Pronouncing H Sounds in English like a Native Speaker

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Learn how to pronounce the beginning H sounds of words effortlessly. When you are improving your speaking skills in English, you can use these techniques to help you. I will give you example sentences and paragraphs to practice pronouncing H in English.


Hello Henry, how're you holding up? I heard you had a rough day yesterday? Hope you’re hanging in there. How hardworking you are, Henry. Let me know if I can give you a hand in any way. Happy to help :)

Ha ha ha. Ok that’s a lot of H sounds.

In this American English pronunciation lesson, we’re going to talk about how to properly pronounce the H sound.

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Let’s start with words that start with H.

When you see an H at the beginning of a word you can make this sound by breathing out. Think of it as a slight exhale. There’s just a little bit of air coming through. In terms of mouth shape, think of it as though you’re making an O shape.

HAPPY

In happy we can hear the strong breathe sound at the start of this word. Happy, happy, happy.

Compare that to appy. The mouth shape to say appy is having a slight smile on your face.

To say “happy” we need have our mouth open to begin with, making almost an O shape with our mouth.

HUMBLE

Humble versus umble (umble is not a word, but we’re using it to compare the pronunciation).

So you’re breathing out when you say humble. You’re exhaling just a little bit to produce the H sound at the beginning of the word.

HEART

Heart versus art.

Notice how your mouth shape changes when you go back and forth between these two words.

HOLD

Hold versus old.

HAVE

Have versus ave. Ave is short for avenue. Lots of tourists love shopping on Fifth Ave in Manhattan.

HEAT

Heat versus eat.

HAT

Hat versus at.  

HEALT

Health versus elth.

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Ok now you’re reading to practice teh H sounds in this paragraph. Repeat after me after each sentence.

Hello Henry, how're you holding up? I heard you had a rough day yesterday? Hope you’re hanging in there. How hardworking you are, Henry. Let me know if I can give you a hand in any way. Happy to help :)

What about this one:

Heartbroken Heathcliff had a horrendous habit of howling in his hut.

So Heathcliff is a character from Emily Brontë's novel Wuthering Heights. His love interest is Catherine and the reasons he is heartbroken…well I won’t give that away. I highly recommend you read this novel, it’s a classic.

Practice these sentences and make your own sentences using as many words that start with the letter H. The challenge is for the sentences to make sense, not just write gibberish. You’re at the advanced level of English, so I know that you can do this!

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Alright Advanced English learners, thanks for joining me in this lesson. If you are watching this lesson on YouTube be sure to give the lesson a big thumbs up and subscribe to the channel. If you’re listening to the podcast version of this lesson and love our podcast, be sure to leave us a 5 star review, that really helps us out! And turn notifications on so you never miss a beat! The full transcript of this lesson can be found on our blog, so be sure to check out advanced english dot co forward slash blog. And while you’re there feel free to sign up for our free newsletter so you can get lessons delivered to your inbox each week! See you in the next Advanced English lesson where we’ll continue advancing your English together! Until then, keep up the awesome work.
 

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