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 word –
how 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 you – the 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 sixteen –
how 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 now – this 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 not – it’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
word – how 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 word
– what 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 recognize – like 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’. This is pronounced wrongly by
many learners of English as /’de-vel-əp/. But the first
syllable is actually /di/, and the stress is on the second
syllable. So /di-’vel-əp/. Our next word is ‘photography’. We say /’fo-tə-graf/ but
/fə-’tä-grə-fi/. So the first
syllable becomes /fə /. And the stress goes to the second
syllable – /tä-grə-fi/ So /fə-’tä-grə-fi/. In the same
way, /fə-’tä-grə-fər/. Word number forty-four is
‘jewelry’. It’s spelled
differently in American and British English but it’s
pronounced the same – /’joo/, /əl/, /ri/ – /’joo-əl-ri/. It’s
not /’jyu-lə-ri/ and it’s not /’jwel-ə-ri/. It’s /’joo-əl-ri/. Up next is the word ‘quote’. This is not pronounced the same
as ‘coat’. The correct way to
say it is with a /kw/ sound at the beginning – /’kwot/. Similarly, we have ‘quotation’
and ‘quotation marks’. Another punctuation term that
many people get wrong is ‘parentheses’. This is the
proper name for the round brackets that we use in
writing. If you talk about just
one bracket, you say /pə-’ren- thə-sis/. The stress is on
/ren/. If you’re talking about
both, the plural is /pə-’ren- thə-seez/. The last syllable
becomes /seez/. /pə-’ren-thə-
seez/. Word number forty-seven is this
word. It’s not so much that
it’s mispronounced, it’s just that it’s said differently in
the UK and in the US. In
American English, this is /’ske-jool/. The first syllable
is /ske/ and the second is /jool/ – schedule. In British
English, it can be both /’she- jool/ or /’shed-yool/. So you
can choose the pronunciation that is right for you. Number forty-eight is the word
‘elite’. Actually, there are
two correct pronunciations – /i-’leet/ and /ei-’leet/. Both
are OK but just don’t say /i- lait/. There’s no ‘light’ in
/i-’leet/. Now if you keep practicing your
pronunciation and avoid the mistakes that I’ve shared with
you in this lesson, you might just become English
pronunciation elite one day. In
fact, you might even become the ‘epitome’ of good
pronunciation. This word means
a perfect example of something, and the perfect pronunciation
of that is /i-’pi-tə-mee/. It’s
not /’e-pi-tom/. Once again,
it’s /i-’pi-tə-mee/. Of course, once you have become
the epitome of good pronunciation, don’t go around
correcting everybody for every single pronunciation mistake
that they make. Because that
way, instead of becoming famous, you might just become
‘infamous’. This word is the
opposite of famous and it means famous for something bad. But
it’s not pronounced /in-’fei- məs/. It’s pronounced /’in-fə-
məs/. Alright, I hope you enjoyed
this lesson. Remember to
subscribe to this channel. If
you have any questions at all, you can always ask me in the
comments section below and I will talk to you there. Happy
learning, and I’ll see you in another lesson soon.