We’re back with another eight words that are hard to pronounce in British and American English. Watch some English learners pronounce them and learn how Vicki and Jay say them.

You’ll learn how to say: fifth, basically, chaos, refrigerator, fridge, Tuesday, photograph, photography, height, weight and eight. You’ll also get some pronunciation tips for how to pronounce long words and shifting words stress.

Click here and click here to see more words that are hard to pronounce

Click here learn more about British and American English differences

8 words that are hard to pronounce in English

Hi everyone. I’m Vicki and I’m British.
And I’m Jay and I’m American.
And we’re back with eight more words that are to pronounce in English.
We asked some English learners to pronounce some tricky words for us.
We’re going to see how they say them and then we’ll show you how Vicki and I say them.
So in British and American English. Ready? First word…

Fifth, fife, feeth.
Fit. Fit? I don’t know.

Ha! That was a hard one to start with.
Yes, it’s tricky because you have to move from f to th. With f your top teeth are touching your bottom lip. f. f .
f. f.
But with th you have to bring your tongue forward. It touches your teeth. th. th.
th. Fifth. Fifth. You have to move your tongue forward very quickly.
Try saying it with our learners.

Fifth. Fifth. Fifth. Fifth.

OK. What’s next?
Let’s see.

Basically. Basically. Ba…Basically.

Nearly! But how many syllables does this word have?
I say bay-sic-ally – three syllables.
Me too.

Basically. Basically. Basically. Basically. Basically.

That’s it!
Yes! They did well. Say it with us.
Great, what’s next?
The next word comes from Greek.

Caow. Shoaos. Cawoh. Sh… Showos. Sh… Showos.

Oooo. No, no, no. It starts with a k sound and we pronounce the s at the end. Chaos.
Chaos means in a mess. When there’s chaos, nothing is organized.
Yes, everything is confused and nothing is in order.
It’s like when you’ve been cooking. The kitchen is in chaos.
What do you mean?
It takes me ages to clean up. Say it with us.
The kitchen’s in chaos.
The kitchen’s in chaos when Vicki’s been cooking.
OK, what’s next?
Let’s try a long one.

Oh. Re… Refri… No, I don’t… Refri… No.

Ha! OK, here’s a trick. When it’s a long word, sometimes it’s easier to start at the back and work forward. It’s called backchaining. Try it with me.
Could you say it?
Try it with our learners.

Refrigerator. Refrigerator. Refrigerator.

You know we say this word a little differently.
Yeah. Your r sounds are stronger than mine. It’s a British and American difference.
But I have a different way to say this word that’s much easier.
What’s that?
In British English we usually just say fridge.
Yeah, we say fridge. It means the same thing.
Don’t listen to her. It’s a refrigerator.
OK, here’s a useful word.

Tuesday. Tuesday. Tuesday. Tuesday.

They’re pretty good.
Yes. Now, I can say this word in two ways. Tuesday and ‘Tuesdii’.
Ah, me too.
Tuesday and ‘Tuesdii’.
Tuesday and ‘Tuesdii’.
But there’s a slight difference in how we say the first syllable. See if you can hear it.
You say too and I say tyoo. Did you hear the difference? In British English there’s a little j sound. ‘Tjuesday’.
That’s weird.
So you can ‘chjoose’ how you say it.
Try it with our learners.

Tuesday. Erm, Tuesday. Tuesday. Tuesday.

OK, next one.
Yes. This one’s really hard.

Owry. Ayree. Ahree.

Oh no! They were all wrong!
The pronunciation is awry. What does awry mean Vicki?
If something goes awry, then it doesn’t go in the way that was planned.
So if we plan to have a party on our deck but then it rains, our plans go awry.
That’s right.
We had to help our learners with that one.

Awry? OK.
Oree? Oree?
Awry. All right.

OK, what’s next?
Let’s see.

Photo-graphy. Photo-graphy. Photo-graphy.

Ah, not quite!
It’s tricky because there’s a PHOTograph – that’s the picture, and then there’s the activity of taking photographs and that’s phoTOgraphy.
Yes, the word stress shifts.
Photograph. Photography.
Photograph. Photography.
So in photography you’ve got to stress TOG. Photography.
Say it with our learners.

Photography. Photography.

OK, let’s have the last one.
This word’s very common.

Hate. Hate? Height. Hate. Height.

So is it hate or is it height?
It’s height. So how tall or high off the ground something is.
Hate is a different word. Like I hate going to the dentist.
Me too. But here’s how we say height.
It’s confusing because of the spelling. Because with the number eight we say eight.
Yes, and there’s also weight, so how heavy something is. Weight.
But the vowel sound is different in height.
Eight, weight, height.
Eight, weight, height.
English spelling is really confusing.
Yes. Say height with our learners.

Height. Height. Height. Height. Yeah!

If you want to see some more words that are hard to pronounce, we’ve made some other videos.
Yeah, I’ll put a link here.
And let us know in the comments what words you find hard to pronounce in English and perhaps we can make another video about them too.
See you all next week everyone!
We’d like to say a big thank you to all the English learners who helped us make this video.
They were terrific and such good fun.
Click here and click here to see more words that are hard to pronounce
Click here learn more about British and American English differences


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2 thoughts on “8 words that are hard to pronounce in English”

  1. Great video as always!
    Here some examples of words that my students find difficult to pronounce:
    – vegetable

    Bye for now!

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