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  • Hello, and welcome back.

  • In this lesson, I will show you

  • fifty words that you are probably pronouncing

  • incorrectly right now.

  • And I'll also teach you how to say them

  • correctly.

  • Let's start with this wordhow do you say it?

  • Well, we say /prə-'nauns/, /prə-'naunst/ and

  • /prə-'nauns-iŋ/, but /prə-nən- si-'eɪ-shən/.

  • There's no 'noun' in this word.

  • It's 'pronunciation.'

  • Word number two is 'says'.

  • This word is commonly mispronounced

  • by people learning English as /seɪs/.

  • But remember: I say, you say, but he or she /sez/.

  • Number three is 'et cetera'.

  • A very common incorrect

  • pronunciation is to say 'ek' – 'ek setra' instead of 'et'.

  • Don't say that.

  • And also remember that the stress is on

  • 'ce'.

  • So the word is /et-'se- tə-rə/.

  • You will also hear /et-'se-trə/ – that is less

  • common but it's OK too.

  • Next up is 'often'.

  • Some pronounce this as /'äf-tən/.

  • Now, strictly speaking, /'äf- tən/ is not wrong, but the more

  • common pronunciation is with the 't' silent, so I recommend

  • that you always say /'ä-fən/.

  • One word that is often mispronounced by learners of

  • English is 'women'.

  • This is, of course, because of the English

  • language's crazy spelling system.

  • But remember that we say /'wu-mən/ for one woman and

  • /'wi-min/ for the plural – /'wi-min/.

  • Word number six is 'police'.

  • This isn't /po-lees/ or /po- lis/.

  • It's /pə/ and /lees/ with the stress on /lees/.

  • So /pə-'lees/.

  • The next word is 'vehicle'.

  • It's often pronounced wrongly as /ve-hi-kl/.

  • But the 'e' is a long vowel and the 'h' is

  • silent.

  • So /'vee-ə-kl/.

  • Number eight is this word.

  • How would you say it?

  • The correct pronunciation is /'zhän-rə/.

  • Pay attention to the first sound,

  • it's like 'sh' but you put your voice into it - /'zhän-rə/.

  • /'zhän-rə/ Next up is actually what you're

  • watching right now – 'video'.

  • The important thing is that both the 'i' and the 'e' are

  • pronounced as short 'i' sounds.

  • It's not /vee-di-o/, it's /'vi-di-o/.

  • If you watch a video on YouTube or Facebook, you might leave a

  • 'comment'.

  • I have heard many speakers say /'kə-ment/.

  • Now whether you use this word as a

  • noun or a verb, the first syllable is always /'kä /. So

  • it's never a /'kə-ment/, it's a /'kä-ment/.

  • Word number eleven is 'interesting'.

  • This is mispronounced sometimes as

  • /'in-tə-rə-stiŋ/.

  • But there are only three syllables – /in / –

  • /trə / – /stiŋ/ and the stress is on 'IN'.

  • So the word is /'in-trə-stiŋ/.

  • Number twelve is 'hotel'.

  • There are two syllables – /ho/ and /

  • tel/ like the English word 'tell' as in 'tell me'.

  • The stress is on the second

  • syllable, so /ho-'tel/.

  • A related word is 'suite'.

  • This means a set of connected rooms

  • in a hotel and this is wrongly pronounced by many people as

  • /soot/.

  • But it's /sweet/ - like when you eat a piece of candy -

  • /sweet/.

  • While we're on the topic of suites and hotels, I cannot

  • leave out this word – 'restaurant'.

  • It gives a lot of English learners trouble.

  • But, don't let the fancy spelling

  • confuse youthe second syllable is just /tə /. The

  • third is /ränt/.

  • So /'res-tə- ränt/.

  • In British English, you might hear just two syllables

  • /'res-trɒnt/ - that is also correct.

  • After you eat at a restaurant, you have to pay the bill.

  • But you might get a discount on

  • your bill if you have one of these – a 'coupon'.

  • A common incorrect pronunciation is

  • /'koo-pən/.

  • But the second syllable should be /pän/.

  • So – /'koo-pän/.

  • Here's word number sixteenhow would you say it?

  • The proper pronunciation is not

  • 'break' 'fast' – it's 'breakfast'.

  • /brek / with a short /e/ sound and /fəst/ with

  • an /ə/ sound - so /'brek-fəst/.

  • You know what I had for breakfast today?

  • I had this – 'pizza'.

  • Really, I did.

  • It's not a /pee-sə/ and it's not a

  • /peed-zə/.

  • There's no /z/ sound in this word.

  • It's /peet/, /sə/ - /'peet-sə/.

  • Another food word that's mispronounced a lot is

  • 'vegetable'.

  • It's not /ve-jə- tə-bl/.

  • If you say it correctly, there are only three syllables

  • - /vej/, / tə/, /bl/ - /'vej- tə-bl/.

  • Let's talk about a couple of vegetables nowthis is a

  • 'cucumber'.

  • It's not a /ku- koom-bər/.

  • Think of it like saying the letter 'Q' and then

  • /kəm-bər/ like 'number'.

  • So /'kyoo-kəm-bər/.

  • This vegetable is called 'lettuce'.

  • I know the spelling looks like /let-yoos/ but it's

  • notit's /letis/.

  • And since we talking about food, here's a food that just

  • about everybody loves – 'chocolate'.

  • When you ask for this at the store, make sure

  • there are only two syllables – /chäk/ and /lət/ - /'chäk-lət/.

  • And remember: there is no 'late' in 'chocolate'.

  • Speaking of chocolate, how would you say this word?

  • This is 'dessert'.

  • Notice that the first syllable is /di/, and the

  • second starts with a /z/ sound.

  • We stress the second syllable – /di-'zərt/.

  • This word refers to something sweet that's eaten at

  • the end of a meal, and it should not be confused with

  • 'desert '. Here, the stress is on the first syllable which is

  • /de/ - /'de-zərt/.

  • Now I said that desserts are sweet.

  • But what about this taste?

  • It's pronounced 'sour'.

  • Some people say /sär/ - that is a mispronunciation.

  • The only correct way to say this word is

  • /'sauər/.

  • Many words in the English language have silent letters

  • that is, letters that we don't pronounce.

  • As in word number twenty-four – 'receipt'.

  • The 'p' is silent.

  • When you purchase something or you pay a

  • bill, you get a /ri-'seet/.

  • Now if you don't pay your bills, you might find yourself

  • in 'debt'.

  • The 'b' is silent in this word, so /det/.

  • If a debt is related to your house, it might be a

  • 'mortgage'.

  • This word means a loan that a bank gives you to

  • buy a house.

  • So, which letter is silent here?

  • It's the 't'.

  • The first syllable is /mör/ and the second is /gij/.

  • So /'mör- gij/.

  • Number twenty-seven is this wordhow would you say it?

  • It's 'subtle'.

  • The 'b' is silent.

  • Subtle means something that is difficult to notice or

  • something that isn't obvious.

  • And once again, the word is pronounced /'sə-tl/.

  • Another popular word with a silent letter is 'singer' – the

  • 'g' is silent.

  • Now we say 'finger' (we say the 'g'),

  • 'younger' (again, with the 'g') but /'siŋ-ər/ (no 'g').

  • And what would you call someone who fixes taps and pipes at

  • your house?

  • You call him a 'plumber'.

  • Not a /'pləm-bər/ – the 'b' is silent.

  • So /'pləm- ər/.

  • In fact, in many words, when you have the letter combination

  • 'mb', the 'b' is silent.

  • If I had a ladder in front of me

  • now, I could 'climb' the ladder.

  • Not /'klaɪmb/.

  • A quick note - in the pronunciation

  • symbols that you see, the 'ai' is an /ai/ sound not an /ei/

  • sound.

  • So the word is /'klaɪm/.

  • By the way, what's this?

  • This is my 'thumb'.

  • It's not my /'thəmb/ – it' pronounced

  • /'thəm/.

  • And what about this?

  • This is a comb.

  • Not a /komb/ - a /kom/.

  • A similar-sounding word is 'tomb'.

  • It's often wrongly pronounced as /tomb/, but the

  • 'b' is silent, and the 'o' is pronounced with an 'oo' sound.

  • So /toom/.

  • A tomb is a place like the Taj Mahal, where a person, usually

  • an important person, is 'buried'.

  • We say /'be-ri/.

  • Now when I first heard this as a

  • kid, I was really surprised because I used to say /'bə-ri/.

  • I mean, it looks like that, right?

  • But this word sounds just like the 'berry' in

  • 'strawberry'.

  • So once again – /'be-ri/.

  • But back to silent letters.

  • How do you say this day of the

  • week?

  • It's 'Wednesday' – the 'd' is silent.

  • Sometimes it is pronounced as /'wednz-deɪ/ but

  • the proper way to say it is /'wenz-deɪ/.

  • What about this – 'sword'.

  • Many people say /sword/ but that is

  • totally wrong.

  • It is just /'sord/.

  • And here's our last word with silent letters – 'clothes'.

  • But what's silent here?

  • Well, first of all, this word is not

  • cloths.

  • When we say /'kloz/, the 'th' in the middle can

  • often be silent – /'kloz/.

  • But it's not wrong if you say them

  • with a 'dh' sound – /'klodhz/.

  • That's also correct.

  • In some words, people think a letter is silent, but it's not.

  • For example, look at this wordwhat is it?

  • It's 'arctic'?

  • This is the name for the region at the North Pole of the earth.

  • It's mispronounced by many as /'är-tik/ but it's actually

  • /'ärk-tik/.

  • The 'c' in the middle is not silent.

  • Similarly, /ant-'ärk-tik/ and /ant-'ärk-tikə/ – that's the

  • name of the region at the South Pole.

  • Sometimes people also mistakenly insert letters or

  • sounds that are not there.

  • Like in the word 'mischievous'.

  • This is not /mis-'chee-vi-əs/.

  • There is no 'i' after the 'v'.

  • The last syllable is just /vəs/.

  • So /'mis-chi-vəs/.

  • And then there are words that have hidden sounds that we

  • don't recognizelike the word 'tuition'.

  • It's /tu-'wi-shən/ in American English and /tyu-'wi-

  • shən/ in British English.

  • So what's the hidden sound here?

  • Well, the first syllable is easy - /tu/ (American) or /tyu/

  • (British).

  • But after that, it's not /i-shən/, it's /'wi-shən/.

  • Tuition.

  • You have to put the 'w' sound in there.

  • So /tyu-'wi-shən/.

  • Word number forty-one is this word.

  • How do you say it?

  • If you said /zu-'ä-lə-ji/ it's actually

  • wrong.

  • That is a very common mispronunciation.

  • This is actually /zo-'ä-lə-ji/ - /zo/

  • and /ä-lə-ji/.

  • 'Zoology'.

  • Number forty-two is 'develop'.