comfortable" has two, "chocolate" has two.

"Comfortable"... Sorry, "comfortable" has three. Okay?

"Vegetable" has three.

The next word is another word a lot of students make a mistake with, similar to "chocolate",

we have here an "o". We don't pronounce this "o". Okay? So many students say "brocc-o-li",

but we don't say "broccoli", we say: "broccli". Okay? So, in this case, it only has two syllables:


Okay? And we will go over these one more time at the end of the video.

Okay, very common word here, how many syllables do you think it has? If you said:


you are correct, it has three syllables. Many students say: "in-ter-est-ing". "That is very interesting."

We don't say it like that. We say: "in-trest-ing". Okay? "In-trest-ing",

so this one has three syllables also.

Okay, another very common word... Okay, I've used the Canadian/British spelling. If you're

an American or an... A speaker of American English, there will be no "u" here. How many

syllables do you think this word has?

Okay? Let's say it together: "Favourite", "favourite".

How many did you hear? If you said: "fav-rite",

and you heard two syllables, you are correct.

We do not say: "fav-our-ite", mm-mm, we say: "fav-rite". Okay?

Okay, here's another one a lot of students make mistakes with, many students will say:

"temp-er-a-ture", but we don't say it this way. I want you to listen carefully, and choose:

How many syllables are there in this word?

"Tem-pra-ture", "temperature". "Tem-pra-ture".

Okay, so there are three syllables in this one.

Okay? We have this word... Again, these are all very common words. A lot of students will

say: "ev-er-y-one". They think it has four syllables. Now, I want you to listen to me

and tell me: How many syllables do you hear?

"Ev-ry-one", "everyone", "ev-ry-one".

If you said three, you are correct. Okay?

And finally, we have two more. A lot of students will say this as: "nat-ur-all-y", but we don't

pronounce it that way. Listen carefully to how I say it.

"Nat-ral-ly", "naturally", "naturally",

"nat-ral-ly". It has three syllables.

And the last one, similar to "chocolate", many students say: "soph-o-more", but it's

not. "Soph-more", "sophomore".

So it's almost like this "o", we don't pronounce. It's a

silent sound. "Sophomore". It has two syllables.

Okay, so let's do this very slowly. I want you to repeat each of these words after me.

And you can say it slow, and then start making it a little bit faster. Okay? So let's start

over here, and we will work our way across. "Naturally". Repeat after me: "naturally",


"Sophomore", "sophomore", "sophomore".

Okay, good. Okay? Okay, this one, I really

want you to practice: "comfortable", "comfterble", "comfortable",

"That chair is comfortable." Okay?

Okay? Now, again, my favourite food - very important you pronounce this correctly:

"chocolate", "choclate", "chocolate". Okay.

Okay, here we have another word:

"vegtable", "vegtable", "vegetable".

Okay? So, again, three.

"Broccoli". So, again, repeat after me:

"broccli", "broccoli". Okay.

Okay. Repeat after me, please: "intresting", "in-trest-ing",


"Favourite", "favrite", "favourite".

This one: "temprature", "temprature", "temprature".

And finally: "evryone", "everyone", "everyone". Okay.

And there you have it, 10 words we often make pronunciation mistakes with when we are learning

English. Okay?

So I invite you to check out our website at www.engvid.com. There you can

do a quiz where you can actually practice syllables and practice counting how many each

of these have. So, I invite you to come check out that website,

and until next time, take care.

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