Common Pronunciation Mistakes in English

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Common Pronunciation Mistakes in English

Today, we’re looking at English pronunciation, how to pronounce certain words in English. And in particular we’re looking at some key mistakes that lots of students make whether they are Spanish, French, Italian,or Russian.

I let you into a little secret. Even English people make mistakes with their pronunciation. There are lots of people in different parts of the UK that drop Hs all the time and they never pronounce them when they talk.

This is how they pronounce my name Harry:

Arry, ave we got this?
Arry, ave you got that?

They’re supposed to be native speakers but they don’t always get it right.

So don’t worry about it. You’re in a big club of people who get English pronunciation wrong.

We’re going to try and correct some of the common pronunciation mistakes in English today.

Let’s start with some easy ones that everybody in every country gets wrong. And it’s the words:

  • though
  • although
  • through
  • thoroughly

All of these words start with two letters th like the word the. And that’s the sound we want to get correct.

If we take the word THOUGH I think you hear that sound th though.

Though.

You try it. Though.

Once again – though.

And then we take it all:

  • though
  • although
  • even though

Also we have the word THROUGH. It also starts with TH.

He walked through the door.
He walked through the forest.

You try it. – through

The same sound as when you throw a ball. Past tense – he threw the ball.

And finally that word THOROUGHLY again.

He thoroughly enjoyed himself. = meaning He really enjoyed himself.

Thoroughly.

You try it – thoroughly.

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Common Pronunciation Mistakes in English - Silent H

Now I mentioned at the beginning of this little session that people in England, and particularly in the north of England, dropped their Hs.

That doesn’t happen all the time. And there are certain words in English where it’s possible to drop the H and we don’t pronounce it.

Words like:

  • honest
  • honour
  • heir
  • hour

There are a number of English words where it is appropriate to drop Hs.

Now be careful.

There are other words and particularly people in those Mediterranean countries like Italy, France and Spain where they have a tendency to drop Hs on words where we shouldn’t drop them.

I don’t wish to cause you any harm.

It’s notI don’t wish to cause you any arm.

And this wonderful little cute animal – the hedgehog. Often you hear the edgehog. What is an edgeog?

Ah… it’s a hedgehog.

Nice little spiky friend that walks across your lawn in the middle of the night.

Hedgehog. H. Hedge-hog.

So get that h sound: hedgehog, hedgehog.

Not an edgeog.

You try it. Hedgehog.

Once again. Hedgehog.
hedgehog you try it.

So we don’t drop those Hs.

I don’t wish you any harm.

The hedgehog is a wonderful animal.

There’s also a tendency to drop the h in hotel.

I stayed in a hotel.

It’s not I stayed in a otel.

I can’t hear you properly.

It’s not I can’t ear you properly.

The ground is very hard. Hard meaning tough.

It’s not the ground is very ard.

The mountain was huge.

It’s not the mountain was uge.

Hello.

It’s not ello.

You try them:

  • harm
  • hedgehog
  • huge
  • hello
  • hotel
  • hear
  • hard

So now to some funny and strange sounding words with the letter S.

And again some of the Mediterranean students that I have will recognise these sounds.

Let’s talk about two words.

SHIP

The ship sailed on the ocean.

Ship.

And the SHEEP

The sheep in the field.

These words can, if you’re not careful, sound very similar.

Where is the ship?

Where are the sheep?

Very strange.

SHIP. It’s got a short I. We have to have a very certain sharp sound. Like the word IT. It’s not eat. It’s IT.

And we want the same sound in SHIP.

The ship is on the ocean.

SHEEP

Long e. Sheep like the word eat.

We eat our dinner.

We don’t it our dinner.

Ship – is on the ocean.

Sheep – running around the field.

Two other words that cause problems.

SHEET

A sheet of paper.

Could you please pass me a sheet of paper?

Again you got that long e sound like this sheep.

But it’s not a shit of paper. It’s not it.

A bit funny a shit of paper but we’re talking about a sheet of paper.

So if you go into your office and you ask your colleague
can you pass me a shit of paper… What? They’ll be a little bit surprised.

So it is a sheet of paper.

We can talk about shit some other time.

You might find the video or the movie you watched shit.

But when we’re talking about the sheet of paper it’s SHEET.

You try it:

  • sheep
  • ship
  • sheet

That’s our lesson today on pronunciation. I hope you’ve
enjoyed it and you’ve understood a little of the problems that students can come across.

And all it is is practice,
practice and practice.

Get yourself a good teacher.

Listen, practise. Listen and practise and repeat. Repeat to get those sounds right.

So as always subscribe to my channel and join me on www.englishlessonviaskype.com

And when you get there, make sure you look out for the new announcement of my Easy Peasy English Club.

This is a wonderful new invention by me where you can join the club.

In that club you will get one free lesson every week. Yeah one free lesson. One lesson is going to be recorded every week.

And then you also have an opportunity to get into a competition where you’ll get one FREE face-to-face lesson with me if you win that competition.

So look out for it and join me again soon.

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More Information

For more information on English idioms, English phrasal verbs and English vocabulary, check out the following links:

Difference between LIKE and AS

16 Phrasal Verbs with OUT

English Collocations with READ

English Collocations with GIVE

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