32 Commonly Mispronounced English Words - Connected Speech and Pronunciation - Advanced English

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Learn the correct pronunciation for these 32 commonly mispronounced English words. I teach you the individual pronunciation as well as connected speech in the American English accent. We go over each word as well as sentences that you can practice. Ready for this Advanced English Pronunciation lesson?

Today we’re going over 30 words that are difficult to pronounce in English. Keep in mind that I’ll be pronouncing these words in an American English accent, so they may sound differently with an Australian accent or British English.

So we’re going through each of the words and then I’ll give you the words in sentences. You’ll notice that the pronunciation of the word in the sentence will vary ever so slightly due to connected speech because the sounds naturally blend together as they’re being spoken.

I encourage you to follow along with me and pronounce the words separately as well as say the entire sentence and note the slight difference between the stand-alone words and their sentences.

Ok let’s get into it~!

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First set of words

Comparable: meaning similar. Notice how we drop the second vowel in this word and replace it with a schwa. The stress is on the first syllable. COMparable / kɑmp(ə)ɹəbl̩

Beach: Elongate the vowel /i/ Think about really stretching it so it sounds like /bit͡ʃ/ 

Squirrel: ˈskwərəl / skwɜrəl

Let’s put it all together in a sentence:

Santa Monica Beach is quite comparable to South Beach, except for the squirrels!   

Second set of words

Prestigious: prɛˈstɪʤəs , emphasis is on the second vowel 

Women: ˈwɪmən , emphasis is on the first vowel and the second vowel is schwa 

Mischievous: ˈmɪsʧəvəs ; some people add an extra syllable and say “Mischie”vi”ous,” but that’s not the correct pronunciation

Intelligent: ɪnˈtɛləʤənt

Let’s put it all together in a sentence:

Many of these prestigious women who made history were not only intelligent but also mischievous because they didn’t follow society’s rules and expectations.

Third set of words

Rural : You’re not alone with this one, it’s a difficult word for Americans to pronounce as well

Work : wɜrk it’s the same vowel as in bird or earth, where the r sound is really pronounced “UR”

Walk : wɔk /AW/ notice how you don’t hear the /l/ consonant 

Natural : It does not sound like nature, which has a diphthong in it. Natural is ˈnæʧərəl , so the first vowel is /æ/ like apple, and the other two vowels in there are schwas. 

Comfortable: So it’s not “comfor-table” it’s comfortable: ˈkʌmfərtəbəl . The first vowel is stressed and the other three vowels are schwas. 

Let’s put these words in a sentence: 

After work, I like walking in my comfortable sneakers and enjoy the natural rural beauty of the countryside.

Fourth set of words

definitely : ˈdɛfənətli : The primary stress is on the first vowel and the secondary stress is on the last vowel, with schwas in between. 

vegetable : ˈvɛʤtəbəl : We have primary stress on the first syllable. 

salmon/almond : Salmon and almond look very similar, however in American English we do not pronounce the /l/ in salmon : we say ˈsæmən : open you mouth wide like saying apple it’s the same vowel sound /æ/ 

Let’s put it all together in a sentence: 

I’ll definitely order the salmon with a side of vegetables for dinner and the almond cake for dessert.

Fifth set of words

Variable ; ˈvɛriəbəl : emphasis on the first vowel.

intermittent : ˌɪntərˈmɪtənt / Primary vowel stress is on the first syllable

metabolism : məˈtæbəˌlɪzəm : Primary stress on the second vowel

Let’s put these words in a sentence: 

The only variable in the intermittent fasting study on metabolism was age.

Sixth set of words

Southern : It is not the same pronunciation as “south” because it’s a different vowel. So southern is ˈsʌðərn and south is /saʊθ/ which is a diphthong. Our mouth moves differently with these two words: Southern (UH) vs South (aou) practice the difference and feel your mouth shape while speaking as well. 

Pronunciation : prəˌnʌnsiˈeɪʃən : Primary stress on the second vowel. Unlike the verb pronounce we say pronunciation not pronOUnciation. So there’s no diphthong, it's just the UH sound, pronunciation.

epitome : əˈpɪtəmi It might look like we’d say “epi tome” but we say əˈpɪtəmi with the primary stress being on the second syllable

Let’s put these words in a sentence: 

Matthew McConaughey’s pronunciation is the epitome of the southern drawl.

Seventh set of words

Headache : ˈhɛˌdeɪk : We’ve got primary stress on the first vowel followed by a diphthong. 

Stomach: ˈstʌmək / Again we have the UH vowel here, where we barely open our mouths

Temperature : ˈtɛmprəʧər  We have primary stress on the first vowel /eh/

Let’s put these words in a sentence: 

My temperature’s elevated and I’ve got both a headache and stomachache!

Eighth set of words

Ironic : aɪˈrɑnɪk : ai·raa·nuhk / the primary stress is on the second vowel 

Often: With often the “t” is silent, so we say ˈɔfən and we place primary stress on the first vowel /AW/ ˈɔ

Archive: ˈɑrˌkaɪv / aar·kive so we elongate the first vowel and place primary stress on it like /aar/

Explicit : uhk·spli·suht with the primary stress on the second vowel ; and you’ll want to practice the consonant cluster ksp, which is common in American English pronunciation and then practice the word fully ɪkˈsplɪsət

Let’s put these words in a sentence: 

It’s ironic they gave explicit instructions to check the archive often.

Ninth set of words

Here’s the last group of words, ready for it? You’ve been doing great so far. And I know your mouth, face and brain must be tired by now but we’re almost there!

World: wɜrld we really hear the r in this one it’s a high, central, lax vowel and the primary stress is on the “ur” sound.

Yogurt: ˈjoʊgərt : the primary stress is on the diphthong, /oʊ/ and then we have a schwa at the end where we eat the sound meaning you can barely hear it

Literally: The primary stress is on the first vowel /ɪ/ so we say  /ˈlɪtəɹəli/, and secondary stress on the last vowel (/i/ or ee)  

Let’s put these words in a sentence: 

Homemade full fat yogurt is literally the best yogurt in the world.

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As you can see it’s important to practice the pronunciation of these words individually as well as in sentences. Be sure to practice these sentences again and again. And once you feel comfortable with their pronunciation, I encourage you to create your own sentences! Challenge yourself and you’ll be pleasantly surprised with your progress. 

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Alright Advanced English learners, thanks for joining me for this lesson! Share our channel and this lesson with anyone who’d like to improve their English communication skills. I'll see you in the next one where we'll continue advancing your English together!