Hi. I’m Vanessa from SpeakEnglishWithVanessa.com. Are you ready to challenge your pronunciation
muscles? Let’s do it. Today, we’re gonna talk about the top 33 most
difficult words to pronounce in English. All of these words are common words. Tell me, when was the last time that you used
squirrel or rural in daily conversation? No recently, right? So, today all of these words that I’m gonna
share with you are common. You will definitely use them in daily conversation. A quick breakdown, there are 14 commonly difficult
words but, actually, 17 because there’s three bonus, then 11 numbers that are difficult
but, actually, 18 because I added some extras, and eight food words but, actually, 12 because
I added four bonus. Okay, so really, here are 47 difficult words
to pronounce, and you’re gonna learn how to pronounce them correctly. Let’s go. Number one, everyone’s favorite beach. Notice how my lips are in a square shape,
here, to make that long E sound, beach. And also, sheet. I recommend using a small hand mirror, something
like this, so that you can see your lips and make sure that they look the same as mine. You can use it throughout this lesson. I hope it will be useful to you. Let’s say that one more time. Repeat with me, beach, sheet. Probably, but we often say probably. That means, we just cut out that syllable,
probably. Can you say that with me? Probably, and probably. Comfortable, let’s say that slowly, comfortable. In the middle of that word, it sounds like
[ft], ft, ft, comfortable, comfortable, but we often shorten this to be comfy. I’m wearing some comfy clothes, comfy clothes. Can you say that with me? Let’s say the full word, comfortable, then
comfy. Clothes, clothes, this word trips up a lot
of English learner but it sounds exactly like “close the door.” Close the door, I’m putting on my clothes,
same thing. You might hear some people try to add the
TH in here, clothes. But really, when we’re speaking quickly, it
just sounds like close. Clothes, I’m wearing clothes. You’re wearing clothes, probably, clothes. Months, months, this one is similar to close
because we have that difficult TH in the middle of the word. But really, when we’re speaking quickly, these
are all for American English if I haven’t already mentioned that, in American English
we often just cut out the TH. When you’re speaking a little bit slower,
we might add it but let me show you both. The first one, repeat with me, months, months. My tongue is not between my teeth, like we
usually do for a TH sound, months. But if you wanna include the TH, you might
hear some people say that, months, months, months, and your tongue just flickers out
of your mouth, months, months. But it’s no problem to just throw that TH
away. I’m sure that’s something that you’ve been
longing to hear all the time in English, just throw that TH away. Who cares? This is your chance. Months, months. Though, though, kind of sounds like a W at the end
of this word. Say it with me, though, though. You can watch this video, up here, for how
to accurately use the word though. Thought, thought, I thought was English was
difficult. But really, it’s easy, thought. Through, through, this sounds exactly the
same as the past tense of throw. I threw the ball through the tunnel. I threw the ball through the tunnel. Same sound, but they’re spelled differently. Let’s say that together, through, through. Drawer, drawer, some Native English speakers
might argue with my pronunciation of this word because there are, in fact, some regional
differences for the word drawer. But when Native English speakers are speaking
quickly, I wanna give you the most general pronunciation that you’ll see in TV shows
and movies. In fact, it just sounds like jor, jor, jor. There is a DR at the beginning of this word,
but just forget it, jor, jor. You might hear drawer, drawer with a clearer
DR, drawer, drawer. But when most people are speaking quickly,
we just say jor. Put it in the jor. Mirror, mirror, I already mentioned this word,
telling you that it’s a good idea to look in the mirror. Here, we need to have two syllables, mirr-or. It kind of sounds like M-I-R-E-R, mirror,
mirror, mirror. Can you say that with me, mirror? Desks, desks, the end of this word is a little
bit weird. What’s English thinking? I don’t know, but let’s say it together, desks,
desks. This is the same as asks. He asks a lot of questions. When you say it quickly, it sounds similarly,
just quicker. He asks a lot of questions. He asks a lot of questions. Lovely, isn’t it? Library, library, library, I’m going to the
library. Make sure that you sound each of those syllables
out, library, library. Often, often, both of these are correct and
it’s just a personal preference. For me, I think I often say often without
the T sound. But sometimes, I include a T just depending
on what’s going on in the rest of the sentence. So, you’ve got two correct answers here. Let’s say them together, often, often, often,
often. Subtle, subtle, what’s happening here? We have a BT in the middle of this word, but
it sounds like a D. Well, first of all, the B is silent so let’s forget about that. And in American English, if there is a T with
two vowels on either side, because, remember, we forgot about that B, often that T changes
to a D sound. So, this word is a unique case because we
have a silent letter in the middle of the word. Let’s say it together one more time, subtle,
subtle, subtle. Let’s go on to some numbers. 13, 30, 13, 30, what’s the difference between
these two words? We’re gonna be talking about a bunch of pairs,
like this, teens, and then the tens place words. So, here, let’s look at 13. Do you hear a T in the middle of that word,
13? Yes, there is a T in the middle of that word,
13. But, if I tell you my age minus one year,
30, 30, do you hear a T in the middle of that word, no. This T has changed to a D. Now, this is for
American English. This is quite common. That T is gonna sound like a T. So, let’s
say those two pairs together and make sure that there’s a T and then a D sound, which
is gonna help you to differentiate. And just to let you know, sometimes native
speakers, when they hear other people say numbers, they have difficulty with this too. So, it’s no problem to clarify, “Did you say
13 or 30,” and you can say that again and someone will have no problem saying, “Oh,
I meant 13.” Great, let’s say those two together, 13, 30,
13, 30. 14, 40, do you hear something similar here? We have a T and then a D sound. 14, 40, 15, 50, 15, 50, 16, 60, 16, 60. Make sure that you’re using the T and then
the D for all of these pairs. 17, 70, 17, 70, 18, 80, 18, 80, 19, 90, 19,
90. In 1990, in the year 1990, I was three years
old, so I don’t remember too much from the year 1990. Fourth, fourth, having a TH at the end of
words sometimes trips up English learners, so here’s your chance to practice it. Let’s say it, fourth, fourth. Notice, my tongue is between my teeth here. I want yours to look exactly the same. Fourth, fifth, fifth, there’s a little bit
of spit that happens here with this word, so watch out if you’re too close to somebody. Let’s say it together, fifth, fifth. My tongue is between my teeth. I hope yours is too. Fifth, sixth, sixth. This is a workout for your jaw, and your tongue
and your teeth. Let’s say it slowly, sixth, just like saying
the word six and adding TH, favorite English learner’s sound the T-H to the end of it. Sixth, sixth. Twenty, twenty, there’s a T in the middle
of this word. What happened to it? It’s gone. So, we need to pronounce with word without
the T, tweny, tweny. This is something that often happens in English
when there’s an NT in the middle of word. For example, words like sentence, winter,
these words also have a T but we don’t pronounce it. So, I wanna help you pronounce this a little
bit better. Let’s practice the word twenty. But if you wanna take it deeper, you can watch
a previous video that I made about NT in the middle of words. Up here, you can click on that link and watch
that pronunciation video. Let’s say that together, twenty, twenty, twenty. Now, let’s move on to some food words that
are difficult. We’re often in food situations, whether it’s
at our house, or at a restaurant or just talking about drinking something, so I wanna make
sure that you can pronounce these correctly. Water, water, this is quite an American English
pronunciation. If you wanna speak like an American, this
is a keyword to use. Make sure that that T has changed to a D,
like we’ve already talked about, water. And make sure the ER at the end is quite wrong,
water, water, water. Can you say that with me, water? I want some water. Coffee, coffee, make sure that F, here, is
clear. Your teeth are on your bottom lip and there’s
some air passing through, coffee, coffee. This is actually tea but, shh, don’t tell anybody. Wine, wine, make sure that the W is clear,
wine, wine. Beer, beer, let’s break down this word because
it’s a common word, but I’ve heard a lot of mispronunciations for it. So, let’s say it slowly, beer, beer. Do you hear that final part, er, er, er. Do you see my lips, the way that they’re moving? I want yours to do the same thing, beer, beer,
beer. I want some beer. Refrigerator, refrigerator, I’m gonna give
you some good news about this word in just a moment, but let’s practice this word. Refrig … make sure that there’s some vibration
happening here … refrigerator, refrigerator. Where is that [da] coming from that end? There is a T, and that T is changing to a
D. So, let’s try to speed this word up. If you have difficultly with this word, just
break it down into different segments with me, and then we’ll put it all together. Refrigerator, refrigerator, my refrigerator
broke so I have to get a new one. We’re so lucky to live in a time with refrigerators
that we can use, refrigerator. But, I have some good news. You can say fridge, fridge. Oh, we say this all the time because the word
refrigerator is a big word. Let’s be honest. So, you can just shorten it and say fridge. I need to buy a new fridge. What’s the best fridge on the market? I’m so lucky to have a fridge. Let’s say this word slowly, fridge, fridge. There’s a [ga]. That vibration that’s happening here, fridge. Hamburger, hamburger, if you have ever seen
The Pink Panther, or you’ve at least seen The Pink Panther clip with Steve Martin, where
he tries to say the word hamburger. Oh, I love this clip. If you have not seen it, I recommend just
typing into the internet “Pink Panther hamburger.” You’ll laugh for days. I certainly do, and every time that I see
it I laugh. Let’s try to say it together so that you can
pronounce it better than Steve Martin in this movie, hamburger. Make sure that the H has some air coming out,
hamburger. Those two final sounds are quite similar,
er, gr, er, er, hamburger. All right, let’s say it all together, hamburger,
hamburger. I’d like to buy a hamburger. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, breakfast. That final A kind of sounds like a short I,
breakfast. A fist is this, when you do this with your
hands you making fists, because you’re angry. Well, I hope you’re not angry about breakfast,
but it’s pretty much that same sound, breakfast, breakfast. Then we have lunch, lunch. Make sure that your tongue is out of your
mouth to make the L, lunch. And then, dinner, dinner, dinner. You might hear the word supper, but I’ve only
heard people from the South use this and most people just say dinner, so I recommend using
the most common word, dinner, dinner. For your evening meal, dinner. And finally, we have the best part of all,
dessert, dessert. Oh, why is there a Z in the middle of this
word? Dessert, there’s a lot of vibration going
on here, dessert, dessert, dessert. Well, we need to make a difference between
the word dessert and the word desert. The word desert is where cactuses and snakes
live, but we don’t want to eat the desert. We want to eat dessert, so make sure that
we’re pronouncing this correctly. The emphasis is on that second syllable, dessert,
dessert. But when we’re talking about the sand, and
cactuses and snakes, we say desert, desert. In fact, the emphasis is on the first part,
desert. And to go along with dessert, we have chocolate,
chocolate. There’s a lot of sounds in the middle of this
word that are being reduced. So, I wanna make it simple. Just remember, choc-late, choc-late. If you say choc-o-late, people will look at
you a little bit strange, so make sure you cut out that middle part and just say choc-late. I want some chocolate milk. I like hot chocolate. I wanna eat chocolate every day, chocolate. How did you do? You can click in the description to see a
time stamp for each of the words that we talked about. Maybe the word 16 and 60 aren’t difficult
for you, but the word mirror is. Excellent, go to that time stamp and practice
it five times out loud. You can do it. And now, I have a question for you. Which one of these words was the most difficult
for you to pronounce, and which other words would you like me to help you pronounce in
a future lesson? Thank you so much for learning English with
me, and I’ll see you again next Friday for a new lesson here on my YouTube channel. Bye. The next step is to download my free ebook,
Five Steps to Becoming a Confident English Speaker. You’ll learn what you need to do to speak
confidently and fluently. Don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel
for more free lessons. Thanks so much, bye.