10 more difficult words to pronounce in British and American English

10 more difficult words to pronounce in British and American English

We’re back with 10 more words that English learners find hard to pronounce. British spelling is so different from its pronunciation! Some of these are tricky, but they’re also fun. Check you’re saying them right! You’ll hear how we say them in British and American English.


Click here to see our first video with ten words that are hard to pronounce, and click here to see the second one.
Click here to see more pronunciation videos.

10 more words that are hard to pronounce video script

Hello everyone. I’m Vicki and I’m British.
And I’m Jay and I’m American.
And we’re back with another 10 words that are hard to pronounce in British and American
English.
Thank you to everyone who has told us about words you find hard to pronounce.
Yeah, that was great. Let’s get going.
OK, here’s the first one.

Queue. I don’t know.
Oh. que, que, que?

That’s funny. This word looks nothing like it sounds.
Yeah, the spelling is so different.

Queue. Queue. Queue.

Now they’ve got it right!
Yes.
Queue. Queue.
But we don’t usually say queue in American English. When we’re waiting, we wait in
line.
And British people wait in a queue. We do it a lot because we’re very polite.
Yeah right. Let’s see what’s next.

Iron. Iron. Iron.

Ah, not quite. This word is tricky. In British English, the r is silent.
So you write r but you don’t say it?
Yes, we say iron. Iron.
Mmm. I think you say it a little differently in American.
Iron.
Ah, so you pronounce the r, but it comes after the schwa.
Iron. Iron. Say it with us.
Iron. Iron. Iron. Iron.
What’s next?
OK, several people suggested this one.

Chocolate. Chocolate.

That’s not right.
Yes, it looks like it has three syllables but it only has two.

Chocolate. Chocolate.

They’re good! It has 2 syllables – chock-lit-
and the final vowel sound is I, not ay.
Chocolate.
Chocolate.
Now I come from Brooklyn in New York and we have a different sound at the start too.
What’s that?
Chawklit.
Chawklit. So like chalk?
Yeah, chawklit! Chawklit.
Don’t say it like that! Chocolate! OK, what’s
next?
Another suggestion from a viewer.

Environment. Environment.

Ah, it’s not veer, it’s vai. Environment.
Environment.
Environment.
You’ve got to get the rhythm right. Vi gets the stress.
EnVIronment
Let’s back chain it. Say it with me.
-ment -ronment -vironment – environment
So that n sound is very weak?
Yes, and sometimes it disappears. Say it with our learners.

Environment. Environment. Environment.

Next one?
Yes – this one’s a very common word.

Wednesday. Wednesday.

Not quite. OK, so there’s a question here.
Is it three syllables – Wednesday – or two syllables – Wednesday?
Wednesday. Wednesday.
It’s two syllables. Wednesday.
And remember the first D is silent. Try it!
Wednesday? Wednesday. Wednesday. Wednesday.
Next one?
Yep.
This one will really get your mouths moving.

Sixth. Sixth. Sixth.
Errr… Sixthes? Six? Sixth?

It’s really hard.
Is it the th sound?
Yes, very few languages have this sound. Unfortunately
English is one of them. Sixth. Sixth. After six you’ve got to get your
tongue forward to say sixth.
Sixth.
Sixth.
We should make another video about that th sound.
Yeah.

Sixth. Sixth. Sixth.

Hey, they were pretty good. Is there an easier way to say this?
Yes. You can cheat. Skip the th sound and say siks.
Siks.
Siks.
We sometimes say that when we’re speaking fast.
Next one?
Yeah.
This comes from a viewer too.

Err tongue.
Tongue. I don’t know.

The spelling and pronunciation are so different.
Yes. This is your tongue. Tongue.
Tongue. So we don’t say tong. It’s tongue.
Yeah. It’s an ^ sound. And there’s no g sound
at the end. It’s just ng. It’s in your nose. ng.
Tongue.
Tongue.
Say it with our learners

Tongue. Tongue. Tongue. Tongue.

OK, the next one’s interesting.
What’s that?

Infamous. Infamous. Infamous. Infamous. Infamous.

Ah, they’re all wrong!
It’s hard. So what’s the problem here?
The word stress – we say INfamous. Not inFAMous
INfamous. It means famous but in a bad way – not in a good way.
Yes, like an infamous killer.
An infamous crime.
Infamous. Infamous.
The prefix ‘in’ can change the meaning of a word into its opposite.
Like, incorrect is the opposite of correct.
Yes. Independent, indirect, inexpensive. They’re
all opposites.
OK, next one?
Yeah. Let’s have something easier.

February. February. February. It’s very difficult this word for French people.

They’re pretty good.
Yes. We can pronounce this word in different ways. We can say the r sound – roo – Feb|roo|a|ry
or we can make a j sound Feb|you|a|ry.
Feb|roo|a|ry Feb|you|a|ry. Oh yeah.
I think most people say Feb|you|a|ry. It’s
a little easier.
February.
February.
Another question. How many syllables does it have?
Feb|ru|a|ry – 4 syllables.
OK, in British English we also say Feb|ru|ary.
Feb|ru|ary. 3 syllables. February. So say it however you like and we’ll probably understand.
Chocolate.
No, not Chocolate, but February.
That’s easy to say.
Yes. Now let’s finish with a hard one. OK.

Worcestershire. Worcestershire.
Worcestershire. OK. Worcestershire. What is that?

This is the name of a place in England, and it’s also the name of this sauce.
It’s hard to say.

Oh my god! Worcestershire

She nearly got it right!
Yeah, we say Worcestershire (Woostershire).
It’s the name of a county in England, so an area that has its own government. And Worcester
is the name of a town.
We have a town called Worcester in Massachusetts – same spelling and pronunciation.
You got it from us.
Worcester
Worcester
It’s the same in British and American.
But there’s another town in Pennsylvania called Worcester, so some people might say
that. Worcester.
Well what’s this?
Well I say Worcestershire sauce.
In British English we drop the shire and just say Worcestershire (Wooster).
Worcestershire sauce
Worcestershire sauce.
Would you like some Worcestershire sauce in your tomato juice?
In my tomato juice, yes.
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.
If you liked it please give us a thumbs up and don’t forget to subscribe to our channel.
And if there are words you find hard to pronounce
in English, please tell us in the comments below, so we can make a video about them.
See you all next week.
Yeah, bye everyone.
Well, what’s this?
Well, I say Worceses….
Click here to see our first video with ten words that are hard to pronounce, and click here to see the second one.
Click here to see more pronunciation videos.

Eight different ways to say ‘ough’ in English

Eight different ways to say ‘ough’ in English

We write ‘ough’ but how do we pronounce it? In this lesson we look at eight different ways we say the letter combination ‘ough’. We’ve also made a reference chart that you can download for free by clicking here.


Other videos you might enjoy:
The suffix -ion (-tion, -sion)
The prefixes under- and over-
More pronunciation videos

Ough pronunciation video

Hi, today we’re going to look at eight different ways we pronounce these letters in English.
Eight?
Yes, eight!
For those that don’t know us, I’m Vicki and I’m British.
And I’m Jay and I’m American and today we also have some English learners to help us.
We’re looking at how we pronounce this letter combination in English, because it has lots of different sounds.
Because English is crazy.
So here’s your first task. Listen to our learners say two words, and work out what sound the letters make.

Thought. Thought. Thought.
Bought. Bought. Bought.

They’re good!
Yes. Now, what was the sound? Thought – bought – that o-u-g-h is an aw sound – like in the word saw.

Thought. Bought.
Thought. Bought.

Are there other words like that?
Yes, how do you think we say this word?

Out? Owout? Ooch? No? Ought. Ought.

That was hard for them
Yes, we say ought.

Ought.
Ought.

It’s that aw sound again – ought.
So you OUGHT to so remember it.
Here are some more words with this sound. Nought – like the number zero. Brought – the past tense of bring. And fought – the past tense of fight.
They all end with the letter T.
Yes.
So if a word ends with T, we say aw – awt?
Erm, not always. There’s an exception – drought.

Drought. Drought. Drought.

They got it!
Yes. A drought is a long period of time when there’s no rain.

Drought.
Drought.

So for o-u-g-h we say ow.
Yes, ow. Drought – like in the word shout.
OK, what’s the next sound?
Let’s see.

Through. Through.

Through – it’s an ooo sound.
Yes, through – like in the word shoe. Ooo.

Through.
Through.

Stay with us and we’ll get THROUGH all the sounds.
OK, the next word looks very similar, but the sound is very different.

Oh gee, thorough. Thorough.

If we do something completely, we’re thorough.
And when we pay attention to detail we’re thorough.
Say it again.
Thorough.
Thorough. We say this a little differently in British and American English
Really?

Thorough. Thorough. Thorough. Thorough.

You say oh, like in the word row, and I say eh – just a little schwa sound – thorough.
A thorough explanation.
A thorough explanation.
OK, next sound.
This was hard for our learners.

Halthoughth? Althougth? Althuth? Although. Although? Oh my… Although. Although.

Our learners were terrific and we want to say a big thank you to them all.
They were great fun.
And the word was although.

Although.
Although.

We use this when we’re introducing something surprising into a conversation.
ALTHOUGH the word was difficult, they still tried to say it.
And sometimes we shorten it and we just say ‘though’.

Er thoughth? Thougth? Though. Toe? Tuth? Though. Though. Though.

Though. Though. Though. Though.

Now the o-u-g-h sound was oh – like the word ‘go’.
Are there any other words like that?
Yes. There’s dough – dough is a mixture of flour and water that we use to make bread. And there’s also this word.

Doughnut? Ah, doughnut. Doughnut, not that’s… yeah. Doughnut. Doughnut. That one I know.

Everyone knew that one!

Doughnut. Doughnut.

You can also spell it like this.
That’s how we usually spell it in American English.
So there’s although, though, dough, doughtnut. O-u-g-h is an ‘oh’ sound.
Let’s have another one.

Cough. Cough. Cough. Cough. Cough? OK, cough.

Cough – it’s an ‘off’ sound – like in the word off.
That’s right.

Cough.
Cough.

Cough is what you do when you have a bad cold. But there’s a similar word with a different sound.

I have no idea what this is but hic coughs? hiccoughs? No.

She got it. It looks like cough but we say hiccups.
Hic, Hic, Hic.
Jay’s got hiccups.
Hiccoughs.
Hiccoughs.
So here the sound us ‘up’.
Now there’s another way to spell this word.
Yes. Usually we spell it like this but you’ll see both spellings.
OK. What’s next?
This is the last one.
All right.
I’ve got two words for you. What’s the sound?

OK, so rough. Rough. Rough. Tough. Tough. Tough.

That wasn’t too tough – they did well!
Yeah.

Rough. Tough.
Rough. Tough.

What’s the sound?
Rough – tough – it’s an uff sound.
Yes, like the word puff or cuff.
Are there any other words like that?
Yes, here’s one.

Enough. Enough. Enough already!

They were terrific
So have you had enough?
I think so! Eight different sounds for o-u-g-h? English is hard.

English is hard. You can understand it through tough thorough though though. Thought! THought! THought!
English is hard. You can understand it through tough thorough thought though.
Yes! Brilliant!

English is hard.
We should write a song about it.
Yeah!
If you want more practice with the sounds and spellings in this video, I’ve made a chart for you. It’s free and I’ll put a link in the details below.
If you enjoyed this video, please give it a thumbs up.
And help a friend whose learning English. Send them a link.
Please subscribe to this channel if you haven’t already.
And see you all next Friday everyone. Bye!
Bye-bye.

Other videos you might enjoy:
The suffix -ion (-tion, -sion)
The prefixes under- and over-

Improve your pronunciation with more English Tongue Twisters

Improve your pronunciation with more English Tongue Twisters

Improve your English pronunciation and have fun with English tongue twisters. They’re a great way to improve diction and practice tricky English sounds. In this lesson we practice ‘Flash message’, ‘I saw a kitten eating chicken in the kitchen’ and ‘a proper copper coffee pot’.

Click here to see our first tongue twisters video and click here to see our third one.
Click here to see more pronunciation videos.

Tongue twisters 2 video script

Hi everyone. I’m Vicki and I’m British.
And I’m Jay and I’m American and we’ve got some more English tongue twisters today. What does the word twist mean, Vicki?
It means to bend or turn something into a particular shape so tongue twisters are phrases that twist your tongue.
They’re difficult to say quickly, so they’re great pronunciation practice.
And we’ve got some English learners to help us again. Are you ready for the first one?
Yeah!

Flash message. Flash message. Flash message. Flash message. Flash message. Flash message. Flash message. Flash message. Flash message.

You want to start slowly and then speed up.
Yeah. You have to be careful not to muddle up s and sh sounds.
It really gets your mouth moving. Flash message. Flash message.
Yes. Tongue twisters strengthen muscles in your mouth.
That’s good because you’re going to move your mouth differently if you’re learning English.
Yeah, tongue twisters are good practice because you can train you mouth to move in new ways.
Yeah. Say it with our learners.

Flash message. Flash message. Flash message. Flash message. Flash message. Flash message. Flash message. Flash message. Flash message.

They were great. OK, I’m ready for the next one. What is it?
Let’s see.

I saw a kitten eating chicken in the kitchen. I saw a kitten eating chicken in the kitchen. I saw a kitten eating chicken in the kitchen. I saw a kitten eating chicken in the kitchen. I saw a kitten eating chicken in the kitchen. I saw a kitten eating chicken in the kitchen. Wow!

I think we say this a little differently in British and American English.
Really? I saw a kitten eating chicken in the kitchen.
I saw a kitten eating chicken in the kitchen.
My t sounds are stronger than yours, because I’m British. I say kitten. And eating.
Ki’en – I don’t say the t sound. kitten
Yeah, before an ng sound, you don’t pronounce ts in American.
But you do in British English?
Well, if I’m speaking carefully I say kitten. t. kitten. But if I’m speaking quickly and casually, I put a stop on the t as well. Like you. So I’ll say ki’en. But the big difference is I pronounce the t in eating. eating.
EaDing
Yeah, you see that’s a flap t. It’s little like a very fast D sound in American.
EaDing. EaDing.
I say eating. Eating.
I saw a kitten eating chicken in the kitchen.
I saw a kitten eating chicken in the kitchen.
Say it with our learners.

I saw a kitten eating chicken in the kitchen. I saw a kitten eating chicken in the kitchen. I saw a kitten eating chicken in the kitchen. I saw a kitten eating chicken in the kitchen. I saw a kitten eating chicken in the kitchen. I saw a kitten eating chicken in the kitchen. I saw a kitten eating chicken in the kitchen.

That’s funny. OK, what’s next?
A proper copper coffee pot.
What?
A proper copper coffee pot. OK, proper – that means correct or right. Then copper – that’s a kind of metal.
It’s a brown gold color. We use copper to make electric wires.
And pipes, and coins. Can you say it?
A proper copper coffee pot.
Yeah. Let’s see how our learners did.

A proper copper coffee pot. A proper copper coffee pot. A proper copper coffee pot. A proper copper coffee pot. A proper copper coffee pot. A proper copper coffee pot. A proper copper coffee pot. No. It’s not working, is it?

I saved the hardest for last again.
Yes. Our learners were great sports. We want to say a big thank you to everyone who helped us.
Yeah, they were a lot of fun. I think we should have a rhyme now.
A proper copper coffee pot rhyme?
Yeah, let see if you can say it with us and get some rhythm going. .
All I want is a proper cup of coffee. Made in a proper copper coffee pot. You can believe it or not. But I want a cup of coffee from a proper copper pot. Tin coffee pots or iron coffee pots, they’re not good to me. If I can’t have a proper cup of coffee from a proper copper coffee pot, I’ll just have tea.
Could you say it?
We’ll do it again, but this time faster.
See if you can say it with us.
All I want is a proper cup of coffee. Made in a proper copper coffee pot. You can believe it or not. But I want a cup of coffee from a proper copper pot. Tin coffee pots or iron coffee pots, they’re not good to me. If I can’t have a proper cup of coffee from a proper copper coffee pot, I’ll just have tea.
All I want is a proper cup of coffee. Made in a proper copper coffee pot. You can believe it or not. But I want a cup of coffee from a proper copper pot.
Did you keep up with us? You can play it again if you need to.
I think my tongue is twisted now.
If you liked this video, please give it a thumbs up and share it with a friend.
Yeah and make sure you subscribe to our channel. See you next week!
Bye.

A proper copper coffee pot. A proper copper coffee pot. I saw a kitten eating chicken in the kitchen. I saw a kitten eating chicken in the kitchen. Flash message. Flash message. Flash message.

Click here to see our first tongue twisters video and click here to see our third one.
Click here to see more pronunciation videos.

copper coffee pot

A proper copper coffee pot – an English tongue twister song

Can you say a proper copper coffee pot three times fast? This tongue twister song is for English learners who want to improve their speaking and pronunciation. ‘All I want is a proper cup of coffee’ will get your mouths moving, improve your diction and best of all, it’s a whole lot of fun.

Proper Copper Coffee Pot Lyrics

All I want is a proper cup of coffee.
Made in a proper copper coffee pot.
You can believe it or not.
But I want a cup of coffee from a proper copper pot.
Tin coffee pots or iron coffee pots, they’re not good to me.
If I can’t have a proper cup of coffee from a proper copper coffee pot, I’ll just have tea.
All I want is a proper cup of coffee.
Made in a proper copper coffee pot.
You can believe it or not.
But I want a cup of coffee from a proper copper pot.
Click here to see some students trying this tongue twister.

Practice pronunciation with English tongue twisters

Practice pronunciation with English tongue twisters

Improve your English pronunciation and have fun with English tongue twisters. They’re a great way to improve diction and practice tricky English sounds.

Hello everyone and welcome.
For those that don’t know us, I’m Vicki and I’m British.
And I’m Jay and I’m American and we’ve got something different today.
Yes. We’re going to get our mouths working with some tongue twisters. Tongue twisters.
A tongue twister is a phrase that’s difficult to say quickly and correctly.
So they’re great pronunciation practice.
And we’ve got some English learners to help us. Let’s get started.
OK. The first one is ‘She sees cheese’.
She sees cheese?
Yeah, so with her eyes. She sees cheese.
Let’s see how our learners did.

She sees cheese. She sees cheese. She sees cheese. She sees cheese. All right. She sees cheese. She sees cheese. She sees cheese. She sees cheese. She sees cheese. She sees cheese.

They’re good.
Yes, now the trick is to start slowly and then speed up.
Yup, speak slowly first and make sure you pronounce the start and endings of the words very clearly.
She sees cheese.
You have to put your tongue up and back a little for the sh sound, then bring it forward for s. And cheese starts with a t sound. tsh.
So it’s t and sh together? tsh
That’s right. Try it. She sees cheese. She sees cheese. Now faster. She sees cheese. She shes… Oh..
Try it with our students.

She sees cheese. She sees cheese. She sees cheese. She sees cheese. She sees cheese. She sees cheese. She sees cheese. She sees cheese. She sees cheese. She sees cheese. She sees cheese. She sees cheese.

They were good!
Yeah. Now, what’s the next one?
OK. Ready.
Yeah.
Eddie edited it.
Yeah, so Eddie is a man’s name and edit is what we do to the text in a document, when we change the words.
OK. Let’s see how our learners did.

Eddie edited it. Eddie edited it. Eddie edited it. Eddie edited it. Eddie edited it. Eddie edited it. Eddie edited it.

How many syllables are there in edit?
Edit – two syllables. But this is the past tense, so we add -ed. It’s edited. Three syllables.
Eddie edited it.
Try it. Eddie edited it. Eddie edited it. Now faster. Eddie edited it. Eddie edited it.
Try it with our learners.

Eddie edited it. Eddie edited it. Eddie edited it. Eddie edited it. Eddie edited it. Eddie edited it. Eddie edited it. Eddie edited it. Eddie edited it.

They’re good!
Yeah. You know when you’re learning a new language, it’s not just grammar and vocabulary you have to learn. You have to train your mouth muscles to move in new ways.
Yes, and tongue twisters are great for that. OK. What’s the next one?
I saved the hardest for last. He threw three free throws.
He threw three free throws. Oh. So like in basketball, or soccer, a free throw.
Not soccer. Football. But yeah, free throws.
So let’s see how our learners did.

He threw three free throws. He threw three free throws. He threw three free throws. He threw three free throws. He threw three free throws.

It’s really hard.
Yes. We’ve got a lot of thr sounds there. Th and then r. You have to pull your tongue back fast again.
Three free throws. We need to slow this down.
Yeah, let’s back chain it. Say it with me.
throws
free throws
three free throws
He threw three free throws.
Try it with our learners.

OK. He threw three free throws. He threw three free throws. He threw three free throws. He threw three free throws. He threw three free throws. He threw three free throws.

It’s a tough one. Have we got some music?
Yeah, let’s get some rhythm going. Are you ready?

He threw three free throws.
Who threw three free throws?
He threw free throws.
Three free throws?
Three free throws.
He threw three free throws.
Three free throws through the hoop.

Could you say it?
Let’s speed it up a bit. Say it with us again but faster. 1 2 3 go.

He threw three free throws.
Who threw three free throws?
He threw free throws.
Three free throws?
Three free throws.
He threw three free throws.
Three free throws through the hoop.

Did you keep up with us? You can play it again if you didn’t.
Is that it for this week?
Yes, we’re done.
We need to say a big thank you to our English learners.
Yeah, thank you all so much. You were great.
See you all next week everyone.
Bye.
Bye bye.

Oh, Eddie edited it. Eddie edited it. Eddie edited it. She sees cheese. She sees cheese. She sees cheese. Wonderful. He threw free throws. He threw free throws. Brilliant.

Click here to try more tongue twisters.

hard to pronounce in English

10 more words that are hard to pronounce in English.

Do you know how to pronounce vegetables? And what about the word mirror or psychiatrist? English spellings often don’t match the pronunciation so we’re back with another ten words that learners find hard to pronounce. You’ll hear how we say them in British and American English.

Click here to see our first video on words that are hard to pronounce and click here to see our third one.
Click here to see more pronunciation videos.

10 more words video script

Are you ready to get your mouth moving? We’re back with 10 more words that are hard to pronounce in English.
We’ve got 10 tricky words. We’re going see how some English learners say them and see how Jay and I say them in British and American English. Let’s get started. First word.

Vegetables.
Vegetables.

No. That’s not right.

Vegetables.

That’s better. It only has three syllables. Vege-ta-bles. I know it looks like it has four but it doesn’t.
Vegetables.
Vegetables.
I don’t like vegetables.
I know but they’re good for you. Next word.

Women.
Women.

Woman is the singular, but women is the plural. The vowel sound changes from eh to I
One woman. Two women.
One woman. Two women.
So we write the same letter, but we say it differently.
Yeah. Tricky eh? OK, next word. This one doesn’t look like it sounds either.

Suit.
Suit. Suit.
Suit.

No. This is a sweet and this is a suit.
No that’s a candy and this is a suit.
Suit.
Suit.
There’s another word like that – fruit.
Yeah, fruit and suit. They have the same vowel sound. OK, next word.

Subtle. Sub… Subtle.
Subtle.
Sub… eh… Subtle?

It’s hard to say.
Yeah, the b is silent so we say subtle.
If something is not very noticeable or obvious then it’s subtle.
A subtle difference.
A subtle flavor.
Subtle.
Subtle.
We have a lot of words with silent letters in English.
Yeah. Here’s another common one.

Answer.
Answer.

No, the ‘w’ should be silent.

Answer.

Yeah, that’s it.
Answer.
Answer.
OK, let’s see if you can answer another one.

Clothes.
Cloth.

This one’s hard because you’ve got the th sound quickly followed by s. You have to pull your tongue back very fast. ths – clothes.
Clothes
Clothes
Be careful not to say cloth-es. It’s just one syllable. Clothes
Yeah and don’t say cloth. That’s a different word. Cloth is the material that clothes are made of.
But here’s a secret. If you say close – like close the door – we’ll understand. We say that too, especially when we’re speaking fast.
Put on your clothes.
Put on your clothes.
OK. Next one.

Jewelry, jewelry.
Jewelry. Jewelry?

No. Listen and count the syllables.
Jewellery.
Jewelry.
Jewellery.
Jewelry.
Two or three syllables? It’s like two and a half isn’t it. And sometimes that schwa disappears and we just say two. Jool–ry. Jool-ry.
Say it like that. It’s easier.
Jool-ry.
Jool-ry.
I like your jewlry.
Oh. Thank you. Next word.

Mirror.
Mirror.
Mirror.

It’s another hard one. Look at all those r’s.
Mirror.
Mirror.
Jay’s r sounds are stronger than mine. And we write ‘o’ but we just say a schwa.. Mirror.
And when we’re speaking quickly, you can hardly hear it.
Look in the mirr’.
Look in the mirr’.
OK, next one.

Sour.
Sour. Sour?
Sour.

We pronounce it sour. For example, lemons are sour. And we eat sour cream.
Sour.
Sour.
It rhymes with hour.
Yeah. Hour – sour.
OK. What’s the last word.
Ah, I saved the most difficult for last.

Psychiatrist. Psychia… Psychiatrist.
Oh my god. Psy… Psychiatrist.
Psy… Psy… Ha, ha!

That was a challenge.
Yeah, thank you Remi, Fernando and Hugo. You were great.
But what were they trying to say?
Psychiatrist. You know, like a doctor for mental illnesses.
Psychiatrist.
Psychiatrist.
In words that start with the letters psy like this, the p is silent. We say s. So psychiatry, psychology. Psychiatrist. It has four syllables, psy-chi-a-trist. And there’s a really cool technique that can help you to say long words like this. Back chain them, so start at the back and work forward. trist – atrist- chiatrist- psychiatrist. Again. trist – atrist- chiatrist- psychiatrist. Did you say it?
If you want to see some more words that are hard to pronounce, we’ve made another video about some.
Yeah, I’ll put a link here.
Let us know in the comments below what words you find hard to pronounce in English and perhaps we’ll make another video about them.
Great! See you all next week! Bye. Bye-bye.
Click here to see our first video on words that are hard to pronounce and click here to see our third one.
Click here to see more pronunciation videos.

10 difficult words to say in British and American English

10 difficult words to say in British and American English

What words do you find hard to pronounce in English? In this video we look at 10 words that English learners find tricky and look at how we say them in British and American English.

Are there any words that you’re pronouncing wrongly in English? Let’s find out.
We’re going to look at ten words that are tricky, see how some English learners say them and see how Jay and I say them.
So in British and American English. Ready? First word…

Comfortables – ah, no ‘s’. Comfortable.
Comfortable.
Comfortable.

No, no, no. It’s comfortable. Comfortable. 3 syllables. We write it like it has 4 – comf-or-ta-ble, but the ‘or’ disappears.

Comfortable
Comfortable.

That’s the thing about English pronunciation. We often don’t say what we write. OK. Next one.

Months, months, months.
Months
Months.

Not bad. It’s hard to pronounce this word because it’s got the ‘th’ sound quickly followed by ‘s’. You have to pull your tongue back very fast. Months. Months. Be careful not to say month-es. It’s just one syllable. Months.
Now here’s a secret. If you say muns or munts, we’ll understand. We say that too when we’re speaking fast.

Muns.
Munts.

OK, next one.

Receep.
Receep.

Nope.

Recipe.

Nearly. It has three syllables but the stress is on the first syllable.

Recipe

Mmmm. This soup is delicious.
It was my mother’s recipe.

The next word looks similar.

Recept.
Receipt.
Recept.

No. We don’t pronounce the ‘p’. It’s silent.

Receipt
Receipt

A receipt is a document that shows you’ve paid for something. Let’s hear it in a sentence.

Yes?
I’d like to return this sweater.
Do you have the receipt?
No, I’m sorry. I lost it.
Did you pay by credit card?
No, I paid cash.
Then I’m sorry. I can’t help you.
But I just bought it this morning.

Next word.

Literature.
Literature.
Literature.

It’s hard. How many syllables does it have? Jay and I say it differently.

Literature.
Literature.

Did you hear the difference? In British English it just has three syllables and in American it has four.

Lit-e-ra-ture.
Lite-ra-ture.
Literature.
Literature.

There’s a great way to practise long words like this. It’s called backchaining. You start at the back of the word and work forward. ture-rature-literature. Try it. ture-rature-literature. Great. Next one. Let’s have something easier.

Busy.
Busy.

It’s nearly right but notice the vowel sound. It’s not ooo – and it’s not u like in bus. It’s /I/ like in bit.

Can we talk?
I’m a bit busy.

Busy.
Busy.

OK, next one.

Debt.
Debt.

No.

Debt.

Pretty close! A debt is money that you owe someone. You borrowed some money and now you’re in debt. But the letter b is silent. Listen.

Debt.
Debt.

Another word like that is doubt – when you’re not sure if something is true.
Yes. That has a silent ‘b’ too.
I doubt if you can say the next word.

Hierarchy.
Hierarchy.
Hierarchy.

No,that’s not right.

Hierarchy.
Hierarchy.

This word means a system where people are organized into different levels of importance. So like in a company with the boss at the top. Hierarchy.
Hi-er-ar-chy – it’s four syllables but sometimes we run the first two together so it’s almost three. Hier-ar-chy. Let’s back chain it. Say it with me. chy – archy – hierarchy. Great, next one. This one’s very common.

Aren’t.
Aren’t.
Aren’t.

No, all wrong. When you contract are and not, you have to make them one syllable. But Jay and I say this word differently. Listen.

Aren’t.
Aren’t.

My r is much softer and Jay’s is stronger.

Aren’t.
Aren’t.

Say it the American way!
It doesn’t matter which way you say it, but make sure it has just one syllable.
And sometimes we don’t pronounce the ‘t’.
Yeah. When we’re speaking casually we both put a stop on the t, so it ends abruptly. Aren’.
Aren’ – We aren’ finished yet.
That’s right. We aren’. Here’s the next word

Crisps. Crisps. Crisps.
Crisps.
Crisps.

These are crisps. The tricky thing here is the ‘sps’ at the end – sps. Try it. sps. sps.

Crisps
Crisps

But we don’t call these crisps in America. We call them potato chips. Say chips.
No chips are different. We have fish and chips.
They’re French fries.
OK, last word. This one’s very tricky.

Thoroughly. Thoroughly. Thoroughly.
Thoroughly. No, I don’t know.
Thoroughly. Je sais pa.

It’s very hard. It’s got a th sound and then an ^ vowel and then an r and an l sound.

Thoroughly.
Thoroughly.
Thoroughly.
Thoroughly.

Let’s back chain it. Say it with me. ly–oroughly-thoroughly. ly–oroughly-thoroughly. Could you say it?
And that’s it. We want to say a big thank you to our English learners: Remi, Fenando and Hugo.
They were such great sports.
Now let us know in the comments below what words you find hard to pronounce in English and perhaps we’ll make another video about them.
Or send us a video an we’ll see if you’re saying a word correctly.
See you all next week! Bye. Bye-bye.

Watch more videos on difficult words to pronounce:

Here’s one on ten more words that are hard to pronounce.

And here’s one on some English tongue twisters.

Pronunciation really matters, of course, but so does grammar and vocabulary.

 

can can't pronunciation

How to say Can and Can’t in British and American

Learn how to pronounce can and can’t in British and American English. Can is pronounced in much the same way in both varieties, but can’t is very different.  It explains one of the (many) reasons why Vicki sometimes find it hard to understand Jay.

Click here to learn about some more British and American differences.
Click here to see more pronunciation videos
Click here to learn to use can, could and may to ask for permission.

Can Can’t pronunciation video script

Hi! This video’s about how we pronounce the words can and can’t in British and American English.
She means can and can’t.
Can and can’t.
Yeah, can and can’t.
I’m Vicki and I’m British.
And I’m Jay and I’m American.
We’ve received requests for a video on how we pronounce these two words.
I’m not surprised. Sometimes Vicki doesn’t understand me.
Yeah.

I don’t want you to see.
I can’t see.
Oh well let me try again.
Why? I can’t see.
Do yopu mean you can or you can’t see?
I can’t see.

When Jay says can’t, sometimes I think he’s saying can. It’s hard to hear the difference, but don’t worry. We’ll go step by step and show you how we pronounce these two words.
Let’s start with the word ‘can’. We both pronounce it in two ways. Strongly – can, and weakly – c’n. See if you can hear the difference.

Can you hear me?
Yes, I can. Can you hear me?
Yes I can.

C’n… C’n you hear me? That’s weak. Yes I can. Can. That’s strong. Jay and I both say can and c’n.

C’n… C’n you hear me?
C’n… C’n you hear me?

C’n. It links with the next word. It links with the next word. C’n you… C’n you hear me? There’s no gap. But notice, that when we give a short answer, we both say ‘can’ strongly.

Yes, I can.
Yes, I can.

Can is longer and higher in pitch. It’s stressed. So what’s happening here? Well, normally when we’re speaking, we pronounce ‘can’ weakly. C’n. But If we’re emphasizing can and stressing the word, we use the strong form. Can.

Can’t you hear me?
No, I CAN hear you.

We always use the strong form in short answers.

Can you hear me?
Yes, I can. Cnn you hear me?
Yes I can.

Did you hear the difference between can (c’n) and can there? OK. Great. Now let’s look at ‘can’t’.

Can’t is pronounced differently in British and American.
Yes. I say can’t.
And I say can’t.
That’s different. Listen.

Can’t.
Can’t.
Can’t.
Can’t.

It’s a different vowel sound. Did you hear it?

Can’t.
Can’t.
Can’t.
Can’t.

So what happens when we use ‘can’t’ in a sentence? Let’s look at some examples.

Jay had surgery on his hand this week.
I can’t open jars. And I can’t chop. Oh, but I can write. That’s because I’m left handed.

Listen carefully to how Jay says ‘can’t’ here. When we write ‘can’t’, it ends with ‘t’. But does Jay pronounce the ‘t’?

I can’t open jars.

There was no ‘t’ sound!

I can’t open jars.
I can’t see.

No ‘t’ sound! Jay puts a stop on the word so it ends suddenly and the ‘t’ disappears. See if you can hear the difference.

Can.
Can’t.
Can.
Can’t.
Can.
Can’t.

They sound similar, don’t they? But can’t is a little shorter. It ends more suddenly.

Can.
Can’t.

Now what about British English? Here’s how I say it.

He can’t open jars.

You can hear the t sound. It connects can’t and open and links the two words together. Can’t-open.

He can’t open jars.

The t sound gets added to the next word. OK, another example. But this one’s different.

Hello. Hello. I can’t hear you.
Oh!

Did you hear a ‘t’ sound there? Listen again.

I can’t hear you.

I didn’t pronounce the ‘t’! Sometimes in British English, we’re like Americans. We don’t pronounce the ‘t’.

I can’t hear you.

So what’s happening here? Often in spoken English, we don’t pronounce the final t sound clearly in negative words that end ‘nt. So words like can’t, don’t and won’t become can(’t), don(’t), and won(’t). The t sound can disappear when we’re speaking. This happens a lot in American English. And it sometimes happens in British English too. So instead of saying don’t we say don(’t).

I don(’t) know.
I don(’t) know.

And instead of saying won’t we say won(’t).

No, I won(’t).
No, I won(’t).

And the same thing happens with can’t. Instead of saying can’t we say can(’t). We just say /n/ at the end. Can(‘t). Can(‘t). It’s a quick /n/ sound. Try it. /n/ /n/. The sound is in your nose.
In British English, we generally pronounce our t sounds more clearly than Americans, especially if we’re speaking carefully. But when we’re speaking casually and informally, we often don’t say them – just like Americans.

I can(’t).
I can(’t).

In British English, sometimes we say the ‘t’ and sometimes we don’t.

I can’t see.
I can(‘t) see.

So shall we review?
Yeah. In British and American English, when we say ‘I ca’n do it’, can sounds like c’n.
That’s right. And in American, when you say ‘I can’t do it’, ‘can’t’ sounds like ‘can’.
That’s right. ‘I can’t do it.’
So in American English can is c’n and can’t is can(t).
That’s right. Can(’t.)
American English is hard!
No, it’s easy! What do you think?
We have more videos on differences between British and American English and if you click here you can see some.
And make sure you subscribe to our channel because we produce a new video every week.
Happy studying everyone! Bye.
Bye.

Click here to learn about some more British and American differences.
Click here to see more pronunciation videos
Click here to learn to use can, could and may to ask for permission.

accent

How to Learn a New Accent – Tips from an Impressionist

Learn how to improve your pronunciation, work on your English accent and become more intelligible with great tips from impressionist Akeem Lawanson, the hilarious creator of the AtomicHole YouTube channel. https://www.youtube.com/user/AtomIcHole
As well as improving your accent, you’ll also learn how to talk like Kermit the Frog, or any other celebrity or cartoon voices that tickle your fancy.

In this video, we’re going to learn how an impressionist copies voices. And discover how you can take your spoken English to a new level.
Today I’m here with Akeem. And Akeem has a YouTube channel in which he does impressions and comedy. What’s it called Akeem?
Uh, so the name of my channel is AtomicHole. Um, yeah, as you said Vicki, it’s a place where I pretty much do a lot of voiceover work and impressions.
So you are the perfect person to tell me about what you need to do to make yourself sound like someone else.
Absolutely, yeah, but first we should figure out who you want to sound like.
I want to sound like Kermit The Frog.
Ok, Kermit, heh heh heh heh, Kermit the… Kermit the frog. Of all the frogs in the world you chose Kermit.
I did.
OK. That’s perfect, perfect choice.
Um, so, in order to do Kermit you have to think like Kermit. OK. All right? Think green. That’s the first step. Uh huh. Thinking green.
OK, so I think of recyclable bottles.
OK.
Or, I think of Go!
Go is good. Go is good. Go is good when it comes to doing voices …Go… is what you want to think of. Just go for it. It’s green. Green means go.
Ok, that’s really useful advice when you’re learning to speak another language as well. You’ve got to go for it. And just try it. Absolutely, yeah. So, now that we’re thinking go, yup, all right, we’re just gonna do it. It doesn’t matter if you sound exactly like the character or not. All right, so in order to do it… what is something that Kermit the frog says often?
‘Miss Piggy.’
Well, he has said that numerous times, yes, um but one of the things that he kind of opens up like The Muppet Show with uh, is ‘Hi ho, Kermit the frog here.’ OK. So, taking a phrase from the character that you want to do an impression of, yeah, and repeating it. Excellent.
OK um, ‘Hi ho Kermit the frog here.’
OK Vicki, I’ll demonstrate before you just ‘go-for-it.’ Ok, so you can know exactly the pitch we’re going for here.
That’s another bit of useful advice, actually, which is to wait until you have an example and a good teacher.
Absolutely, I definitely agree 100 percent. Uh Ok, so, so, Kermit… so this is how you do it. So it’s ‘Hi ho, Kermit the frog here’.
Ok ‘Hi ho, Kermit the frog here.’
Close. Close, very close. Hi ho, Kermit the frog here. If you, if you listen to the voice you notice, you know, Kermit has a sort of.. uh, uh a certain inflection in his voice and he pauses at certain… he has a pace, a pacing, a certain pace to his voice… Yeah. …uh, that’s just very unique to him. You know, he talks like this. It’s very weird like no one really talks like this. It’s uh, uh I don’t know. I’ve never met anyone that talks like this. So it’s listen to the rhythm. Exactly, yes, the rhythm of his voice, um and the cadence as well, is what you really want to pay attention to when you’re actually going for an impression.
Yeah.
So let’s, so let’s try it again.
‘Hi ho Kermit the frog here.’ ‘Hi ho, Kermit the frog here’
Ok, that’s… I think we’re getting there. I think with a little bit more practice, I think we can actually get there. Um and so after that, so after you’ve practiced, you know, this line that… from this particular person, this, you know, celebrity, cartoon character, what… whomever it is, what you want to do is … one of the things that I do after I’ve, you know, driven everyone around me insane by repeating the same thing over and over again, is I try to just talk. Ok. You know , just talk regularly.
But that is another piece of really good advice, actually, for when you’re learning a language, which is to keep saying things over and over again. Just the same thing.
Absolutely. And getting it.
And particularly actually, with pronunciation. You’ll find that the way your mouth has to move or the.. the rhythm or… or the intonation that you’re using for one thing is going to transfer to another thing later.
Definitely. Absolutely. It definitely will. Uh, so now that we know how to do it, so we’re just going to talk like, uh, Kermit uh, just regularly. I think for the rest of this interview we should talk like Kermit. What do you think?
I will certainly try to do that.
Ok, I think we won’t, no, we gotta scratch that right now. But yeah so, it … sorry I even brought that up. We’ve had lots of good advice for language learning coming up here, ’cause some of the things that are going on..
Yeah, there’s…there’s…yeah I can see, I can see the correlation between the two, absolutely. Um, and I encourage, your viewers, Vicki, to go out there. If you guys… if there is a voice that you really want to do, just do it. No hesitation at all. And take the same attitude to speaking English. Just do it. Go for it.
I love the ‘go-is-green’ think. Um, and also, another thing to do is to go and make sure you see Akeem’s channel. You don’t want to miss it. Tell us again. Where is it?
It’s YouTube.com/AtomicHole. Uh that’s my channel. Uh if you enjoy various voices that are unique to other people, uh, my channel is the place to go. So you will get lots of Kermit the frog , he’s there , he’s you know, covering songs and what not, and we’ve got, heh, we’ve got uh Fred Flintstone, some of you guys might know him. Oh yes, we’ve got Peter Griffen there, You know he talks like this out of the side of his mouth.
So check the links below and I’ll probably put one on this video as well. And thank you so much Akeem. Thank you, Vicki. I appreciate it.

So what did we learn that you can use?
First – Go for it. It doesn’t matter if you don’t get it right at first or not.

Just do it. No hesitation at all.

Second – You need a good example phrase – a model you can copy.

What is something that Kermit the frog says often?

So choose a phrase that native speakers often say. You’ll find lots of examples in my videos, so make sure you subscribe to my channel.
OK Step Three – Pay special attention to the pace, the pauses, and also the intonation.

So it’s listen to the rhythm
Exactly. The rhythm of his voice. And the cadence as well is what you actually want to listen to when you’re going for an impression.

Step Four is essential. Repeat, repeat, repeat. Drive everyone around you crazy by saying it again and again.

One of the things I do after I’ve driven everyone around me insane by repeating the same phrase over and over again is I try to just talk.

And that’s the wonderful thing about practice like this. It helps you just talk. The effort you put into getting one phrase right transfers over to other things you want to say.
Oh, and something else. Listening and pronunciation go together, so you’ll find working on your pronunciation like this will improve your listening too.
So I hope you’ve enjoyed the video and come back soon because we have more videos on pronunciation and lots of other things in the works. Bye now.

See more of Akeem’s videos here:https://www.youtube.com/user/AtomIcHole
And to see Vicki in one of Akeem’s videos, follow this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B-VmBzbvbJI
Click here to see more videos on English pronunciation.

English rhythm

English Rhythm. It’s a Stress Timed Language so Let’s Beatbox

Learn the secret of English rhythm in this video lesson. English is a stress timed language so the way we pronounce words changes when they’re in a sentence. We stress the words that carry the meaning and de-stress the rest. This video explains how English rhythm works and has some great ways to practice and improve your pronunciation. It also has some of the world’s best beatboxers to help you get the English rhythm.

Bootz and Katz, bootz and katz, bootz and katz.
What are you saying?
Boots and cats. I’m beatboxing for today’s lesson. Remember?
Oh.
Can we video it now?
Oh, um. No, I’m busy now. Sorry, gotta go.
Well later then, right?

OK guys. Today’s lesson is on the rhythm of English and luckily we have some help. We have here Inertia. We have Premsy. We have Omni. Fantastic! English is a stress timed language.

One. Two. Three. Four. One. Two. Three. Four. One and two and three and four. One and then two and then three and then four. One and then a two and then a three and then a four.

The rhythm of English is different from many other languages. In this lesson you’ll learn how, and you’ll learn some fun ways to improve your listening and your pronunciation.
Most languages in the world count beats with syllables. But not English. Look what happens here.

One two three four
One and then a two and then a three and then a four.

Notice I’m saying more words the second time but the rhythm stays the same. In English, we stress the words that carry the most meaning and we de-stress the words that don’t.

I’ve done it.
Done what?
I’ve written a computer programme that can say anything in English.
Really? It can speak clearly?
I think so. We’re gonna be millionaires.
Wow! Show me.
Tell me what to make it say.
When I’m a millionaire, I’m gonna travel the world. When-I-am-a-mil-li-on-aire-I-am-go-ing-to-tra-vel-the-world.
Are you sure it’s English?
It didn’t sound like English, did it?
No.
I don’t understand. It said every syllable clearly.
I think that’s the problem

In most languages, when you want to be clear, you pronounce every syllable fully. But if you do that in English you could confuse your listeners.

We’re expecting you to stress the words that carry, the most meaning, and de-stress the rest.

Here’s an example. Do you remember when Jay said this? Which word did he stress?

I’ve done it.

Notice he said ‘done’ longer, louder and higher in pitch. He stressed it. What about this sentence?

We’re going to be millionaires.

The important word for understanding the meaning here is millionaires. So it gets the stress.
OK, now let’s look at de-stressing and we’ll play a game. I’m going to say some words and you have to work out what words I’m saying. Ready? andthena andthena andthena
Did you get them? Do you know what I’m saying Jay? And he’s a native speaker! OK, here they are in a sentence. One and then a two and then three and then a four. Andthena andthena
OK, here are some more words. Ready? That’sthe, that’sthe, that’s the. Did you get them? Here they are in a sentence.
I think that’s the problem.
That’sthe. That’s the problem. So the sounds of words change a lot when they’re in a sentence.

Words get stressed or de-stressed. Words that carry the most meaning get stressed. Little grammar words usually don’t get stressed.

Now something you should know. There is no language which is always syllable timed or always stress timed. Languages are always a mixture. But they lean one way or another and English is generally stress-timed.
We just think that way. We look for a beat and we expect to hear important words for meaning on the beat. And it’s like music because the beat can change. If the beat stayed the same, we’d all be poets.

Jay, you need to put these socks in the wash.
But they’re black.
So?
Black socks never get dirty, the longer you wear them the blacker they get
Sometimes I think I should wash them, but something inside me keeps saying not yet, not yet, not yet.
Black socks never get dirty, the longer you wear them the blacker they get
Sometimes I think I should wash them, but something inside me keeps saying not yet.
Black socks never get dirty, the longer you wear them the blacker they get
Sometimes I think I should wash them, but something inside me keeps saying not yet.

So how can you learn to stress time in English? Poetry is great. And songs too and raps are terrific. So find some rhymes, and find some songs and clap and sing along. It’s going to be great for your pronunciation and your listening too.
And another thing that’s great for your English is watching our videos. Make sure you subscribe to our channel.

Bootz and katz, bootz and katz. Bye guys. Thank you so much. Who was that?
Oh nobody.
Are we going to shoot the video now?
Oh we’ve already shot it.
Really?
Yeah, the lesson’s finished. Bye everyone. See you all next week.
But I can beatbox. Boots and katz, boots and Katz

English rhythm is a very important aspect of pronunciation but it’s not the only one. Click here to see more of our pronunciation videos.
The beatboxers in this video are famous in the beatbox world. You can check out more of their work at BeatBox TV.