10 Words You Are Mispronouncing

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Vanessa: Hi, I'm Vanessa from SpeakEnglishWithVanessa.com.

Are you mispronouncing these 10 common words?

Let's find out.

Everyone needs a little bit of help sometimes.

Well today I'm here to give you the help that you maybe didn't know that you needed.

I've been an English teacher since I was 22 years old, so 10 years now.

Wow.

I've heard a lot of the same pronunciation mistakes again, and again, and again.

A lot of pronunciation mistakes don't stop other people from understanding you.

For example, if you say "da" book instead of the book, people will still generally understand

you.

You won't sound like a native English speaker, but they can understand you.

The problem happens when you mispronounce a key word in the sentence.

If someone doesn't understand that word, they can't understand the whole meaning or at least

some important parts of your sentence.

Today I'd like to share with you 10 words that you're probably mispronouncing and how

to correct them.

With each of these words, I'm going to give you a challenge sentence.

And my challenge for you is to say that sentence out loud.

You need to use your pronunciation muscles, exercise them so that it will become natural.

And it will feel comfortable when you say these words in daily conversation.

All right, let's get started with the first one.

What about this word?

How do you pronounce that?

Can you guess which letter is silent?

If you can see that color, you probably know.

The letter R. How can we say this?

February.

That R is just gone.

Just cut it out completely.

Sometimes when I need to spell this word, I say out loud February, with the R because

it helps me to remember how to spell it.

Because it's kind of weird to have a silent R in the middle of an English word.

But that's the way it is.

Make sure that you say February.

February.

For each of these commonly mispronounced words, I'm going to be putting the problem sound

in blue over here.

So that you can see which sound is the most difficult, at least in my opinion, for English

learners.

It's not always a silent sound, but it's at least the problem sound.

Let's say the challenge sentence together.

I can't believe that it's almost February.

Can you say it a little faster with me?

I can't believe that it's almost February.

I can't believe that it's almost February.

Let's go on to number two.

How can we say this day of the week?

Is it, Wednesday?

Nope.

That D is silent, cut it out.

Forget about it.

It's Wednesday.

There's almost a Z sound in the middle of this word.

Wednesday.

Wednesday.

Same with February, when I need to write this word.

Sometimes I think about the full pronunciation as if it were said every single letter.

Wednesday.

It helps me to spell it correctly.

But in conversation, we never say the D. You need to say, Wednesday.

Let's look at a challenge sentence.

Next Wednesday will be February.

Yes, we will be reviewing the previous word with each of these challenge sentences.

Let's say it together.

Next Wednesday will be February.

Next Wednesday will be February already.

It's amazing.

Let's go to the next word.

How do you think we can pronounce this word?

It is certainly a common word and you want to make sure that you say it correctly.

It is, clothes.

I think that the trouble here is that there is an E-S at the end.

So a lot of English learners want to say, clothes.

Pronouncing the T-H and the E-S making that all really clear.

But in reality, when English speakers are talking quickly, we're just going to use the

same pronunciation as the verb.

Close the door.

Clothes.

Clothes.

There's not even a T-H in this word.

Sometimes when native speakers are talking slowly, you might hear clothes, with a slight

T-H, a tongue kind of touching between your teeth in that T-H sound.

Clothes.

Clothes.

A little bit of a T-H, but do you know what?

When we're speaking quickly, we just cut that out and say, I'm wearing clothes.

Clothes.

There's not even a hint of a T-H when we say it quickly.

Clothes.

Let's say a challenge sentence.

What clothes are you wearing on Wednesday?

What clothes are you wearing on Wednesday?

Let's say it quickly together.

What clothes are you wearing on Wednesday?

What clothes are you wearing on Wednesday?

Let's go to the next word.

How can we pronounce this lovely word?

You know what, English is quite strange.

If you've ever studied the history of English, you know that it's kind of a romance language,

kind of a Germanic language, kind of an Anglo-Saxons language.

Sometimes we've taken spelling from one language and pronunciation from another language.

Forget the G-H sound here.

Don't be confused by G-H and also don't be confused by E-I.

That's also weird.

Instead, you just need to say height.

Height.

Why don't we spell this, H-I-T-E?

I don't know.

But it's there to confuse you, but not anymore.

I want you to say with me, height.

Let's look at the challenge sentence.

Because of his height, it's hard to find clothes.

If you're extremely tall or extremely short, it can be really tough to find clothes.

Let's say this together.

Because of his height, it's hard to find clothes.

Because of his height, it's hard to find clothes.

Because of his height, it's hard to find clothes.

What about this word?

I'm actually not wearing anything visible now.

I have some rings on.

How can we pronounce that naturally?

You might find some guides online that tell you to pronounce the E in the middle.

But really, 95% of the time when native English speakers are speaking quickly, in the U.S

we're going to say jewelry.

Jewelry.

We're are not going to say jewelry.

With an extra L in the middle.

Instead jewelry.

Two syllables.

Jewelry.

Jewelry.

Let's look at a challenge sentence.

Her jewelry is the height of fashion.

Her jewelry is the height of fashion.

Her jewelry is the height of fashion.

Her jewelry is the height of fashion.

Let's go to the next word.

What about this tasty word?

This word has only two syllables, chocolate.

Chocolate.

In the U.S, you will never hear someone say chocolate.

That middle O is just cut out.

Just imagine that this is such an amazing thing to eat, that you don't want to waste

time saying another syllable.

You just want to say it as fast as possible, so you just cut out the middle.

Chocolate.

Chocolate.

I don't have time to ask for chocolate.

Instead, chocolate.

Chocolate.

Let's take a look at a challenge sentence.

Oh no, my jewelry fell in my hot chocolate.

If your earrings fall in your hot chocolate or your necklace falls in your hot chocolate.

Well I guess you'll find it eventually.

Let's say that together.

Oh no, my jewelry fell in my hot chocolate.

My jewelry fell in my hot chocolate.

My jewelry fell in my hot chocolate.

Let's go to the next one.

What about this lovely word?

Receipt.

Receipt.

This word is weird for multiple reasons.

Do you remember the word height has an E-I and the E-I is pronounced I.

Well in this word receipt, there is also an E-I.

But it's pronounced E, so weird.

And the P is completely silent.

Let's practice saying this word together.

Receipt.

Receipt.

Receipt.

Let's use a challenge sentence.

Do you have the receipt for the chocolate bars?

Do you have the receipt for the chocolate bars?

Do you have the receipt for the chocolate bars?

This is the paper that you get after you make a purchase.

The cashier will give you the receipt.

Or maybe they'll ask you, "Would you like the receipt?

Do you want the receipt?"

And you can use this word beautifully and naturally and say, "No, I don't need a receipt."

Or, "Yes, please give me the receipt."

Beautiful pronunciation.

Let's go to the next one.

How about this word?

Recipe.

Recipe.

What do all of these words have in common?

Phone, make, change.

Look at the end, there's an E and it's silent.

We don't say phone-y, make-y, change-y.

That E is silent and that's a pretty standard rule in English.

That if there's an E at the end, it's most likely going to be silent.

But it's not a rule if it doesn't have an exception, and one of those exceptions is

this word.

Recipe.

This is the instructions about how to cook something.

I need to find a recipe.

Recipe.

Make sure that you say that final E. Recipe.

Recipe.

Let's look at a challenge sentence.

Here's the receipt for the recipe book.

These two words often get mixed up together because they're both tough and they both look

a little similar.

Let's say that sentence a couple times.

Here's the receipt for the recipe book.

Here's the receipt for the recipe book.

Here's the receipt for the recipe book.

A recipe book might also be called a cookbook, but I wanted to use this word to challenge

your pronunciation.

Here's the receipt for the recipe book.

Number nine.

Subtle?

No.

Subtle.

Subtle.

What in the world is happening here?

First of all, let's take that B and cut it out.

Throw it away completely.

The B is completely silent.

But why is there a D sound?

Subtle.

Subtle.

Well, in American English, when there is a T in the middle of a word, it often changes

to a D sound.

That's what's going to happen here.

Forget that there's actually a B in this word.

Instead you can say subtle.

Subtle means something that's not obvious.

Something that's subtle isn't apparent to everyone.

It's not obvious.

Subtle.

Subtle.

Subtle.

Let's take a look at a challenge sentence.

Most recipes do not have subtle instructions.

Most recipes do not have subtle instructions.

Recipes just say, do this, then do this, then do this.

There is no indirect language.

It's very clear.

It's not subtle.

Let's say that sentence a couple of times quickly.

Most recipes do not have subtle instructions.

Most recipes do not have subtle instructions.

Let's go to the 10th and final mispronounced word.

I often get asked about this word.

Or I often get asked about this word.

Which one's correct?

Should we say the T?

Should we cut it out?

Is it silent?

Well, I have some good news.

This is a trick question.

Both are correct.

Hoo-rah, you have multiple choices and both of them are correct.

I did a little bit of research about this word because it's not common in English to

have a letter that could be silent or could not be silent.

Both are correct.

Apparently several hundred years ago, Queen Elizabeth I in England was found to have not

used the T in her pronunciation.

She said often.

But at the time during her reign in England, it was common to use the T for academia or

highly educated people.

There was a little bit of a disconnect between what the Queen was using and what academia

were saying was correct.

Because of this, it became acceptable to use either.

The root word here is the word oft, oft.

This is an old fashioned word.

We don't use that anymore, but in that word the T is pronounced.

Just through time the T has been dropped, the T has been added.

Both are acceptable.

Let's use a challenge sentence.

Cats are often subtle about their affection.

This is true.

Dogs are not subtle.

They just run up to you and say, "Hi, hi, hi, I love you.

Play with me, play with me."

Cats are not like that.

Cats are often subtle about their affection.

Or cats are often subtle about their affection.

You can choose either to say in this sentence.

Cats are often subtle about their affection.

Cats are often subtle about their affection.

In the U.S we use both of these.

Even in my home I say often much more often and my husband says often more often than

I do.

He uses both.

I'm more likely to say often.

But we're both correct and you can be too.

Are you ready to exercise your speaking and pronunciation muscles?

I want to give you a big crazy challenge sentence.

It's actually three sentences.

It's not one sentence but it sounds cooler to say big crazy challenge sentence.

I'm going to be reading each of these sentences twice.

I want you to listen carefully the first time.

The second time, I want you to try to repeat it with me.

Use your pronunciation muscles and try to remember everything we've talked about in

this lesson.

All right, let's go to the sentences.

I'm making a new chocolate cake recipe on the first Wednesday in February.

I'm making a new chocolate cake recipe on the first Wednesday in February.

Bring some old clothes, no jewelry, and a receipt for your purchase.

Bring some old clothes, no jewelry, and a receipt for your purchase.

If my kitchen counter is too tall because of your height, don't be subtle.

Just tell me.

If my kitchen counter is too tall because of your height, don't be subtle.

Just tell me.

I hope that you can come to my house to bake a chocolate cake.

I hope that the height of my counter is not too tall for you, but if it is.

Don't be subtle, just tell me.

I need a stool.

I need to stand on a chair.

I hope that these challenge sentences were fun to you and a good practice for your pronunciation

muscles.

Now I have a question for you.

I want to know which one of these 10 words was difficult for you.

Or maybe which one of these 10 words you actually didn't know how to pronounce and now you do.

I hope that you learned something new in this lesson and you enjoyed yourself, you enjoyed

learning English.

That's my goal.

Thanks so much for learning with me and I'll see you again next Friday for a new lesson

here on my YouTube channel.

Bye.

The next step is to download my free eBook, Five Steps to Becoming a Confident English

Speaker.

You'll learn what you need to do to speak confidently and fluently.

Don't forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel for more free lessons.

Thanks so much.

Bye.

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