Advanced American English Pronunciation | Complete Mastery | Cloud English | Skillshare

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Advanced American English Pronunciation | Complete Mastery

teacher avatar Cloud English, Innovative English Courses

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

51 Lessons (8h 46m)
    • 1. Course Introduction

    • 2. Course Structure

    • 3. Key Vocabulary

    • 4. Things to Remember

    • 5. Building Awareness

    • 6. Creating Habits | Part 1

    • 7. Creating Habits | Part 2

    • 8. Learn by Listening

    • 9. Sounds and Spelling | ‘GH’ - ’S’ - ‘CH’

    • 10. Sounds and Spelling | Silent Letters

    • 11. Sounds and Spelling | Foreign Words

    • 12. Sounds and Spelling Vowels that Don't Sound Like They Look

    • 13. Saying the Strange 'S'

    • 14. Ways to Say 'X'

    • 15. Mastering the Long 'i' Sound

    • 16. The 'Z' Sound | Sustained Vibration

    • 17. The 'OU' Diphthong

    • 18. Carrying Single Words | Voiced and Unvoiced

    • 19. Carrying Single Words | Compound Words

    • 20. Carrying Single Words | Difficult Words to Carry

    • 21. Carrying Through Sentences

    • 22. Reminders and Practice for Better Flow

    • 23. Vowel Sound Rules | Overview

    • 24. Vowel Sound Rules | Short Vowels Before Consonants

    • 25. Vowel Sound Rules | Special Cases and Long Vowel Sounds

    • 26. Vowel Sound Rules | The Silent 'E'

    • 27. Consonant Rules | Hard and Soft C

    • 28. Consonant Rules | Hard and Soft G

    • 29. Consonant Rules | Voiced and Unvoiced 'S'

    • 30. Rules of Stress | Second and Third from the End

    • 31. Rules of Stress | Two-syllable Words

    • 32. The SCHWA Sound | Identifying the SCHWA

    • 33. The SCHWA Sound | Full Example Practice

    • 34. Overview of Similar and Identical Sounds

    • 35. Homographs | Part 1

    • 36. Homographs | Part 2

    • 37. Homophones

    • 38. Similar Vowel Sounds | Part 1

    • 39. Similar Vowel Sounds | Part 2

    • 40. Similar Consonant Sounds | Part 1

    • 41. Similar Consonant Sounds | Part 2

    • 42. Similar Phrases

    • 43. Intonation for Ending Sentences

    • 44. Practicing Sentence Intonation

    • 45. Asking 'WH' Questions

    • 46. Asking 'Yes/No' Questions

    • 47. Tag Questions

    • 48. Sarcasm

    • 49. Make it Your Own

    • 50. Speaking Lists

    • 51. Course Wrap-up and Next Steps!

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About This Class

Hi there. I'm Luke!

Maybe you feel your English is ok, but your pronunciation isn’t making progress. You want that native flowing English sound, but you can’t seem to make progress.

Stop looking. You found the right course.

If your goal is to master English pronunciation and learn the way native English speakers learn, allow me to be your guide. I’ve helped hundreds of thousands of English learners develop the key skills and habits need to get that native English sound. This includes methods and strategies, but also tons of real-world examples. That’s how native English speakers learn.

I will guide you step by step through this course, from essential English sounds (and how to make those sounds) to advanced pronunciation, including similar sounds, intonation, stress, and much more.

Some of the things you will learn in this course include:

  • Techniques for learning how to hear and imitate any English sound

  • Complex and simple sounds that make up most English words

  • Rules of pronunciation; when to use them, and when to avoid them

  • Techniques and examples to speak with flow, which is the key to natural English speech

  • Thousands of English word and sentence pronunciations; real practice to build skills AND habits

  • Exercises to practice everything you learn and continue improving your English long-term

  • Subtle differences between English sounds and words, so that you are never misunderstood

  • Patterns for correctly using both stress and intonation, to avoid sounding like a robot

  • And more!

If you are serious about getting really good at English, your next step is simple: Start!

Meet Your Teacher

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Cloud English

Innovative English Courses


My name is Luke. Hi.

I'm the founder of Cloud English and the co-founder of yoli. I've been teaching English for years, and over that time I've discovered powerful language learning methods that make learning English much easier and more effective. My courses have helped thousands of people become more fluent in English.

My courses will help you: 

- Become more confident in English conversations

- Master English vocabulary, phrases, and expressions

- Take your English pronunciation and fluency to the next level

- Improve your English listening skills

- Think in English when you're speaking English

- Sound natural saying exactly what you mean

Here, you can find courses on business English, American... See full profile

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1. Course Introduction: Your English is okay, but your pronunciation is stuck and you feel stuck. You can't make the progress that you want to make to sound more natural when you're speaking, to have that natural native flowing sound that native English speakers have. Well, what is going on here? Well, it's often about how you're learning. This course is designed to give you the awareness that you need to notice the differences between your own pronunciation and the sound that native English speakers have. So that you can get to that level so that you can start to sound natural and native and fluent. This course is going to cover a wide range of skills. You're going to learn how to pronounce thousands of words. How to make sure your voice flows naturally, how to use intonation and stress. You're going to learn many rules for pronunciation, when to use them and when not to use them, and much, much more. So if you're ready to take your pronunciation to the next level, to develop your awareness, to build strong lasting pronunciation habits, good pronunciation habits, so that you don't have to think about pronunciation when you're speaking. It just comes out. Naturally. Sign up for the course. And I will see you in the first lesson. 2. Course Structure: Hi, welcome to the course. It is really great to have you and I hope that you're ready to make serious progress on your pronunciation to really improve. Because that's what this course will help you do to really take your pronunciation to the next level so that you can sound more natural, more native. And perhaps most important of all, is that I'm going to teach you how to use your better pronunciation in real conversations. It's very easy to forget pronunciation when you're having a conversation with a native English speaker. So we're going to work on that as well. So it's actually very good pronunciation and not something you forget when you're trying to think of a 100 other things. Now what I'd like to do in this first video before we really start the course, is give you an overview and tell you what we're going to talk about, how we're going to take this course and give you a couple of things to keep in mind. Again, my name is Luke. I will be your teacher for this course, for the entire course, I'm an American English teacher. I've been teaching English for over nine years. Now. Just a quick note about the style of the course. I know a lot of courses have the intro and then the first lesson, and it looks one way. And then the rest of the course is just a PowerPoint presentation. So I want to make it clear that the entire course will look like this. So it's a pronunciation course. You need to see my mouth are going to be learning thousands of words. How to say thousands of words. In this course, you need to be able to see me. All right, so you will see me throughout the course just like this. And you will see the blackboard over here. Just like this. I will be marking things and writing things down on the blackboard to help you through the different areas that we're going to focus on. So what are we going to focus on? What are you going to learn? We're going to start with awareness and habits, because don't develop awareness, which includes your listening ability and habits, the ability to actually build strong pronunciation habits. You'll never get to the place where you can just have a conversation and your pronunciation sounds natural automatically. You don't want to have to think about that as you're speaking. And I'm going to teach you how to develop these skills. How to improve your listening, how to improve your awareness, how to build better pronunciation habits so that your skills are real. Long-term skills you can use in real, everyday conversations. Then we're going to get into the actual pronunciation part of the course. We're going to focus on tough sounds. These are things that many English learners, even at a very high level, struggle with. The sounds that are very difficult to say. You have to do specific things with your mouth. And I'm going to teach you how to say them. We're going to focus on them with examples. Again, this course is going to have Thousands of example words. And I'm going to read them in a specific way. I'll read each one usually slowly and leave a space for you to say it. And then at a regular speed, and then leave a space for you to say it. So you'll be practicing, really practicing throughout this course, not just listening to me talk, you'll be actually doing real practice in the lesson itself. Then we're going to talk about one of the most important things for getting that natural fluence sound. We're going to talk about how to carry the voice and I'll explain what that means when we get to it. But really, it is one of the main secrets to how native English speakers sound. Native to why it is that a native English speaker is able to sound really natural, even though they're speaking, for example, slowly or quickly, It's not about speed. Then we'll go on to pronunciation rules. What are the rules of pronunciation? When should you use them? When can you ignore them? And this is quite complicated, so we'll of course have lots of examples to explore our rules. And of course, we will look at exceptions to the rules so that you can know when, maybe you can ignore the rules because it is a language. After all, we don't always follow the rules. We will talk about this. Maybe one of the main reasons you signed up for the course, I'm guessing. I don't know. We'll talk about things that sound almost the same, very, very close. And this is really important for being able to distinguish between very small, very subtle details. Pronunciation, which also improves your ability to listen and understand those around you. We're going to spend quite a bit of time focusing on these very similar sounds and of course, there will be lots of examples. Then finally, we're going to talk about intonation, the rising and falling of your voice, and how we use it. We actually use native English speakers use intonation to express how we feel, our emotions, our meaning. We can change the meaning to ask questions, but not all questions are the same. It's not just the question tone. We'll talk about all of this stuff. That's what we're going to focus on in this course. And I promise you, if you follow along with me, if you practice, if you're dedicated, if you're consistent, you will improve significantly and you're going to feel a lot more confident about your pronunciation. You're going to sound more natural and you're going to be able to, when you're having a conversation, sound natural without thinking about it, which is very, very important. 3. Key Vocabulary: Now, just a couple of key vocabulary words I want you to keep in mind for this course because I'm going to mention them many times. So just a couple of things. You probably know these already, but I just want to make sure. Syllables, what is a syllable? A syllable is a beat in a word. That's it. For vocabulary. How many syllables does that word does this word have vocabulary? Vocab you, Larry. Vocab you larry. If you guessed five, you're right. That is correct. And I'm going to teach you a really good way to count exactly how many syllables are in words. We'll talk about that, but that's a syllable, the beat in the word. Vowels and consonants, a, e, I, o, and u, those are vowels. We sometimes count Y as a vowel sometimes. And then the consonants are the other letters, a, B, C, F, our K. Those are the consonants. So that's pretty easy, right? I'm also going to be saying voiced and unvoiced a lot. What does that mean? Well, your voice is the thing that comes out of here. If you put your hand here and you do this, you can feel the vibration. That's your voice, right? So a voiced sound is one that uses that. And an unvoiced sound is one that does not. Pretty easy, right? Is voiced or unvoiced. It's voiced. Is voiced or unvoiced. Unvoiced. Now of course, there are going to be more words throughout the course. As I said, we're going to be practicing thousands of words in this course, but these are the key words that I will repeat many times. And so it's very important that you have a good understanding of these. 4. Things to Remember: Now there are just a couple of things before we get started. Really started with the course that I would like you to keep in mind as you go through the course. Number one is that knowing is wonderful. Fantastic. It's good to know things. But it's really just the first step along the road of progress. If you want to get better, you have to put in the hard work. And you use what you know as the starting point. This course is going to teach you how to improve your pronunciation. I will give you opportunities to practice along with me, as I mentioned. But then I hope you take what you learn and you turn it into a lifestyle, into habits, using what I teach you in the course. So just like anything else, without real hard work, without repetition, you're not going to make much progress. It's not a surprise, right? If you want to be good at anything, you have to practice it. So that's all I'm saying. Knowing is great, Knowing is important. Knowing is the first step. And then you go from there. You practice. Many times, you work hard, and you make progress. Also, there's going to be a big focus in this course on how things sound. We're not too stressed about this letter and this letter together they make this sound. Because in fact, what we'll discover is that's not true. This letter in this letter together can make all kinds of different sounds. So what should you trust? You should trust your ears. But if you don't develop your listening skills, your awareness, then it's going to be really tough. So we're going to talk about how to do this, of course. But I just want to mention this. Sounds are the most important thing. How do babies learn languages? They learned through sounds. They hear the world around them. The hero of the world. Most non native English speakers learn English from books in school. And that's why most non native English speakers struggle when they watch a movie. Can't take in the world through their ears very well often, or at least not as well as they can read. That's weird. It shouldn't be like that. So we're going to be really, really focused on sound. We'll talk about spelling of course, but the key thing is to develop the ER. And so things like phonetic symbols tend to actually cause more confusion. Why would you add complexity or add difficulty to something that's already difficult? And why should sounds be represented by symbols on a page that aren't even always accurate anyway. So that's just to say that listening is very important. That sounds are very important, that we're learning like a baby. And that I would not encourage you to use symbols unless you absolutely feel that you need to. I don't think they help at all. And the last thing is this, before we get started, what is standard English? Is it American English? Is it British English? Well, if it's American English, then where in America, California, Chicago, there's no such thing as standard English. So I would encourage you to, if you like how I sound, then try to get closer to my pronunciation. If you like how British English speakers sound, tried to get closer to that pronunciation, there is no one standard anything. I would encourage you to broaden your horizons. Learn American English pronunciation. Learn British English pronunciation. Explore the variations of pronunciation. There are different ways to say words. People in different places say words differently, and that's language. And so for that reason, I think it's really important to keep an open mind. If you find exceptions, great exceptions. It's language, it's a very messy thing. If there are two different pronunciations to something, that's okay. That's because it's a language, it's messy. Be okay with that. Explore. Keep an open mind and you'll enjoy the process of learning more. So that's it for this course overview. I hope you're excited to get started IM, if you're ready to begin the course, I will see you in the first real lesson. 5. Building Awareness: We're going to start this course with awareness. Now, why do we need to talk about awareness first? Well, it's pretty simple. Awareness is the key to improving not only for pronunciation, but other areas of your English as well. In other words, if you're not able to tell the difference between how you sound and how a native English speaker sounds. How are you going to be able to make progress toward that? If you can't tell the difference between the pronunciation of, for example, a native English speaker, you like the sound of and your own pronunciation. Then how in the world can you figure out what you need to improve? I should focus on this. I should focus on that. Now, we're going to talk about how to do this, how to build your awareness. But it's important just to realize first why it's so important. And that really is it. Without awareness, you cannot build habits. Without habits, you can't make real progress. This course is not about just learning something and being done with it and moving on. This course is about developing yourself. Developing the tools that you need within yourself to make progress that lasts for a lifetime. And if you want progress that really lasts, you have to build habits. And as I said, if you want to build habits, you first have to build or develop your awareness. All right, so that's why it's so important. Now there are quite a few things you can do to develop your awareness to improve your ability to notice your own sound and the things that you can improve. But the one that's simplest, the one that's easiest to begin right now is listening and matching. This is sometimes called shadowing. Some people have called this shadowing. And the reason it's so important is that it includes your ear. We're going to try to get away from text. We're going to try to get away from seeing something on a page and saying, I want to learn how to pronounce things based on what I see on a page. That's not how children learn the sounds of a language. We're going to try to learn like a child learns. How does a child learn? A child learns by listening to their environment. It's a natural thing. And all the sounds that they hear over time give them the ability to start making those sounds. And when they start making those sounds, they start sounding like a native in their language. It's a magical thing, but It's not surprising because they're focusing on the sounds listening, and that's exactly what we have to do. So I'm going to just introduce this idea of shadowing. I'm going to give you a couple of examples so that it's really, really clear. And then we're going to get into some more detail to see how we can link together awareness, building our awareness and developing good pronunciation habits. So let's explore shadowing or listening and matching. We could also say listening and repeating. I'm going to read two short sentences for you. I'm going to read them naturally as I would speak them naturally as a native English speaker. Now before I put the examples up here in text, I know that might be what you really want to see. I wanted you to do this with your ears. I want to read two sentences for you. I'm going to read them as I would read them as a native English speaker and try to catch the sounds. I'll slow down after I read them quickly the first time. Try to catch the sounds and repeat the sounds. If you can, maybe not after the first time, listen once or twice, and then try to repeat the sounds. Don't focus on, uh, which word am I saying exactly? It's of course, good to understand what I'm saying. But focus on the sounds that I'm making. Okay, here we go. I'm going to read two separate example sentences. I almost never visit tropical islands. I almost never visit tropical islands. I almost never visit tropical islands. I most never visit tropical islands. Now you might be thinking, okay, that's a lot to say it smoothly, to say it naturally. But what can you notice about it? One thing you might notice is that even when I speak very slowly, it still sounds natural. So that means speed is not the thing that makes it sound natural. Very important observation. If you notice that, great. It's not about speed, it's about flow. There are a lot of pieces here and we're going to explore them in this course. I want to see what you can notice on your own. Now I'm going to read the next one and then we're going to actually look at them and talk about a few things. Don't worry, if this is a little bit too fast, that's okay. We're going to get into the details later in the course of how to make things flow together better. So let's look at the second example here. Miranda, why is there a Mazda in Milan? Miranda, why is there a Mazda in Milan? Miranda? Why is there a Mazda in my lawn? Miranda? Why is there a Mazda in my lawn? And now I could say it another way. Some people will say it slightly differently, like this. Miranda, why is there a Mazda in my lawn? Why is there a Mazda in Milan, Miranda? Why is there a Mazda in my lawn? So see if you can notice the differences between those. Now we're going to look at the text because I want to make sure you understand what I said, but I wanna make it very clear. It's not about the text, it's about the sounds and what you can notice in what you're trying to copy or match and what you're doing. What am I doing that I can change to make it a little more like that. That's it. It's not that hard, right? It's not that I should say. It's not that complicated MIP record, but it's not that complicated. All right, let's look at the text. So the first one, I almost never visit tropical islands. Now, don't say it like that. That's me reading each word. That is not how a native English speaker would say it. We would say instead, I almost never visit tropical islands. I almost never visit tropical islands. I almost never visit tropical islands. The next one, Miranda. Why is there a Mazda in my lawn? Miranda. Why is there a Mazda in Milan? Can you notice the difference between those two? I read them slightly differently. Miranda, why is there a Mazda in my lawn? Miranda? Why is there a Mazda in my lawn? Both of those are okay. They might have a slightly different feeling depending on which one you use. Both are, both are fine. There are different ways to pronounce sentences and words correctly. Not always. Only one. That's very important. I'm not going to go into too much detail right now about why it is that it sounds natural because that is what we're going to explore later on in the course. We're going to get into it. I promise. I want to just introduce this idea of becoming aware of sounds. Focusing on your ear. Focus on listening not only to what you're listening to, but also to yourself and your own sound. So if you're going to practice this, if you're going to really get serious about your awareness, your ability to hear the differences between yourself and what you're trying to get closer to. This is how you do it. You take the audio that you want to copy, match, imitate, shadow, whatever you want to call it. That's not important. It should be very short. Notice these two sentences are just two sentences. Should be very short and something that can be repeated again and again. I suggest that you have a fast version and a slow version. If you don't have both, the fast and the slow, perhaps you can do it on your phone or do it on your computer or wherever, slow it down. So you have a fast version and a slow version. You can hear how it sounds like this. I almost never visit tropical islands. And you can hear it like this. I almost never visit tropical islands. Okay, Very important. Now if you're a little more advanced, then maybe you only need the fast one. After you listen to a few rounds of the recording, then start to try to make the sounds as it goes. Along with it, pay very careful attention to where the voice rises, where the voice falls. I almost never visit. Okay. There's a fall there, tropical islands and then it kinda goes down at the end of the sentence. Okay, that's interesting. Oh, wait a second. Did he really say that t I almost never wait a second. There's no there why not? Doesn't matter. There isn't a strong T there. Okay. So I will, I will see if I can make that sound. Can I say almost never, almost, never, almost never. And don't get caught up on what the words are. Focused completely on the sounds. Don't get caught up by what you see. Remember, that's just a reference point. The most important thing now is your ear. Your ear is what matters. Now again, we're not going to go through every detail of why this sounds more natural. What makes it sound natural? But go through it very slowly and try to make the sounds paying attention to the tone, paying attention to the stress on the words, paying attention to where words are blended and where they're not blended, all of those little things, and do it again and again and again until you can do it by yourself. So you have the fast version, you have the slow version, and now after many, many times repeating it. Now I can copy it or match it. I can match it by myself. That means I don't need the audio fast or at least regular speed. Fast or regular speed, okay, and I can do it on my own. Now comes a very, very important part. Once you feel very confident, you feel really good about this, I'm able to copy these sounds. Then you record yourself. And that is really, really important. You can record yourself on your phone. You can record yourself with a recorder, whatever you want to use. Record yourself with your best version several times. Okay. Say it a few times. Maybe say quickly, maybe say it slowly. I recommend just say at a normal speed. Now, it's separate from you. Now it is apart from you. And why is that important? If something is apart from you, separate from you, then you're able to look at it as a separate thing. It's no longer me, it's no longer inside my head, which is kind of where it was before. There's a recording there, just like the original recording that I had listened to before. So when you, when you record yourself, you're able to be even more aware of something that sounds off that doesn't sound quite like the original. The original is the first one that I listened to that I'm trying to copy that. I'm trying to match, that. I'm trying to shadow write the original. Something doesn't quite sound, right? So if you can figure out what it is that doesn't quite sound right? What is the thing that I'm not doing? That I could change. That, could make that sound that thing That's a part for me sound more like the original. Okay, so you practice and you make a change and you try again. Finally, it's important to have a recording that sounds pretty much exactly like the original. Maybe there are voiced differences, right? But it should sound in pronunciation very, very close. If you're able to get there. When you get there, it means that you've figured out how to do with this, what you originally heard with this. And now this doesn't matter anymore. And it really doesn't when it comes to pronunciation, It's all about this. And it's all about this and making this match what you hear with this, I know it sounds kind of silly when I say it, but that really is the key to this method. And I want you to take this and work on it, practice it, use these two sentences. That's fine and then expand. So I hope this idea is very clear. In the next one, we're going to talk about how to develop our habits, which is connected to building awareness. 6. Creating Habits | Part 1: Now we've talked about awareness and why it matters. And I mentioned to you that awareness is connected to habits and you need habits before you can develop a true skill. There's a really common misunderstanding among English learners. It's very common and I'm not sure where it comes from. It's this idea that you can learn how to say something. And then once you know how to say it, you're done. But that's not how any skill works. Think about anything that you're good at. What are you good at? Maybe you're good at driving, maybe you're good at handling meetings. Maybe you're good at studying, whatever it is. Okay. Maybe you're good ice skater. Anything? Well, not anything. Most things maybe you're a good cook. How did you get good at that? Did you just read a technique and then say, Oh, now I know the technique, therefore, now I am good. No, of course not. But for some reason, and I'm not saying this is true for you for some reason. A lot of English learners say, Oh, now I know how to say this and put my tongue between my teeth. This and now I know how to do it and I can do it. Yes, I did it. This, right? You may have seen that in one of my other courses. It's great to learn how. But that's only half the battle. How is the first step? How comes from awareness as we talked about learning that it sounds like that and I can make my mouth like that and now I can do it. Okay. Now you know how but when you're trying to explain something, when you're speaking in English, or you only focused on your pronunciation and making sure that you make the right sounds. It takes focus, right? No. You're also thinking about what you want to say. You're thinking about your grammar, I using the right tense. You're thinking about so many different things because English is not your first language. So you have limited, as a great word for this bandwidth. Limited bandwidth means there's only so much attention you have. There's only so much that you can pay attention to, right? I'm talking to you right now. I'm holding a pen in my hand. I'm sitting in a chair and I can do those things. But do you think I could also spin a basketball on my finger and also carry a conversation on with someone over there. Do you think I could do all those things then it would start to break down, right? I would forget what they said or the basketball would fall off my finger. I only have a limited amount of focus, a limited amount of attention. However, when you do something enough, when you practice it, it becomes a habit. And it becomes what we call muscle memory. Now, muscle memory in habit they're kind of the same idea. Muscle memory is usually focused on more physical things. And habit may be physical things, could be a good habit or a bad habit, but could be a behavior. Okay, So let's use these kind of interchangeably. Now, what's great about muscle memory? Let's say that you're learning to ice skate or you're learning to ride a bike. After you've done it enough, after you've practiced it many, many times, you don't have to think about it anymore. After you've written a bicycle for five years, you're not thinking about a writer going to put my foot here. You don't have to think about any of those things. It is get on the bike and then you can have a conversation and spin a basketball on your finger, right? Because it has moved from a thing which takes up your concentration and focus when it was a new thing to this layer that's just there. And it doesn't take up any of your focus, meaning that you can use your bandwidth or use your focus on other things. So take me, for example, I'm a native English speaker. I'm using an accent that maybe you like it, maybe you don't, but most people would describe it as native write, have a native English speaker. Am I thinking about how to say each word? Am I thinking about that? The intonation and all of that? No, I'm not thinking about it at all. All I'm thinking about is how to say what I want to say to you. And magically, automatically, the right tenses pop out of my mouth. The right pronunciation of pops out of my mouth. It's magical. It's so magical, right? Well, not really. It just comes from doing it a lot. So get this idea out of your head that you can learn one time and then you're done. You're not done. Now you know how to do it. So that means now you know how to put on ice skates. Now you know how to sit on the bicycle seat. Now comes the work. Now comes repetition. Now comes doing it over and over and over again until you don't have to think, think, think, think, think about it anymore. It's just automatic. So it's very important to take steps toward that. Once you've got the awareness first awareness, then habits through practice, Repetition, doing it over and over. That is, that is most definitely a seek and lets us see it's a C. Then comes skill. Then you're riding a bicycle with ease. Then you're playing ping-pong with no problem. Then you can spin a basketball in your finger and carry on a conversation. I don't know why I'm using that example. Very silly. But I think you get my point. Then. You have the bandwidth to focus on saying things in a clear and interesting way, which is what you should be focused on when you're having a conversation. I don't want you to be thinking about pronunciation and thinking about other things. I want you to be thinking about what you want to say and how to say it clearly. But in order to get there, in order to get to where I'm standing, in order to get to where you are in your own native language. You've got to put in the work, and that includes the shadowing technique that we talked about. But then once you've got that, you have to do it many, many times to work on the sounds that are tough for you. And in this course we will be talking about many of those tough sounds. And you can take those and practice them until you get good, until they are muscle memory habits. 7. Creating Habits | Part 2: So let's say you're ready to get serious to really practice, and you're ready to commit to practicing a lot to develop, improve your pronunciation habits. And you've done a little bit of shadowing. You've listened to some pronunciation that you like, and you found a couple of issues. Now this is just an example. I'm not saying this is your issue. Just an example. One very common one. Is this, our sound? Okay, so maybe you've noticed that o is a tough sound for you. It's a tough sound for a lot of English learners. Wow, why is it tough? Because you have to start big and small. Bu Dao. Now, maybe you say, well that's easy, that's easy. But the tough part is putting it in a word. Okay? So put it in a really tough word, a word where it happens twice, like this one down town. Now, this is why you can't just practice without the awareness first. Because this can be dangerous. If you don't have the awareness, you may be repeating and practicing downtown, downtown Don Ton, which is wrong, which is not sound natural. You might be practicing the wrong thing, saying it the wrong way. And what will happen if you do something the wrong way? Many, many times. That's right. It becomes a bad habit and then it becomes even more difficult to get back to 0, right? You want to be here, right now you're here, this line, let's say that's called that 0, your starting point. And you want to move in this direction, but you haven't got the awareness part. And so you're down here now even worse, and it's a habit so you'd have to work your way all the way up from there. So it's very important that awareness comes first. Very keen ear. And we're going to be working on the ear, especially in the next one. You've got to have that keen here and that awareness, the ability to hear yourself. Then, then you do it 1000 times. So build your own exercises. Build your own exercises. I don't want to give you exercises that aren't useful for you. This may not be an issue for you. Maybe something else is, I'm just giving this one as an example. So maybe it's just one word and you repeat it. You say it in the mirror 50 times a day and you make sure that each time is perfect grade. If you don't record yourself, I mentioned last time that you could record yourself, That's great. If you don't always feel like that you don't want to get everything ready. That's okay. Stand in front of the mirror. That's sort of the easy way to do it. Now why stand in front of the mirror? When you're standing in front of the mirror, you are confronted with yourself. And you have to, in the same way that you hear a recording, be objective. And there's something very powerful about having something outside yourself. So that could be a recording. The recording is outside of yourself. That helps you to be more objective, which is good. Objective just means not subjective. It's kind of outside and you can see it there. Outside of you. Write, in a way, a mirror does the same thing. There you are over there. And that person over there has a mouth. And that person's doing that with their mouth. It just helps you to develop the awareness and a lot of people use, successfully, use the mirror technique to improve their pronunciation. I knew someone who did this every day practice every day in front of the mirror with a list of words that she had developed. She had built her own list which included the sounds that were tough for her, the most difficult sounds for her every day she would stand in front of the mirror and she would read the words. I think she actually wrote the words on the mirror with an erasable marker. And then after a few days, she had them memorized and she was able to just repeat the list. Looking at herself in the mirror, paying attention to the mouth shape, everything perfectly. Her pronunciation improved very quickly, dramatically because she became aware of which sounds those were, and then repeated that practice that she had made for herself each day. This is a simple thing you can do. Very easy. Easy as the wrong word. Not complicated, very simple, right? Very simple. Find your sounds, build your lists. If you don't want to build a list, then put several words together in an interesting sentence or a set of words that sound interesting and are easy to remember. Wavy willow vines. That's very easy to remember, right? You can build a little phrase that might help you. That's good too. And practice every day if you wanna do the recording, great. If you want to do the mirror, great. If you do it every day, I promise you, you will improve if you're doing it correctly and you'll go from, hopefully from 0, you will go up here rapidly. I wanna make it very clear. I'm not saying these are the ones you should practice. Okay. I bring up downtown out because that's a very common one. And also mixing up w and v, very, very common. So one wave V willow vines would be a great way to practice if you're the type of person who easily mixes up the v and the w. Remember when we make the w sound, we bring our lips together, but not too close. Pushed forward slightly and you can feel your cheek being pushed out a little bit, the air That's going out. And then when we say V, the bottom lip must touch the top teeth. But it doesn't have to be too hard, not like this. That's too much. Instead, it should be a light touch of the bottom lip against the top teeth. Like that. Not over it. Not like that. Slightly inside. Like that. Not too hard way. The wavy wavy wavy willow vines, wavy willow vines wavy will a vines, wavy willow vines. So I say that again and again and again. Okay, Find your areas first, then build your list, then practice, practice, practice. If you want to learn more of these tough sounds, don't worry, we will talk about that. It's going to be something that we cover in this course. But continuing with our focus of awareness and habits are going to talk about developing the ear next. So let's talk about that. How we can develop our ability to hear sounds. 8. Learn by Listening: Most English learners learning English as a second language, learn in school, middle school, high school, a little bit of English. Usually. Maybe this is you, maybe not. Okay. And most of that learning happens through the eyeballs rather than through the ears. Now that's not true for everybody. Maybe this is you, maybe not. But usually in second language education, there is a focus on seeing the word written down, writing down the vocabulary word, writing, writing, writing, reading, reading, reading. Because it's easier. But if we really want to improve our pronunciation, as you now know, because I've said it already 50 times, we need to develop awareness. And in order to do that, we have to develop the ear, the ability to listen. Now how do we do that? How can we develop the ability to listen? Has this ever happened to you? You're watching a movie, maybe it doesn't have subtitles. You're watching something and somebody says something and you don't know what they said, what did they say? You can't quite make out the words. Then later you find out what they said. You read what they said somewhere. And once you read it, you said oh, yeah. Oh, okay. I know that. I know that. Has that ever happened to you? If it has happened to you, that would be pretty normal. That's pretty common. But why should it be that way? Shouldn't be that way. It's not that way for me. Not that way for you in your own language. It shouldn't be that way. Your ability to listen should be as good as your ability to read. If not, better. If not better. And if it's not, that means you need to level up your ability to listen. Now, this has great benefits. The benefits are once you improve your ability to listen, you're able to absorb, absorb by the way, do you like my ear? I drew this year all by myself. Absorbed means soak in, take in more English content from your environment because you understand more. So that's going to help you improve your knowledge of English. Great. Also, conversations. You'll have fewer misunderstandings. When someone says something, you will less often say, Sorry, could you please repeat that? You will understand much more often when you're watching movies and TV shows. And they don't have subtitles, you will understand more of what is said. Maybe there are idioms and phrases you don't understand, but you'll understand more of what is being said if you develop your ear, your ability to listen. And most importantly for this course, you'll be able to develop, build your awareness. You'll be able to match, to copy, to shadow. Your target sounds more easily if you have a developed ear, if you have a strong listening skills. Now in order to develop listening skills, you can't just passively listen. Now, that is a long-term way to improve. It's good to soak in the language, to have a background of the language playing, to listen to podcasts, to listen to audio books, to watch videos without subtitles. All good. But it's also important to do focused listening practice to develop your ear and you can improve your listening in the short term. Now first, before we look at an example, you have to just get comfortable with this idea that sometimes, often you will hear things and you have no opportunity to see them. The information is coming in only here. And that's okay because you're going to work on this until this and this are at the same level. Or maybe this is, your ear is at an even higher level to get you used to this feeling and to show you how you can do focused practice, I'm going to read a couple of examples. Now for this, you can use it for shadowing if you want to. But that's not the focus here. What we're trying to do is listen and understand with only sound. I'm not going to show you anything on the screen. I'm not going to show you anything on the screen. If there's any text below here, make sure you get rid of it. Don't look at it, cover it with something. So that you can just focus on your ear. Okay? I'm going to read these at natural speed and then at slower speed, natural speed and slower speed. Now, as I'm reading these examples, I want you to write down what I say. If you don't get it, perfect, It's okay. But just try to write down what I say. So if you need to pause and get a pencil or a pen, or if you need to get something ready so that you can type whatever, get ready, do that. And then we're going to read these examples that I will not show you as text. Here we go. I'm going to read the first one at regular speed. Regular speed, slower speed, slower speed. Four times each. Connie's a better dancer than she lets on. Connie's a better dancer than she lets on. Connie's a better dancer than she lets on. Connie's a better dancer than she lets on. Now, if you didn't get the whole thing in those four times, That's okay. Don't kick yourself. When you're doing this for real in your own practice. You'll have plenty of time to listen to it as many times as you need. But if you didn't get the whole thing the first time, then that means you're listening is not at native level and you've got to work at it. A native English speaker listening to that sentence the first time. We'll be able to write out the whole thing and not hear it anymore times. Okay, so that's your benchmark. We call that a benchmark. That's the level that you need to work toward to be able to hear it, a sentence, one sentence, and be able to write it down or repeat it. That's good too. That's a great way to practice, to repeat it back. That's great too. The first time. Now when it gets to memory and it's a paragraph that's different, that's a different thing. Here. We're just talking about the ability to understand what you hear, to pick out the sounds at a level that you might have if you were reading it. Now Let's do two more of these. The next one, I find it hard to believe that you've never been to Canada. I find it hard to believe that you've never been to Canada. I find it hard to believe that you've never been to Canada? I find it hard to believe that you've never been to Canada? Okay. Were you able to write down the whole thing? No. Cheating? No. Looking at any text or anything like that. Were you able to write down the whole thing After four times? Could you do it after five times, six times, seven times. Did you do it after two times? Great. Fantastic. You're close. Keep working at it. Where are you able to do it easily the first time? Well, maybe you're ready to go to more advanced things. Great, good for you. Fantastic. All right, Here we go. The last one. We rarely flying business class because we can't afford it. We rarely flying business class because we can't afford it. We rarely fly in business class because we can't afford it. We rarely fly in business class because we can't afford it. All right, so how about that one? Easier, harder. How did it go? Now, here's a way to do this by yourself. A short audio clip. I recommend just audio. If you want to use a very short video, It's okay as long as there are no subtitles. Of course very important. But challenge herself, do just audio. That's a great way to practice. Make sure it's short enough. It should be no longer than 40 seconds a minute at the most. But 20 seconds is just fine. Ten seconds is okay if you want to repeat it many, many times. Now it should be something that you can't understand the first couple times. Something challenging if it's too easy and you understood it perfectly the first time, then you need to find something more challenging. Maybe find someone with a different, slightly different accent. Maybe you're used to American English, try British English, right? Or maybe you're used to more British English. Try American English. Really push yourself. You don't want it to be too easy. Then put that on, repeat, repeat, repeat. And try to write down every single word repeated until you can. Now you're using your knowledge of English to be able to figure out which things are there and which are not there. We rarely fly because we can't afford it. But I hear can or can't afford it. But then that doesn't make sense if it's rarely, why would you rarely fly? Rarely if you can afford it? So that means it has to be Kant. And it's just that the pronunciation of Kant in this kind of sentence is can't. So what is it that tells me that that's the word? Well, it's the context, it's my understanding of English, my understanding of grammar, and maybe picking out slight differences in pronunciation, which is also developing my awareness. There is a difference between can and can't. Can, end. Can't. Can you hear the difference? So even if you don't have the whole sentence, you can still notice the difference between those two things. Can and can't. They're not the same. So this exercise, although it is a little boring, is really powerful. It helps you develop your ability to hear more things, sharpen your listening skills. It helps you to learn more English, and it helps you develop the tool, the ear, the tool that you need to build awareness. Once you have a habit, then you have a skill and ability, and you're ready to move on to the next challenge. Now before we do that, we're going to spend a bit more time on awareness and habits. We're going to talk about how spelling relates to sound or how spelling does not relate to the sound of a word. 9. Sounds and Spelling | ‘GH’ - ’S’ - ‘CH’: Why would we talk about sounds and spelling alongside awareness and habits? Do these things fit together? Well, remember the importance of the ear. I want to remove the focus of learning through your eyeballs and instead place it on learning through your ears to develop your ear so that you can develop your, build your awareness right? Now, the reason that spelling is so important is that it isn't important. Word can be spelled lots of different ways. English spelling is a mess. And if you say, I'm going to learn pronunciation through spelling, you are going to have a very, very hard life. Now if you want to use phonetic symbols, and that helps you remember. 10. Sounds and Spelling | Silent Letters: Let's continue our focus on sounds to develop our ear, our listening with words that have a silent letter. Now, just because we are focused more on the sounds and trusting our ear, doesn't mean you should not pay attention to spelling at all. You need to know if you're reading out loud how a word is pronounced. So I just want to make it clear that we are focusing on trusting our ear so that we can actually improve our pronunciation. But it's still useful to know that that word spelled KNIME, DHT is pronounced night, not connect. So I hope that is very clear. It's okay to learn spelling. You should learn spelling. You must learn spelling. And it's important to know how this word is pronounced. But when you're learning how to say the word, when you're developing your ear to build your awareness and your habits, then you're going to trust this over what the spelling is. Don't use the spelling as a tool to improve your pronunciation. Don't place it between your ear and your mouth. And it is useful to pay attention to patterns in words. The words we're looking at in this group have a silent letter. Well, what would some of those patterns be? If you see kn together, especially if it's at the beginning of a word kn. Jn, for example, probably, probably it will be pronounced. And the other letter G or the k will be silent. So that's a pattern. You can pay attention to that. And then when you see a word you don't know, I've never seen this word before. And you want to guess how to read it out loud. You're remembering the pattern will help you make a better guess. You have to be very flexible about it though, because you're always going to find exceptions. I thought that but the pattern pattern is not a rule. The pattern is not a law. Pattern is a pattern. And you can use a pattern to help you in the future, to help you make guesses, to help you learn in the future faster. But be aware of exceptions. And when exceptions happen, something that doesn't fit the pattern. That's what an exception is. Don't get stressed. Just say, okay, this is new information. Got to learn it. How does it sound? Listen to it. And that's now part of your model of pronunciation that you're building out in your mind. So it has to be a kind of natural or organic process. Like a Baby, like a baby. Here we go. Let's go through these once slowly. Once at regular speed. Repeat after me. Ready? Rein. Yes. Rain. The same rain. Rain. Nah. No. Pneumonia. Pneumonia. Debt. Debt. Num. Num. Okay. How is that? Is that okay. Let's look at the next group. What what now, what silent there? Well, we're not saying what H. H is silent in this case. Aruba verb. Now remember, this is an American English pronunciation course. So the British version of that word will sound different. Not every word is pronounced the same way in native English speaking countries. That's also important to keep in mind. Listen. Listen. Often. Often. Some people will say often and say the T. Most people will not. Knitting. Knitting. Knuckle. Knuckle. Receipt. Receipt. Right? It didn't hear the p. Did you know p? It's there, it's written down, but we don't say it. Psychology. Psychology. As ma Asthma. Whens day. Wednesday. Right. Not witness day. Yeah. Exactly. Surprise. Surprise. Did you hear me say Surprise? No. Prize. Surprise. February. February. All right. How are those difficult? If you want to try it again? Go back, try it again. Really have to listen. You have to listen to me and pay very careful, close attention to the smallest details. And pay attention to your own sound. You have to be very tuned in to what's coming out of your mouth very closely paying attention. It's extremely important. Okay, focus on the sounds. You can close your eyes. If it helps. If you want to. 11. Sounds and Spelling | Foreign Words: Now, with these words that are from other languages that we use in English, very common words. There are many, many, many of these. By the way, I want to make one thing very clear. I'm going to say these as American native English speakers may say them as I say them. I'm not teaching you the way that they're originally pronounced in their original languages. Because I don't know how they're pronounced in their original languages. We use these words every day. Very, very common, all of them. But again, things change over time. Pronunciation changes over time. The way they sound among American native English speakers may be different from their original pronunciation, just to make that very, very clear. This is a course about American English pronunciation, not a course about other languages. I'm not qualified to teach you that. All right, Now, with that warning or disclaimer, out of the way, let's go through these. As we have been one-by-one, first slowly, and then normal speed follow along with me. And it might be a little weird fun of these words comes from your language. Try saying it the American way. Why not? It'll be fun, I promise. Here we go. Hors d'oeuvres. Hors d'oeuvres. Entrepreneur, entrepreneur, Gorilla, gorilla, tsunami, tsunami, moped, moped, fiasco. Fiasco. Guru, Guru, karaoke, karaoke. Uber. Over fo fo Pi. Zucchini. Zucchini. How is that difficult? If you want to try it again? Go back. Try it again, practice, practice, practice. If any of these have sounds or any of the previous examples we looked at, have sounds that are really, really tough for you. Remember, make your own exercises. Make your own word list or group of words. That's a memorable phrase. Stand in front of the mirror if you want to use an erasable marker, write them down on the mirror. Practice that many times each day with the right sound. The right sound. Very important that you get it right so that you don't develop bad habits. Now we're going to look at one more set of examples. Words that have some odd vowel sounds, unusual vowel sounds, a vowel, vowel. We're going to look at a few words that have some unusual vowel sounds before moving on to talk about tough sounds, that will be our next section. 12. Sounds and Spelling Vowels that Don't Sound Like They Look: Okay, Are you ready? This is our last set. I like you to pay careful attention to the vowel sounds, especially listen to how the vowel sounds are pronounced. I'm going to say at one time slowly, and then I'm going to say it at regular speed. Repeat after me, follow me. Here we go. If you want to close your eyes, you can close your eyes. If not, not, that's okay. Shovel. Shovel. Q. Q. Blood. Blood, love. Sounds like a. You love. Squirrel. Squirrel. Quiet, your choir. Worm, worm, bear. R3. Barry. Breakfast. Breakfast. Plaid. Plaid. Phoenix. Phoenix, Perl, Perl giraffe. Giraffe. Now, if that was challenging, I understand vowels can be some of the toughest things to master. I just want to point out a couple of things about some of these words. And we're talking about sound and spelling. This is kind of confusing because yes, you have to know how to pronounce that word there. So you have to know how it's spelled and how to say it. Yes. Yes. But if you say to yourself, Okay, Then spelling will be my guide to learn pronunciation and master it. Then you go down a wrong road because you've turned off your ear and you've turned on this very confusing thing, right? That doesn't guide you in the right direction. Y naught. Well, perfect example. If you just take the word beat our EAA, kay, how will it be pronounced? Break, right? Alright, so I will learn BY are ek is pronounced break, break, break, break, break, break. Thank you. Spelling. Thank you. My teacher spelling. Now I know how B are AK is pronounced ah, except it's not. This word is pronounced. Breck fist. So we don't say break fast, which is what it looks like if you say this word by itself, that's break. If you say this word by itself, that's fast. If you put them together, then they're both different. Breakfast. So Okay. Okay. I'll just learn how that sounds, this word breakfast. And focus on the sound part and not on how confusing it is that Oh my God. And you put them together and I'm very confusing. Just focus on the sounds. Same thing for this one. Hmm, I remember, I remember. There's that rule where if you have a vowel and a consonant, and then an E at the end, at the end of a word. Then the vowel belong sound. So S TOP, stove, 0, 0, stove, got it, got it. Rule spelling. But, but then you find exceptions to that. This one doesn't even sound like the short o. By the way, if you are not sure what a short o is when a long o is long, 0 is 0. The sound of the letter short o is ah, the short sound. If you really want to learn that in depth, make sure you check out my other course on that topic. So instead of banging your head against a tree, because this sounds like LUV, instead of how it should sound which is low. Instead of doing that, just say, okay, well, I remember Luke said spelling is a big mess. Lots of influences, history and other languages and all of that. So I'm just going to remember that this word is pronounced love. And I'm going to focus on the sound. When I close my eyes, I hear a little, love, love, love, love, love. And then repeat that 50 times. And then you've got it. Now you know how to pronounce that word, but hold on to that. Keep that in mind. Don't be fixed on spelling. Bee fixed on sound. If you're fixed on spelling all the time, it will just confuse you more and more. Have d over d. That can be pronounced two different ways. Sometimes it's dove if it's in the past and it's a verb. If it's a bird, then it's dove, just like love. So maybe it's best just to focus on sounds. I hope I've made that clear by now. Make your lists, make your practice exercises. Pick out the words that are tough. Do shadowing exercises. Do listening exercises, practice, practice, practice. Develop your awareness, develop your ear, build habits, build skills, and you will sound more natural in no time. In the next section, we're going to talk about the most difficult sounds in the English language, especially American English. So I'll see you there. 13. Saying the Strange 'S': Now that we've talked about how to build awareness and habits and how to practice your pronunciation so that you can actually make progress and improve, for example, through shadowing. Now that we've done those things in this section, I want to get into to talk about some of the more difficult sounds in American English pronunciation. Some of the tougher sounds that a lot of English learners really struggle with. We're going to go through these sounds with examples of words. I'm going to teach you how to make the sound. And then we're going to look at words that include that sound. The important thing to remember for these tough sounds is to, as I mentioned, pay very careful attention to the sound. What is the mouth shape for the sound? Is there a difference between how you're saying it and how I'm saying it. Do they match? If not, what do you have to do in your mouth to make it work, to make it sound the same. We're going to start with what I call the strange S. Now, this has different, different names. There's a symbol that represents it's sometimes and also it's sometimes called the z h sound. I just call it the strange S. I think that's the easiest way. And it's in the word usually. So we're going to go through some words that include this sound. But before we do, let's just learn the sound. And by the way, it's not just in words with an S. Sometimes a t. Well, not often a T, sometimes a G, fairly often a G. We'll look at examples, as you can see here. We'll go through them. But first, the sound itself, how do we make it? Let's take the first word here, usually. Usually. And let's pull out the second syllable of the word. Now remember a syllable. Sure, you already know this. A syllable is a beat. A word, syllable is a beat in a word. If you want to count how many syllables are in a word, There's a very easy method for doing that. You say the word with your mouth closed and then you can hear the beats in the word. So this looks like, this looks like a pretty long word. So this should be a lot of syllables. That's about as long as this word. So this should be about the same, right? No. If I say this word with my mouth closed, it sounds like this. Hm, hm, hm, two. How about this one? Hm, hm, hm, hmm, hmm, hmm, three syllables. How about this one? Hm, hm, hm, hm. Now sometimes it's said as a three syllable word. Some people will say it usually. Usually, and that's an okay pronunciation too. But, but I always say it as a four syllable word. And I'm going to teach you the four syllable version. You can hear the beats if you say it like this, hm, hm, hm, hm, hm, hm, hm, four syllables. There you go. So that's how you can count syllables. Okay? So we're gonna take the second syllable, Zhu. Zhu. And that's the strange S. Now it's not the UX part because it could be, for example, g there, there's a different vowel sound after it. Remember vowels a, e, I, o, u. Those might be different, but that zh sound, that vibrating sound, that's the sound we're talking about here. Again, I'm going to call it the strange S. It may sometimes be called the z h sound. I don't really like that. Call it whatever you want. Don't call it anything. I don't care. That's not what this course is about. This course is about teaching how to actually say the sounds and make them with your mouth. That's what really matters, right? All right, so let's take this now. How do we make the g part? How do we do that, Zhu? And is it the same as j? Know? Is it the same as SH? No, it's not same as j and it's not the same as SH. But, but it's closer to SSH because you're doing the same thing with your teeth and with your lips. She so your lips, your teeth, and your tongue actually are in the same position. So just do that. Sh, SH, right? Easy enough. Shush. Simple. Now, when you say she she noticed that the SH part is unvoiced. Unvoiced. Right? What does that mean? Well, that means that this here is not being used. If you're using this thing and it's vibrating, it is a voiced sound. If you're not, it is unvoiced. So it's either voiced or it's unvoiced. And if you look at this, she voices the E sound but not the sound. Now what if you were to say she? But instead of saying she, you voiced the whole thing, your voice to the SH sound too. What would that sound like? What do you think? Well, we do this ssh and then we just add the voice. The can you hear that? So notice my voice is on, it's turned on, but everything else is just like the SH. So think of it as SH, SH plus voice. Okay, if that helps, if that's a good way to remember it, It's SSH, ssh, plus turning your voice on. Now you might be thinking, oh, well, isn't that the DJ? No, it's not the J. Try to say J for three seconds. Doesn't work, does it? Why not? Because j is a sound that is released. That means it's a shorter sound and it's not continuous, like woo, her. All these sounds use the voice and they can continue for a long time, but sounds like like that. That's a sound that is shorter and it's released immediately. You can't stretch it. And J is one of those. So if you say J, It's like this, G, G, G. So one really common mistake when making this strange S sound is to make the j sound. But that's wrong because a j sound is a sound that we release. Its short too. You can't, you can't stretch it long. And so if you say you, you Julie, you, you Julie wrong, it's wrong. That's too hard. You're pushing it too hard. So instead, soften it a little bit from j so that it can continue. It should sound very soft. She the, now the other common mistake for this one is not doing the SH part and just using the voice. I often hear learners working on this. Say, if the, so it kind of looks right, the mouth almost looks right. Except where's that whisper E sound? Where's that? I don't hear it. I just hear your voice. So it's very important to have both. Because if I say you are really, what is that? What is your earliest mountains in Russia? What is that? Huge? You Li, so just practice the long sound and practice it until do the SH plus voice. Until you can do it for 10 seconds. When you can do it for ten seconds and it doesn't change at all for ten seconds. And you're sure the whisper E sound of the SH, the sh sound is included in there. And it's not just your voice and you can hear it. It sounds just like how I'm saying it. You know, you've got it. Let's call it sustained work and I write this sustained vibration. Okay, now, let's go through some example words. Again, it's important to note that we don't, we don't stress about spelling. We note spelling. We say words that are spelled in this way or that have this part. They make that sound. But we don't stress out about it because we know there will always be exceptions. So now let's go through our example words. We're going to start with strange S words with S. And then we're going to go to G. Same sound, different spelling. And then we're going to talk about a couple other unique ones. I'm going to say it slowly. Then I want you to say it slowly. I will leave a space for you. Then I will say that normal speed. And then I want you to say it at normal speed, I will leave a space for you. Are you ready? Here? We go. Use You Li usually. Anesthesia. I'll do that one twice slowly. That's a tough one. Anesthesia. Anesthesia. Asia. Asia. Pleasure. Pleasure. Leisure. Leisure, vision. Vision, occasion. Occasion. So how did you do on those difficult, easy. Keep practicing it, make sure you master it. You've gotta get the sound right. Because if you get it mixed up, it can confuse people. All right, Let's go to our GI examples. When you're ready. Genre, genre, massage, massage. Now, note that the word message, it's a little different. That's harder sound, message, message, Juju. That's a slightly different sound, known as the soft G sound, Jew. But Cij is our soft sound. Message. Different sound. Okay, it's different. It's a little different. It's not the same thing. Regime. Regime. Raj. Garage, collage. Collage. Now again, note, college is different. Colleges. What do you attend after high-school, perhaps. That is again, the soft G. It's not college. It's college. Soft G sound. It's also the JSON. Okay, So that is that slightly harder sound, that shorter sound that has a release. Now these last two are kind of unusual, kind of odd because here we have x and here we have T-I-O-N. Notice we haven't seen that in the ones above. So a little unusual here. We'll talk about some patterns in just a second. But to say these, here we go. Luxury. Luxury equation. Equation. Alright, so my hope is that after we practice all of these, you have a pretty good sense for how to make the sound and you can make it yourself. Now remember, that's not the end of the battle. In order to really get there, you've got to practice it many times because if you're in a conversation, right? And you're trying to think about a 1000 other things. The bandwidth problem, you thinking about tense, you're thinking about what you want to say, whatever you forget and you say it the wrong way. So awareness first, get the sound right, good. This is not the end of the road. Practice is what comes next. Repetition is the thing you have to focus on once you've mastered making the sound itself. Now, are there any patterns here that we can find that might help us a little bit. If we find a strange word, maybe we can guess how to say it. Well, let's take a look at this. S, S I, O, there's an ending, SEA. Sea both pronounced Jia, anesthesia. Asia. Okay. How about this one? Sur. Sur. Okay, interesting. Both pronounced Jer, Jer, leisure, pleasure. All right. Maybe a pattern. How about this one? S I O N, S I O N Another ending. All right, that could be a pattern. Now, very important to note, I'm not saying that just because something looks like a pattern, o and ending sounds the same, doesn't mean it's always going to be pronounced the same way. In fact, 100% SIJ is not going to be pronounced the same way all the time. But it's still useful to note patterns that can help. It really can anything down here. Well, AGE, AGE. All right, good. So far, so good. Age, massage, garage, collage, but oh, oh, there's an AGE and it doesn't work. So again, pattern useful. Yes. But always know what about this one? Well, T-I-O-N and S ION, that's something they have a similar ending. So maybe, although I have to say this is really not common, usually if it's T-I-O-N, it's going to be a shunt sound. For example, motion, motion relation, things like that. So that's going to be a lot more common. Seeing something like this, this is actually extremely uncommon. However, this is not uncommon. This is very common. So again, it's important to just keep this kind of thing in mind when you're learning pronunciation. Of course, the focus is always going to be on making the sound, building the habit. But keeping some of these patterns in your head somewhere can be useful for learning words and things in the future. In the next one, we're going to be learning another tough sound. We're going to be learning about x. 14. Ways to Say 'X': There are two common pronunciations of the letter X. Of course, there are always exceptions. But two common pronunciations. Generally, it's going to be one or the other. So we're going to talk about the two pronunciations. And then as we did before, we're going to go over some examples. Now, one of our pronunciations is basically the z sound. So pay attention to that because we will also be talking about the z sound by itself. It can be a tough one as well. What makes x a tough sound? A lot of people don't quite get it right. Well, I think it's because it's kind of complicated. It's not a simple sound like that's a simple sound or but that's a simple sound. You have to do more with your mouth when you're saying x. In either case, either pronunciation of x. So I think that's why it's difficult. So how do we make the x sound? First one, let's call this one. You can choose what you want to call it, but let's either call it the unvoiced. Now we know what that means, right? Let's either call it the unvoiced or we can call it the k, The k x, let's call it the kx. If that helps, whatever helps you, okay. Whatever helps you remember it. Let's call the other one the voiced. Or we can call it if you want if you want to call it this, that's fine. You can call it the g x. Now, if that does not make sense to you now, don't worry, I think it will make sense to you in just a moment. How do you say this letter? How do you say it? Well, if you know how to say the short e, the short E, and you know how to say k. And you know how to say S. Then you should be okay. You should know how to say this letter. And this is the first pronunciation. So that's what makes it kind of complicated. We have to say this and this and this. It really is short. E plus K plus S. E plus K plus S. How does it sound? It sounds like this. F x. Here, the E, a, a. Put it together, X, X. Now there are two really common mistakes when pronouncing this sound. One of them is to simply not say k and instead to say S. S, sort of an S sound. Extremely, extremely, extremely. It's not right. It's not right. We're gonna, we're gonna talk about it, but it is extremely. Now, that's hard because you have to go from the K to the t. So you have to really, really practice it, but that is a common mistake. Skipping the k. The other common mistake here is making a short sound after and adding a space here. So instead saying a car, having a voice here, adding something right here at x, or just x plus oecus. So I've heard many people say x because theremin MLI, namely something like that. It's not correct. Okay. Once you've said the S sound, these two are unvoiced. That's why I call it the unvoiced sound or the k sound because k is not voiced. And if you have a word like T, H, I, J, and K S, That's, that's a t. Trust me. Th j and k, s. When you say this, Go ahead, say it. Thanks. Sounds pretty familiar, doesn't it? That's right. It's the same. Thanks. So you've got to practice that sound. There's no space between the K and the S. You have to be able to jump directly from the K to the S without adding anything. Without a CAS. You don't want to open your mouth. Cas. Cas, no. Cars, no. X x x x. Then you put the e in front of it, Bingo? X, x, x, x. There you go. Practice that. Be very careful about those two mistakes. So let's look at our words, our examples to practice this and then talk about are voiced, pronunciation are gx, I'm going to say it slowly and then say it at regular speed. I want you to say it after each time. Here we go. X ray, X-ray, extremely, extremely text. Text. X then did extended complex, complex mixer, mixer x, so Planet exoplanet. All right, that one is not going to come up very often, not a common word. Now, which one of these is different from the others? I slipped one in here. That's right. This one this one is different. But what's different? Well, all I've done is remove the e, kept it voiced, but instead done a different vowel in this case I. So I want you to get used to the E pronunciation, but be prepared for any others with any other vowel. For example, a x, e, pronunciation, Guess same thing. Except instead of the e, we're going to say the a Acts, Acts. Does the a sound acts, acts write m, i x, i sound mix, mix, mix. Can you think of any words with an O in front? I'm sure you can very easy. How about BOX? What do you think? Box. Box, box. How about you? Can you think of one with you? You might be looking at this one down here. Remember, we talked about this one. It's a little different, not quite. How about T, U, X as in Tuxedo, a tux, tucks tux. So all we're doing is swapping out the vowel a, e to the one we started with, probably the most common. I mix o, u. Now, the next natural question would be, well, okay, Does box rhyme with this word R0? See KS? You told me that it's k plus s. So what about ROC? Ks? What about that? Yes, same pronunciation. Rocks, rocks, box, box. They rhyme. These two words rhyme. So words that end in CK, S and words that end in x which are unvoiced or the kx type, they are going to have the same sound and the vowel will determine the whole sound. For example, rocks and box acts and tracks, TRA, CK, ES, complex and flex, FLAC KS. All right, You get the idea. Same sound. Remember not to make those basic mistakes where we're adding sounds in here. And remember to make sure that that K is in there. Now, actually, this word is going to carry us into our next pronunciation of x, y. Because some people don't say this as XO planet. Some people say this one as exoplanet. Exoplanet, exoplanet. And you might be thinking Wait, eggs like EGS, eggs. Yeah. Exactly. Wait. Exactly. Like EGS. Exactly. Yes. That's right. So we call this one or I call this one voiced because instead of the unvoiced k sound, we have the voiced g sound. So we could call this voiced x, or we could call it the gX. Now, the difference between this one and this one really is just this sound, just this sound here. Instead of the k, We're going to put in a G. Now, G makes a few sounds as well. It makes a G sound, we call it a soft G, like George, GO or GE. And that sounds like a j. And then we learned that it also makes sounds like this, R, E, G, E. And remember that's pronounced regime, regime, even softer than j. And it also makes a harder sound. We call it the heart GI guy is the sound like Gulf. That's the one we want to put here. That's the one we're talking about. So let's take e like we did last time, and then do e plus g. And that's a hard G. And then we have an S, but not an unvoiced S. No, No, we want the S. That sounds like a z. So you could put S here if you want to. You could put Z here whenever you want to put here. That's fine. It's actually the z sound, but it helps to remember it because we have the S here. Again. Whatever works for you. So eggs, eggs, eggs, eggs. Now remember we don't want to add a space here. We do not want to space here. If we have a space here, it will sound like a guy. A guy has no wrong. Don't say that, don't do that. Make it very quick. That's the thing to practice there. The space between the G and this voiced S, the z sound should be 0, no space. If you jump too far, it's going to sound weird. Egg. Egg GSS, no, no, no, no eggs, eggs, eggs, eggs. And by the way, that is the pronunciation of this word, E, G, G, s, the food. It's not pronounced. A gazelle. It's pronounced eggs. Eggs. Eggs. Ok. So now we should at least have a feeling for it and we can see the similarities and differences to this unvoiced one, the KX, I do want you to notice a pattern here, EX, EX, EX, with these patterns. I'm not trying to give you any hard rules because I don't want to lead you down the wrong path, but I do want you to note, note patterns, okay? So let's try these. I want you to repeat after me slowly and then regular speed exams. Exams. Exactly. Exactly. Exit, exit. Xylophone. Xylophone. Now this one is a special case xylophone. This is a pretty unique word, but we can just consider this a z sound. And why sound? Zai, LA, phone, xylophone, not a common word. This is a musical, a musical instrument. These are very common and I'm sure you can think of others, e x a m PLE. But again, notice EX, EX, EX, EX. So for this voice one, it is usually going to be e x. Now, of course, there are exceptions to this and people say things differently. For example, there's a name BI, XB, Y. And some people will say that Biggs be. So there. It's the same idea as we talked about up here. You're just swapping in the eye for the eggs, eggs, eggs, eggs. But that GZ sound or the G voiced sound is the same. So don't stress out. But again, mostly you're going to see this X1. Now for this one, people do say it as big speed. So they'll say it this way too. I've heard people say, Biggs be, and I've heard people say, because B, The EX sound the same as, for example, our HGS or be EGS. Well, I mentioned that this word EEG, VGS is the same pronunciation, eggs. So yes, if you have an HGS and EGS and o, g, s, For example, LOG S. Logs. Begs, eggs, eggs, eggs, rags, eggs, eggs, eggs. So you're changing the vowel sound, but that same g s sound, g voiced S or GZ sound, is going to be the same. Always. Now, before we very quickly talk about this one, which we've already talked about in another lesson. I want to mention a really important thing. You will see. You have probably seen something like this, e, x and then boyfriend or maybe EX and boss, something like that. Now, the question is, is this one this pronunciation because this is EX, or is it like this? So if you have this thing here and this thing here is called a hyphen. This is a hyphen. If you have the hyphen here, this means, the meaning of this is something that's not there anymore. It's gone, it's in the past. And it's going to have the pronunciation of this one, not this one. So this one is only for if it's part of the word. And this is kind of a separate piece. So this is ex boyfriend, not eggs boyfriend, ex boyfriend, not eggs, boyfriend. So I hope all of that is very clear and it just leaves lonely little luxury all by itself. Now remember for this one, yes, it is an x, but it is kind of a special case. And we've talked about how it's pronounced. It has the sound in it. But what is the sound before that? What am I hearing? Their luxury? Is that more like the k, the unvoiced or is it more like the voiced? Listen, luxury, luxury. Luxury. It's more like the voiced one. It's more like L, U, G, and then the special S. And then RY lug. It's not zeri, it's not a Z, not luxury. It's the special one that we talked about. Lug, lug, gaga, gaga, gaga, ger E, luxury, luxury, luxury. So if it's closer to one, it's closer to this pronunciation and not this one. Okay? Hopefully, all of that makes sense. If you have any questions about this stuff, please let me know. In the next lesson, we're going to talk about another difficult sound, the long ie. 15. Mastering the Long 'i' Sound: Before we talk about how to say the long I and why, it's often a really tough sound to master. Let's do a quick review of long and short vowels. Just in case, just in case. You're not sure what they are. Now, I have another course on this topic. If you've taken that, forgive me, this is just a review. If you already know this great. I just want to make sure we're on the same page before we talk about the long i, because this is called the long i. Now, what is a long vowel? Does that mean that when we say the vowel AEIOU, that we just say it longer, a, no, that's not what it means. Long and short doesn't mean it's longer or shorter. It's just the sound it makes and the name for the sounds. So the long ones we can consider to be the name of the letter a, a, a, e, e, e, i. We're going to talk about that one now. I, o and u, a i, o and u. For example, g, a p, e, grape, G, E and E gene, gene M, I, E, Mike, Mike MOD mode, 00 00 mode. And let's go with MUL e, mu, mu, mu, u mu. Okay, now you as a little bit different, a little bit special because for example, my name LU K, E is Luke, not Li UK. It's not Li UK, it's Luke. Luke, which sounds like what? Sounds like the same sound is 0, D, for example, food, boo, boo. So the long, you might be like moo, moo, or it could be like ooh, BL, E, blue, blue, OU, same sound. So that one is a little bit special. Okay, and just for review, the short sounds might be, for example, our father and an apple fell. Father. Apple. Short e sound, a, a, a, Met, met. Short. I sound. It is hit, hit. Short, O sound. Tom, Tom, short use sound of a hut. Hut, hut. Okay. So this is generally the long and the short sounds. And again, there is much more to this. This is just hopefully a review for you. If you haven't already checked out that other course, make sure you do that because it is important to get these, to really understand these basics. Now, why am I talking about both long and short vowels in this lesson? This is less than about the long I sound. It's a tough sound for a lot of English learners. Why do we have to mention the short sounds too? Who cares? I need to reference it because actually it has two pieces. And that's what makes it difficult for a lot of people. Because getting those two pieces right, making it sound correct can be, can be tough. So we're going to talk about how we make the sound and some of the mistakes that many English learners make with this i sound. And then of course we will talk about these examples. All right? Okay. So I mentioned there's a short vowel sound. What is the short vowel sound? Well, it's actually the short a, but which one is it the apple sound or is it the other sound which is little bit like the o sound too? It's the father sound, that's the one. Now it's important to get that right, very important before we add the other part. So I'm going to say this one, then this one, then this one because they're all very close. Are you ready? At this one, phi phi father, this one. Tom, Tom. These are very close, very, very close. Tom, father, of Tom. Father. Very, very close together. But we still call this the short a sound. Okay, so that's one. Have you got the first part? Next? Let's just run a little short here. Next, we're going to add, we could either do it as y or we could do it as the long e sound. Because we've already talked about the long e sound. We'll just do that. But I could write a y here too, because, why often makes the long e sound. Okay, so long e, so short a, long e. Now how do you say short a. This one is, ah, ah, and this one is smile, smile. See how wide my mouth is. And this is one thing that's difficult for many English learners. Americans, especially open their mouths very wide and big. So if you're like this, it's quite difficult to make natural sounds. You have to get over your shyness. Get over your fear of opening your mouth, ads, sticking out your tongue, and doing lots of things with your, with your face because that's what, especially American English is. A lot of flexibility and looseness in the mouth and face, right? Don't be afraid that someone's going to laugh at you if all American native English speakers can do it and you want to get closer to that sound. You can do it too. Okay, so let's try this shortly, right? E, smile, e, e, e, e. If I say like this, e, it doesn't quite sound right? You have to really stretch it out. E, e. Now we put these two together, but it's not e, e, e, That's not right. It's got to flow from one to the other. Eye. The Aye. Aye. Aye, Aye, Aye, Aye. And it's the same pronunciation as e, YE, I, I, I, and long I have the same pronunciation. And it goes like this. You've really got to master that flow between the a in father and the E, E, which requires you to kind of smile and show your teeth. All right? Now, what are the common mistakes now that we know how to say it? I hope you know how to say it. Now, don't forget we have to build our habits to what are the common mistakes. Often it's something like this. We use the word Mike before instead of Mike, notice my instead of that it would be something like MSc, MSc or smile smell, smell, smell. And that's not really any sound, but it kind of sounds a bit like SM ELL smell and kind of sounds like that. Smell. Smell. Smell is not right. That's not correct. We have to make sure we're doing this because if we say snail, it sounds too much like that snail. Know what is that? Smu, E equal SMI. Oh, don't be afraid to really enjoy the transition between these two. Smile. Smile. Can you make that sound? Now I've also heard some people say a simple short a sound like apple, instead of this, for example, CLI, M, B, which we're going to talk about instead of what it should be, which is climb, something like clam, clam, clam, Apple clam, Apple clam, wrong short a wrong sound. Apple clam. Apple clam. Apple clam. Do you hear that? That's not the right sound. And also, it's a problem because CLA am is a different word and lives at the bottom of the sea and people eat it. So that's not what you want to say. You want to say this one. If you want to say this when you have to make sure you master the i sound. The reason that we're talking about this is because there are so many sounds which are what are called. Minimal pairs, minimal, or can I write this minimal pairs? And these are pairs of words that have only one difference. And this is a perfect example of something which has only one difference, the Cl, Cl. It's the same thing. The MB, MB, same sound, both make the sound. So the only difference is the vowel sound. And because there are so many of these minimal pairs, it can be very easy to confuse people. If people think you said smell, when you meant to say smile, that could cause a problem? I like your smell is very different than I like your smile. Afraid. So it's so important we want to avoid misunderstanding and to do that, we've gotta get it right. That's why we're talking about it, because it is so commonly, so often incorrect. So now that we know how to say it, Let's go through our words. For this one as we have been doing, I'm going to read through these. I want you to follow me. I'm going to say each one slowly than leave a space for you to say it. Then I'm going to say it at regular speed and leave a space for you to say it. Try to get as close as you can to my sound. Focus on your ear, not the letters that your eyes are looking at when you're ready. Time, time. Bye. Bye. Climb. Climb. I, Len. Island. Cry. Cry. Height. Height. Y, yet. Quiet. Quite, quite. Okay. How is that difficult? If it was a challenge, if you feel like it wasn't quite right or you weren't keeping up? Try it again. Try it again. Try it again. Try it again. Listen carefully. Focus on what your ears here and what your eyes see here with my mouth. And not on the letters your eyeballs are looking at. Because look at this. Bu, why? What, how can be uy say the long I sound? Well it does, it does. It's the same pronunciation as BY. It's the same thing. Notice we haven't IS here. Same things still just i, i, e, i m be, CRY, cry. Same sound. H I also makes I. Now what about this one and this one? Did you hear the difference? Quite yet? Quite quiet. Quite. The difference in these two really is that this is two syllables and this is one, quite, quite, yet, quite quiet. And there's a little y, e, t here that's added in the second syllable. Yet, yet quiet. Now, I should mention that many people won't say that sound at the end. They'll have a t that stops short, which I call a stop tea. So instead it will sound like quiet. Quiet. Not quite, but quiet, quiet. And quite, quite. So that's a, that's an important point to just keep in mind. Okay. Not the main point or focusing on the long I sound, practice, practice, practice until you feel you are a master of it, until it is a habit. And you can say it perfectly without thinking about it. 16. The 'Z' Sound | Sustained Vibration: Z sound is one of the most often mispronounced words among English learners. And it's reasonable because it's not that easy to say. It requires a couple of basics. And we're going to, of course, talk about those in this lesson, as well as look at and practice some real examples as we have been doing. Now we talked about this a little bit before when we were working on x. Remember eggs like Exactly that sound in there. That voiced S is the z sound. We're going to call it the z sound in this lesson. But S also makes the z sound if it's voiced, remember the voiced S is the z sound. Usually unless it's the strange S sound that we talked about before that, and also remember xylophone so x can make the z sound as well. We're going to first talk about how to make the sound. Then we'll talk about some common mistakes to avoid, and then we'll go over the examples. How does that sound? When we make the z sound, we need to make sure that it is a sustained vibration. Now, what do I mean by a sustained vibration? Well, do you remember when I was talking about compared to Jim? Jim is not sustained. Sustained means it can continue and continue and continue. I think we practice saying it for five seconds, right? So we need to be able to do the same thing with the z sound. Vibration means that the voice is involved. When you make voiced sounds, that vibration comes from your vocal, your vocal cords. The part in your throat that actually makes the that is the sound. That is your vocal cords vibrating, making a vibration. Now it could be very quick or but often it's the things going on in the mouth that decide whether or not it is a sustained vibration. Now, I will call sustained vibration The sounds like and and which make your mouth vibrate because you're doing something up here. Also uses your vocal cords, but that's a little bit different. You're closing your mouth a little bit when you say z. And it's causing your mouth to vibrate. So let's call that sustained vibration. And it should be something that can continue for a long time. So how do we make the z sound? What should we do with our mouths? Well, we want to basically make the S sound. So we should bring our teeth close together and we should push our tongue up close to the roof, the roof of the mouth. Now the sides of the tongue are touching the teeth. And the tip of the tongue is very close to the roof of the mouth, but not actually touching. So that's the S sound, right? Sss, Sss, and we can close the teeth or we cannot see, usually I think we don't close the teeth when we make the sound. Now, take that and then add your voice to it. So S plus voice, That's what it is. S plus voice. Sss. Sss. So my voice is causing the vibration in my mouth between my tongue and it's also touching my teeth. So you're listening for both of those sounds layered on top of each other. Very important to have both of them. I can hear the S, I can hear the voice, and I can continue doing it for several seconds. All right. So we can be pretty sure we've got it. Now. What are the common problems with this? Well, similar to you. One problem is if it's sustained and it's continuing, but there's no S included, which sounds like this. If I could just be singing. That's not it. That's not it. The other very common mistake is making it too hard. Remember when we were talking about we said that it could be too hard and sound like. Jay, something similar can happen here. If that z is too hard, then it almost sounds like there's a D in front of it and then it's kind of pushed out and it can't continue. So it might sound like this. X1, x2, x3, x4, there's movement happening. My tongue is kinda pushing it forward. It's kinda starting with the hard sound, almost like a d sound. It's going and then and then it runs out, it runs out of gas, it runs out of energy in the same way that does. These are thrown out and they can't be sustained. That can't continue going, but can. So you have to practice it until you can get that right toe, you can master it. And if you're doing this, you're not doing it correctly. And if you're doing this, if you're not doing it correctly, try to adjust your tongue, especially your tongue, until you get that perfect balance so that you can hear the S, but it's not so close and pushed so far against the roof of your mouth, then it becomes a kind of the hard sound that's almost like a D and a z together. So practice, practice, practice until you can get it, try to avoid those mistakes. Now let's go over some words as we usually do. Now. I'm going to read them, of course. Once, slowly, repeat after me. Then regular speed repeat after me. We're going to start with words that start with the z sound. Then we'll do a set of words where z is in the middle. And then we'll do words where z is at the end. So we have the whole range. Are you ready? Here? We go, 0, 0, 1, zone x2, x2. Be careful not to say x2. It's too hard. Zebra. Zebra. Now words where z or the z sound is in the middle. Frozen, frozen, fuzzy, fuzzy. Susan. Susan. Now notice for that one here we have S twice. This S does not make the z sound. This S Does, this is an unvoiced S. But then this one also S course S can make the z sound if it is voiced, it makes it. So you have two Ss. One does, one does not. Susan. Finally, words where the z sound comes at the end. Scissors. Scissors. Now this one has Z twice, it has Z at the end and the z sound for the second S there. So see, deserves scissors. That's kind of a tough one. Clues, clues, reasons, reasons. Again, you have the SSE z and then the S has a Z, Xun's Xun's reasons, reasons. If you're really struggling with this or any of the other tough sounds that we've been talking about. And we've got one more set of tough sounds to talk about next. If you're struggling, go back and try again. Don't give up until it's perfect. Don't say close enough or I don't know. If you know that it's not quite right. Don't say I can't do I don't know what to do with my mouth. My mouth is broken. Americans must have different tongues than me, for example, no, come on. No, anybody can learn to make any sound. There's nothing wrong with your tongue. There's no such thing as a broken tongue are a weird tongue or whatever. I've heard that so many times. No. No. And the reason I know that is because I've seen students who have said that many times. I can't my mouth, there's something wrong with my mouth. I've taught them how to say it correctly. I've seen them do it every single one. And then the question after that always became okay, now you've got it now you know how to do it. You didn't give up. You didn't give excuses or come up with a lot of explanations for why you couldn't say it perfectly. You worked and worked until you mastered it. Great. Next step is habit, practice, practice, practice. So practice. These. Make your own examples. I'm not saying you have to only practice mine. I do these so that you can get a pretty broad range of sounds if you still have questions, let me know. In the next lesson, we're going to talk about the diphthong out. 17. The 'OU' Diphthong: Remember earlier I talked about the word downtown. I talked about how that word would be perfect word to practice many times if you were struggling with that sound. And I just gave it as an example. But I want to really spend some time and focus on that sound because it is a tough sound. Many English learners struggle with it. It's not easy. It's not an easy sound to perfectly say, but you have to master it because it's so. 18. Carrying Single Words | Voiced and Unvoiced: If you want to sound natural, if you want to have that natural native sound. One of the most important things that you have to learn is how to carry the voice. That's what I call it, carry the voice. Now I have mentioned this up to now, but I want to really focus on it for a few lessons. We're going to talk about what it means exactly how to do it. Then focus on individual words followed by whole sentences. If you can master this, you will begin to sound much more natural, much more like a native speaker when you're speaking English, without even improving the pronunciation of individual words, it will take your pronunciation, the sound overall, to a higher level. So let's now talk about what it means to carry the voice and how we can do it. Now, to really understand it, we need to go back to, to familiar things, the voiced and the unvoiced sound. Remember voiced and unvoiced. What is voiced? Voiced is when you use your vocal chords to make a sound. You know this unvoiced is when you don't use your voice to make a sound, what would be a voiced sound while you just put your fingers here and you feel for the vibration. Are all voiced. Great. How about unvoiced? Ssh? For unvoiced, I don't feel the vibration in my vocal cords. Okay. So we're clear on voiced and unvoiced. What does it mean to carry the voice? Well, it's pretty simple. It's the idea of not turning the voice, the vocal cords off, unless you need to, unless you're making an unvoiced sound. And that's really it. That's what carrying the voice means. To not turn your voice off when you don't have to. And you don't have to. For example, if one word ends in a voiced sound and the next word begins with a voiced sound. You don't need to turn your voice off between those two words. Just continue your voice and those two words will sound more blended. Or for example, you have a word that's several syllables long, and all of the syllables are voiced. Syllables, there aren't any unvoiced sounds inside of that word. Okay. So just continue your voice. You don't have to stop your voice if you say something like this. Under where one common mistake, but one common thing that English learners do is to separate these two. This is actually called a compound word. It means it's a word that's made up of other words because under is a word and where is a word. So the common thing that many English learners will do is break them in half. Under where, under, where? Under, where do you hear the little space there? Under where there's a there where I'm stopping the voice, I'm turning the voice off. And so if you don't do that, you're going to sound much more natural. And usually native English speakers will not turn their voice off inside of a word if they don't need to. Of course, if it's an unvoiced sound and they will there's a there then yeah. You have to turn the voice off. It's an unvoiced sound. We're going to practice this more in the next lesson, we're going to focus on single words and we're going to really, really practice it. But this is also true if it's between words and this is the key to that fluent sound. Of course, there are several keys to the fluent sound, but this is perhaps one of the most important. A native English speaker can sound natural whether they're speaking quickly at a medium speed or slowly. All of those, It's not about speed. What you may have thought was speed is actually This carrying the voice. So now that we know what it is, Let's just look at a couple of examples of words that are completely voiced, that have only voiced sounds, and some words that have mostly unvoiced sounds for comparison. Now this is just a couple of examples to give you the idea so that you can get a feeling for how to do it. In the next lesson, as I mentioned, we're going to be focusing on single words. So let's take this one. Well, first, how many syllables does this have? Remember our method for determining the number of syllables. And we say it with our mouths closed and we can stop the voice to make it even more clear. So let's say it with our mouths closed. Hmm, hmm, hmm, I, D has, okay, so we know it is a three syllable word. Now, are any of the sounds in this word unvoiced? I, D has no, all of them are voiced. So let's just say all of these together and make sure the voice continues. You might be tempted to say, I ds. That's a common thing. I D is I want you to carry your voice through the word. So here we go. I D is ideas. I D is ideas. Now it almost sounds like the voice turns off for the d sound. But it is kind of, if you listen carefully, a muted voiced sound, the voice is still going. It's not stopped, it's still, it's still going. It's just quiet because the tongue is blocking the air from going out. We're not going dead, dead, dead, like that. It's a sound, but the voice is still active, it's still on. So this is a completely voiced word. Ideas, ideas, which sounds a lot more natural than I do ideas, right? Ideas, ideas. Now, the next one, how many syllables does it have? Let's say it with our mouths closed. Hmm, hmm, hmm, hmm, hmm, hmm. All right, three syllables. You might be thinking, Ha, it's so long, this is so short. How can they be the same in syllables? Doesn't matter how long the word is. That is not how you decide how many syllables there are. K, way, VR in, way VR in. And if you prefer, you could do way VR, ring, way verb ring. Either way of looking at it is okay. So are there any unvoiced sounds here? No. There are no unvoiced sounds. So we make it flow together like this. Waiver ring. Waiver ring. We don't say waiver ing waiver ring, wavering. That's simple thing of being aware of your vocal chords and making sure that they're always on, when they can be on is going to make a huge difference. So let's look at this last one here. Now it's tempting here to make the stop right there, right? Because it's read and then we stop, right. Let's try not to if we don't need to. So here we go. How many syllables? Hm, hm, hm, hm, hm, hm. Also a three syllable word, right? Re, re, doing, re, re, Ding. Now, let's say it continuously without turning the voice off. Re reading. Re-reading. You can put your finger here if it helps. If it helps you remember rereading. Now for comparison, let's look at some words that have an unvoiced sound at the beginning and at the end. Of course, there's a voiced sound in the middle. So one at a time. This is a one syllable word, voiced or unvoiced. Unvoiced. How about the end SQL? Sql? Sql. On voiced the middle we have the short u sound. So husk, Husk, husk. So if that's a word in a sentence, then you are going to stop your voice to make sure that you say the unvoiced sounds. And again, I'm not saying that you must, must, must, must always have your voice on when you can. It's not a rule. It's a general thing to do to make your sound more natural. Alright, let's look at the next one. So unvoiced sound, unvoiced sound with the eye in the middle, the short I sound. Hip. Hip. All right, how about this one? F1 and f2, but then there's a voice sound in the middle, le, le, le short. U and L together. Fluff, fluff, fluff, alright, P unvoiced. And then D, you might be thinking, wait, d, d, d, that's voiced. Es, that's true. But I don't know if you already know this, you might if you have ED and the last sound of the word is unvoiced. K is unvoiced. The sound is unvoiced. Unvoiced if it's an unvoiced sound and then you have E D, then you're going to say the ED as a t sound. If it is a voiced sound here, if this one is voiced, for example, let's do v. If we have, for example, w a V, E D, Then this, because this is voiced, this is voiced. Then we're going to do a d sound. It's going to be done. So this is wave. Wave. Wave or saying the sound. This one is picked, picked, picked. So the voiced sound is here, but there's no voiced sound here. There's no voice sound here, and there's no voice to sound here. The only voiced sound is the short I picked, picked, picked, then the other one, by the way, as if it is a D or a T at the end. For example, WAI t d, then this is going to be a kind of ID, the pronunciation. So this will be waited, waited, waited. So even though that is unvoiced, it's kind of a special case. If it's d or t before the ED sound, then it's going to be an ID. Id. Pronunciations will either be ID or it will be a voiced, or it will be an unvoiced. Does that make sense? You probably already knew that just for review. Alright, and the last one, unvoiced. Th, there are two th sounds, right? There's the sound and there's the sound is voiced or unvoiced. Actually there is another sound, It's just the sound th OMICS is a name pronounced Thomas. Thomas. So th can be just a t, But most of the time it will either be or in this case, it is for unvoiced. And of course, this ending is unvoiced, so this one is thought, thought. Okay, so I hope now you feel very comfortable with this. You feel comfortable with the idea of carrying the voice. You feel comfortable with voiced and unvoiced sounds with why they happen, when they happen, and with how to continue the voice for individual words. I still want to focus on this a bit because it's not just this simple. What we're going to do next is practice a bit carrying the voice for single words before we go on to talking about whole sentences. So I will see you in the next one. 19. Carrying Single Words | Compound Words: Now that we understand what carrying the voice really means and we know how to do it. Let's do a bit of practice. We're going to practice with single words. And then after this we're going to get into, as I mentioned, full sentences. Now we're going to look at some compound words first, remember compound words, or when you have two words which have become one word. And the reason that these can be difficult to do carrying the voice width is that we're tempted to break it. There's a word and there's a word inside. I'm tempted to stop my voice between them, right? So this is a word, air and bag is a word, but together, that is one word. Over is a word, W1 is a word, door is a word, bell is a word. Every is a word, body is a word. So it's tempting to say every buddy or door bell, door, bell, door, bell. Do you hear the stop in my voice, it may seem like a very minor thing. And yes, for one word, it's not a big deal if you don't do it. But it's getting into the habit of continuing the voice that allows you to do it much more often so that you can start to get that natural sound. As usual, I will say each one slowly, then leave a space, then say it at regular speed, and then leave a space. And I want you to repeat after me. If it helps. Again, we're trying to get a muscle memory feeling for this. Put your fingers here and feel, feel. Now, these words are not all completely voiced. For example, this one, f unvoiced, k on voiced. But the jump between this one and this one is voiced. For all of these, the jump between one word and the next in the compound word is voiced. And that's why we're doing these examples. All right, so are you ready? Here we go. You can put your fingers here if you'd like. If it helps. Air bag. Airbag. Over, done, Over done. Door bell, doorbell. Every buddy, everybody. Feedback. Feedback. And that one's a little bit tough, right? Because you have the, that is the voiced sound, but it's being kind of muted because the air is not going out. So be careful not to say feed back. That's not right. You want to carry the voice, you might think. Oh, okay, I'll just do this. Feed back. No, no, that's not what I'm doing. I'm rolling the d sound into the B sound, but I'm not releasing the d sound. So both the D and the b are muted. What I mean by that is there's something blocking the air going out for D. What's blocking it from going out is my tongue. And so the air is blocked, but I'm still using my voice for the B, it's not my tongue, it is my lips. That's the B sound. Unreleased. And then we back, we go back, right? So if you ever have to roll between one word and another or one sound and another, for example, with D and B, just be careful not to start adding sounds just because you want to continue your voice. Don't add sounds. That's very important. So let's do that. 11 more time. Feed back. Feedback. Grand mother, grandmother. Now this one also is a little bit difficult to be careful not to say grand mother, grandmother, dum, dum, dum, dum, dum. There isn't a space there added where I'm using my voice, I'm rolling directly into the m sound and I'm not saying grand mother. Also incorrect. What we want to say is grandmother. Grandmother, someday. Someday. Okay. We're going down here now. Volleyball. Volleyball. Okay, last one. Grand daughter. Granddaughter. Now, this one is a little bit tricky. First, it might be tempting to break it and say, grand daughter, grand daughter. No, we want them to share the D. The D is shared. I think the easiest way to do it is to kind of break it in your mind here and say Gran, and then directly roll into daughter. But don't stop your voice. So not grand daughter, but instead granddaughter, granddaughter, granddaughter, granddaughter. That will prevent you from having to do this. Grand daughter. Grand daughter, which doesn't sound right. That doesn't sound natural. Instead, granddaughter. Granddaughter. That sounds very natural. 20. Carrying Single Words | Difficult Words to Carry: Now we're just going to look at a few more examples of single words before we get into our full sentences, I want to talk about these specific examples because they are some of the hardest ones. What I mean by that is these words specifically are some of the easiest to not carry the voice through. It's very tempting to break your voice, to stop your voice for these single words. These have come up many, many times with students that I've helped with pronunciation. This is sort of my special list of problem words for this issue. So let's go through these as we usually do. And I want to talk about each one as well because they are, or they can be quite challenging. The first one. How do we say it? Re, lies? Realize. Now, for this one, realize you might be hearing a sound there. What does that sound? You're hearing a little y here. R0. Yeah. Yeah. There's kind of a Y sound that goes before the a. Now we don't want to stress it. We don't want to say rate lies. Realize, that sounds very odd. We want to say realize, realize. So it is there. The y helps us a little bit to jump between the 3D sound and the sound without saying realize, realize, which is a very common mistake. Okay, and it's the same for the second one. Actually, the common mistake here is to say Create, Create. It's so common as an issue among English learners. Create, create. What if we just sneak a tiny little y in there and instead say Create, create, that sounds much better. Create, create. So use that little y in your mind to allow you to not give into the temptation to break your voice between these two syllables here. How about this one? On USU? Little. Unusual. Now for this one, the challenge is that here we have a prefix. Un is called a prefix. And often it can be very easy to separate the prefix to stop the voice after the prefix, like ear, like, unlike D, it's very easy to do it. But if we really force ourselves to pay attention there to make sure our voices continuing, jumping from the prefix to the word usual, then we should be able to do it. So don't stop the voice between an usual unusual, it doesn't sound natural. Unusual, unusual. That sounds much better. It's the same idea for this one. Ear is a prefix. We're going to use the r sound as the glue that binds them together. So what should we do? Let's put a little more emphasis on the r sound. Let's focus on it a little bit more to make sure that these really stick together. They're combined. So like this. Irregular. Irregular. So that's not so hard. You just have to make sure you're really paying attention to make sure the voice doesn't stop. Irregular. Okay. My voice didn't stop there. Sounds pretty good. Let's go on to the next one. Again, we have a prefix. An is a prefix. Now the tricky thing is to jump from the N to the M, the N to the M, num, num, num, num. Now the interesting thing with N and M is that both of these sounds force the air instead of going out of your mouth, force the air out of your nose. Try it. I can feel the air coming out of my nose. Yeah, I can feel the air coming out of my nose. So there's air coming out in both. All it is is switching from the n to the m by closing my mouth after the n sound. If I wanted to, I could even leave my tongue in the same position as the n 1. Now usually we don't do that when we say, usually the sound has the tongue in the middle of the mouth. So that would be my recommendation. But if it helps you to just close your mouth after the sound, go ahead and do that, but then work on making sure that the sound is actually the correct sound with your tongue sort of there in the middle. So how does this one sound? On moved? Unmoved. Now this next one allows us to bring back our friendly little y here. We can stick it right right there if we like. And if we do that, it prevents us from saying deactivated D Activated up. My voice stopped. So let's stick a little y there. And remember, we don't want to stress it too much. We don't want to say deactivated, although that is the right idea. Though it's there, but it's not so strong. Deactivated. Deactivated. So it's there, but it's not strong and it helps me bind together the prefix di added to the word activated. It's sort of like glue that sticks them together. Deactivated. Deactivated. Now the next one is really weird because what we're doing is sticking together to why sounds this T RI is pronounced the same as TR Y. How do we say that? Tri, tri, tri, tri, same pronunciation, TR I and T RY. Here we have angle, but if we say try angle, try angle, triangle, I stopped my voice. Oops, well, why don't we then add a little y here, except it's not quite the same pronunciation of Y. This Y doesn't have to have the ye, ye, ye sound that we usually connect with or associate with the letter y. It is really just the i sound, try, try, try. So what we do is we put a little y there and we say try angle. Yeah, yeah, yeah, triangle. So I'll say it one time very slowly and then regular speed. Try Yang, goal triangle. Can you hear the little yeah, there? That's the thing that allows me to bind them together. And the weird thing about this one is kind of that. This is one of the Y sounds, which is just like I and this is another the standard Y sound which has that. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. All right. Two more to look at. This one makes us want to stop there. We want to say Ella Vader, Ella Vader, Ella Vader. But we have to force ourselves not to do that. We're going to blend the of the Ella, Ella into the V without stopping the voice. L, Vader, elevator. Now I could say elevator, elevator, but most people will not pronounce it that way. Most native English speakers are going to change this T instead of being a sound into what I call a light D sound, that it's not a hard D. It's not Ella Vader. No, it's not that hard. Elevator. Elevator. Elevator. That would make this whole word a voiced word. Now, you don't have to say it that way. If you want to say elevator, elevator, it's okay. But most people, most people, almost all people are going to say elevator, elevator like that. Now, this one, we're tempted to break it right there. We want to say soreness, sore ness. But my voice stops, can't do it. So we have to force ourselves to go from the ER to the urn, the urn. Now how do we do that? Well, if you're in the array position than the tongue is kind of curled up in the mouth. Or her. The tongue is curled up towards the roof of the mouth and a little bit back. That's how you say the r sound. But then if you want to go to the n, It's actually very, very easy. All you have to do is move your tongue forward a little bit so that the air starts moving through your nose instead. So earn, earn, earn, earn really, really. I'm just moving my tongue forward a bit. Earn, earn sore NIS. Now if I put my finger here, do I stop my voice once? Slowly and then regular speed. Saw or numbness. Soreness. Alright. Sounds good. Of course I did stop my voice for the sound at the beginning and the end, but for the blending part between these two, I did not, I did not say sore ness. So now you should be starting to really gain confidence in your ability to continue your voice. Now we've done it for this more basic stuff, for single words to build up a skill, we're starting to build our habits. But now, now we have to go to the next level. That's what we do once we build a skill. We can't just stop there. We have to keep pushing. So next we're going to talk about how we use carrying the voice. How we carry the voice for entire sentences. We're gonna do that next. 21. Carrying Through Sentences: Now we're ready to practice carrying the voice through sentences. That's the goal, right? Because usually when we speak English, we speak in full sentences most of the time. So this is what it's all about. This is what we've been building up to. Now. Here's how we're going to do it. I have some example sentences. We're going to look at each 1 first and mark where the unvoiced sounds are. Once we have marked the unvoiced sounds, we're then going to practice reading through the sentences, making sure that we voice everything else and that our voice never stops unless it's at a place that we mark. So this first sentence, they always know the way back home. Where are the unvoiced sounds? Any unvoiced sounds here? No. How about here? Always. Always. Nope. None there. No. None there. The none their way. None there. Back. Unvoiced sound right there. We're going to mark it like that. Home. Home. H is an unvoiced sound. You can hear that. So here we have two unvoiced sounds. That means this is the only part of our sentence which is an voiced for the rest of it. We are going to carry the voice through. Now we're doing this for practice. Again, I'm not saying that you always have to carry the voice. Whenever you can carry the voice, there are many reasons not to. For example, maybe you want to pause to breathe. Maybe you want to pause for dramatic effect. Maybe you just don't want to for some reason, but we're just doing this for practice. Okay? So we're going to practice this and not stop the voice all the way through until we get to the sound. And then we'll stop the voice here and then continue it here. All right, that's how it's going to go. I'm going to read the sentence slowly. Then I want you to try, and then I'm going to read it at regular speed. And then I want you to try if you can't get it the first time, don't worry. You can go back and practice. Okay, here we go. They always know the way back home. Regular speed. They always know the way back home. Now, if you feel that's challenging, That's okay. It takes practice, of course. So don't be frustrated with yourself if you don't get it the first time or the second time or the third time. Just keep working at it and don't limit yourself to the examples that I've made. Make your own. I made these sentences make your own sentences to practice with different combinations of sounds. Make sure that there are plenty or several, at least, where the words have a voiced and voiceless sound at the end and the beginning of the next word. It's okay to have. Of course, we want to have some with unvoiced sounds because most sentences have unvoiced sounds too, but make sure there are a few, at least a few like no, the end, always know. All right, Now let's look at the second sentence and mark the second sentence. I wonder all voiced. When all voiced Danny's all voiced plane. There's one. That is our unvoiced sound arrives all voiced. So we're going to go all the way from here. And then we're going to stop the voice here. And we're going to continue there all the way till the end. Okay. Word-by-word, slow. And then regular speed. I wonder when Danny's plane arrives. Regular speed, I wonder when Danny's plane arrives. Sounds pretty natural, doesn't it? But important to note that it's not about speed. It's never about speed, it's about blending the words. Here we go. The next one, should, should. This one is unvoiced. Sh, we all voiced by all voiced. Voiced. Gift for unvoiced. For unvoiced, they're all voiced. Wedding, all voiced. All right, so for this one, we're going to start the voice here. And it's going to continue all the way until there. Then with the sound, It's stops and continues with the or in for the wedding, like that to the end. Okay. And for this one, a little more difficult because we need to make sure that the voice goes up around here. Because it is a question. Not all questions are like this. But this type of question is we have to go up at the end. Alright, here we go. Should we buy a gift for the wedding? Regular speed? Should we buy a gift for the wedding? I know that sounds pretty fast. It takes practice. Don't worry. If you don't get it, it's okay. Now, this I want to just point out quickly by consider that as one sound. Bye, bye. Gift. By, by, by a gift. Should we buy? Should we buy? Should we buy a gift for the wedding? All right, Next one, I'm all voiced. Never all voiced. Going all voiced. Or two, if people are reading this at regular speed, they'll most likely say here instead of two. So let's still say that this is unvoiced. Although I want to quickly mention that some people will actually say this as daka. Daka. I'm never going to, going to, going to going to butt. We won't go that far. I'm not even going to recommend that you do that. Some people will, some people won't. We're going to say this as a kind of wanna put it down here to sound like that. And then live is all voiced on all voiced my own again, all voiced. So we start here. Then we stop and we continue here. And we go all the way to the end. All right, so let's do this one. I'm never going to live on my own again. Okay. Regular speed. I'm never going to live on my own again. Okay. It's okay. And if you can't do it first-time, totally fine. Don't worry about it. All right. The last one unvoiced ssh. And then this one is this voiced or unvoiced Sharon's up z sound that's voiced. Resume voiced or unvoiced. Actually, I think this should have two accents on it. This is voiced, is voiced, really voiced. Him. There's a P there. Unvoiced press. Ah, also unvoiced if. Okay. So we start the voice here. Aaron's resume is really, and then stop right there. And then red here is voiced, and then IV is voiced. Okay, so let's try this one. Share Rennes resume is really impressive. All right, now let's do it at regular speed. Sharon's resume is really impressive. How was that? What do you think? Difficult? Easy? Are you getting used to it? My hope is that by now you're at least getting used to it so that you can get the feel for it so that you can continue to practice on your own. Again, if you feel that saying these quickly as way too hard right now, don't stress about it. It's totally fine. Practice these and also practice your own examples that you make. Try this marking method by using the lines after you identify the places where there is no voice, the unvoiced sounds. Make your own examples. In the next lesson, we'll go over a couple of reminders, as well as how you can practice this on your own. The goal, right, is to be able to speak this way. That's not an easy thing, may be difficult right now to speak these at regular speed. That's okay too. But the goal will be for you to get to a point where when you're speaking English, it just comes out like this naturally. How do you get there? We'll talk about that next. 22. Reminders and Practice for Better Flow: To wrap up our section of the course about carrying the voice, I want to give you a couple of reminders, things to keep in mind and most importantly, ways to practice so that you can actually get there. This course is not about me telling you things so that now you know them. This course is about you getting the tools that you need, the methods that you need to develop and improve your pronunciation from awareness through actually sounding natural when you're having a conversation in English, Let's keep the goal in mind. And I'm assuming that is the goal to sound natural when you are speaking English. So just a couple of reminders, a couple of things to keep in mind. Don't don't force it. If you force it, you will also sound odd. Pay attention when you're watching a movie. Listen to the characters speaking. How often do they do it? When did they pause? How often do they pause? How often do they break words? How often are they carrying the voice? You'll find that it is very often, but not in every place where they could do it, where the voice could be carried through the sentence. Sometimes it will break more often, sometimes less. That's language. It's about expression and each person expresses themselves a little bit differently. So the other reminder is to leave room for your own way of expressing yourself, for how you say things, for where you like to pause. If you watch famous speeches, you'll see the speaker say. And let me tell you. And a long pause. A very long pause. Why? Maybe they want everyone listening to really be listening for the next thing, to pay careful attention. There are all sorts of reasons. So keep this in mind, practice it until it's natural and use it. But then think about how to best use it to fit your own style of speaking. Because really this is helping you express yourself better. That's the purpose of speaking, that's the purpose of language. Now I want to mention three ways that you can practice this, because if you don't practice it, you'll never be able to actually use it in a conversation because of the bandwidth problem, you'll be thinking about too many things to really do it. It has to become a habit, right? So, three ways to practice. One I mentioned already, make your own example sentences. I made several example sentences. We went through them. Try to make your own, make sure that there are places where you can carry the voice either within single words or between words across the sentence. That doesn't mean the entire sentence has to be completely voiced that you carry your voice all the way through. In fact, most sentences, almost all sentences have unvoiced sounds. So come up with sentences that challenge you. In addition to the ones I've provided. And practice reading through them. Read through them slowly until you feel that you've really mastered it, until it sounds smooth and natural, then speed it up a little bit. Have you ever taken piano lessons? I took piano lessons when I was when I was a kid and the teacher was very clear. First, you master it slowly, then you speed up. I know you want to start fast, you want to play fast. I know. I know. Don't do it. Because if you start slowly, you can get the feel for it, then you speed it up over time, right? So that's one way you can practice and it's a good way to do it. The second thing you can do to practice is to take a book or a magazine or an article from wherever and practice reading it slowly. But the key is when you're reading through it, you want to make sure that you're carrying your voice most of the time. You don't have to do it constantly. You can pause. That's okay. The best thing to do is to record yourself reading. So read for example, one paragraph of a book or read a couple of sentences from an article. Record yourself, listen back to it and take a couple of notes. What could be improved? This is a great way to practice it, to get into the habit of carrying the voice through words and sentences. The third thing that you can do once you're comfortable with reading practice is actually speak freestyle. You can give yourself a topic to talk about or you can ask a simple question. It could be any kind of question. What do you think about? Why do you think? What did you do last week? And then you just talk for a minute, just a minute about whatever it is. You give yourself a question, you answer your own question, you record that and you focus on when you're speaking, of course, what you're talking about, but also whether or not you're carrying your voice through words and through sentences. Then just like you did for the reading, you listen back to the recording, you take notes. Where does it sound natural? Where does it sound off? Recording is essential for building your awareness, your ability to hear self and what sounds good and what can be improved. So make a few notes, read your notes, think about it, listen to it again. Go outside for a walk, have a cup of tea, and then try it again. Don't get mad at yourself. Don't hate yourself, but work on it continually. Regularity is the path to building strong habits. And if you practice it consistently, you will make progress, you will improve and you will start to sound more natural when you're speaking and you won't have to think about it all the time. It will just come out naturally on its own when you're speaking because it's habit. So work on that. If you have any questions, let me know. In the next section, we're going to be talking about rules. What are the rules of pronunciation? Should we follow the rules? Should we not follow the rules, or when should we follow them? When should we not follow them? That's what we're going to be focusing on next. So I will see you in the next lesson. 23. Vowel Sound Rules | Overview: In this lesson, in the next few lessons are going to be talking about pronunciation rules. But I first want to make it clear what exactly a rule of pronunciation is. And also when you should use it and when you shouldn't use it. When I say a rule of pronunciation, what I mean is a general guideline. Now, a guideline is something that is useful but isn't as strict as a rule. When we say rule, we often talk about things as 100% true. This is true 100% of the time. So actually I prefer the word guideline because it may be true 80% of the time. But it's something to keep in mind which may be broken once and awhile depending on the situation, That's a better way to think about pronunciation rules. Rarely will you find a rule that is true 100% of the time. Why is that? Well, it's pronunciation. We're talking about language here, not mathematics. When it comes to mathematics, often the rules are 100%. It's always true. Languages, human thing. It changes over time. It's different in different places. And so we can't be too strict in our thinking. We have to leave plenty of room for exceptions. And as I mentioned before, one of the reasons that English is really tough to nail down with rules is that it's got a messy history, a lot of influences from the past, right? So then you might be asking, all right, Well then why should I learn any rules or guidelines? Because they can be a useful guideline, something to keep in mind to when you see a new word, maybe be able to guess a pronunciation, to be able to see a pattern that may help you understand pronunciation better. Oh, this is usually true. Okay, that's useful. That's useful. And I accept that it may not be a 100 percent, but it helps me to know this guideline. Or maybe I can put rule here in quotes. I like to put rules in quotes that may help. So let me just give you a quick example to show you what I mean Before we start talking about the rules of vowel sounds, okay, so 0, two vowels that you often see together. And if we study the patterns, we might see a word like BLAT. We might see M a N, we might see LAN. We might see f 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0. And we might then wonder what the pronunciation of OA is in these words. We would find if we looked it up, that it is exactly the same in all cases, it is the long o sound. The long o, which is the name of the letter. So that would be what? Boat O, boat, mon, mon o mono, loan, oh, loan. Float. Float. Okay. So now we think, alright, I got it. A new rule. Yes. I, I've learned a thing that can be true all the time that I can just sort of apply to any word that I see, a ha. But then we come across words like this. O a, S, I, S, oasis. So this is 0, but this is still a. And now it's pronounced ow, a, cis, Oasis, a three syllable word. So I only say this here at the start because it is really important to keep in mind. We're learning here guidelines. It can be true, not always 80 percent, 90 percent, 95 percent. Let's not put percentages on everything that would make it even more complicated. But we will always find exceptions. And that means you have to keep an open mind. And what we're learning is something that can be useful for us so that we can guess how to pronounce, for example, one syllable words with OA. But then we remember that the most important thing, the most important thing Is your ear, your awareness. And that if we hear many people saying it, not following some rule that we've learned, we should probably go with that way that the sound should be the most important thing. The sound is the real rule. This is how people say it and everything else is just a, by the way, thing which hopefully will be useful for you. We will be talking about rules. And as this suggests, we're going to start by talking about vowels. So let's do that. 24. Vowel Sound Rules | Short Vowels Before Consonants: Now, there are a couple of keywords that we will have to keep in mind as we go through these guidelines or rules, will need to remember syllable. We're going to need to remember short, short vowel. I'll just write short v and long v. And I would say that we need to remember consonant and vowel, but I know that you already know that vowel, AEIOU, consonant, all the other letters. Okay, now, for this first set, I think you can probably guess what rule we're talking about. You can probably notice a pattern here. There is a double consonant, double, two consonants, double, double consonant, double consonant, double consonant, double consonant, and double consonant. And before that we have a vowel. Now we can say for the double consonant that there is one in each syllable, meaning there is a syllable and there's a syllable, syllable, one syllable to, and it splits the double consonant. So it's really like that. Okay? And it's the same here. We split it there. Here, we split it there, here we split it there. Now this one looks like that. It looks like we would split it there, but actually not this one we're going to treat as a word by itself. If we write H, U, F, F, that is a syllable, and it's also a word. But you might be thinking, okay, well what about the ED there? Remember, if we have just the d sound, the sound or the t sound, it doesn't add a syllable. We would only add a syllable with ED if it's the D or the tea before that weighted blended, that ID, ID is a syllable by itself. However, for this one, remember this is unvoiced, F is unvoiced, so we just have there. So it's really like this. And so it's one syllable. This whole word is one syllable. But that doesn't change the rule. There is no rule that it has to be a two syllable word, like these for R could be a three syllable word, could be a one syllable word. If there's a 50 syllable word, it could be that too. I guess the point here is that we have the double consonant and then right before that, we're going to have the short vowel sound. The short vowel sound before a double consonant. And this one almost always works. So let's go through these one at a time. One time slowly, and then regular speed. Repeat after me. Gig, goal. Good goal. Rattle, rattle. Notice there I'm saying rattle, not Rattle. Now you could say Rattle, but it's one of those words where we often replace the t sound with the light D sounds. So it's going to sound more like rattle, rattle instead of Rattle. But if you say Rattle, it's okay. It does sound a little weird to me. Most native English speakers won't do that. Flip br, flipper, bossy, bossy. Huff. Huff, not huff. To very important. Don't add, don't add a syllable to that. One syllable. Huff, huff. All right, that's pretty straightforward. That's pretty simple. Now let's go to this next set and talk about a different rule, which is actually a kind of broader rule. And this one is kind of like a, a sub category of this one, of this guideline. And that is that if you have a consonant at the end of a syllable, inside the syllable and the consonant is the last sound, then very likely the vowel is going to be also short like this one. So this one follows generally that same rule. The end of this syllable is good, right? And so this is short, this is short. So this is short. This is short. And then this one is kind of weird. It's kind of different because we have this ED at the end. Although still we have this at the end. It's kind of a complex consonant sound. That's a little weird that one, but this is a syllable, and this is a syllable. We have the, at the end, we have the at the end. Consonant sounds two syllables, short, short. Okay? This one also two syllables, one ending with the sound to, ending with the sh sound. And let's just count that as a syllable. This one is a single syllable word, good. At the end, this is going to be short. This one is a hmm, hmm, hmm, three syllable word. This one then is an interesting exception. It kind of follows the rule because it is a short sound, but it's not the short O sound. It's actually the short use sound. That's how it's pronounced. It's not pronounced TA1, it's pronounced ton, ton, short u sound. So it's an interesting kind of exception, kind of not exception, right? So let's go through these slowly and then regular speed. Are you ready On pack, unpack, finish, finish. Lamp, lamp, dig, dig. Magical. Magical. Tn, tn. Now we could also say this is true for the end of words. But really if we say it's true for the end of words, we're saying the same thing. So let's say this ends with a sound, this ends with a sound, this ends with the sound. So the end of the word is going to be short because they're ending with consonants, right? So while we say that the rule is at the end of words, if there is a consonant, then the vowel before it will be short. Really, we're just repeating this rule that we already talked about. If it's inside of a syllable and the consonant is at the end, the consonant sound is at the end. The vowel is short. But we're going to discover or uncover rather a couple of exceptions that then we can explore. And that is going to lead us to another very interesting rule. So let's look at these k. So two syllables, one to two syllables, one to two syllables, one to two syllables, one to two syllables, 12. But these are a little bit weird. And this one is a little bit unclear. Is E and a syllable by itself, or is it Ed? And then it add it, or is it a digit? Which one is it? How should I count this is E in a syllable, all by itself. We would count it as having d there because we are pronouncing this short e, short e and this one live, mitts, short I. So we're going to count the M in the syllable as well to make it easier. But this one will be different. So let's see one-by-one, slowly. Lunch box, lunch box, add, det, edit. Now, what about this word? This PSC is by itself, and actually it's often separated by a hyphen their email. So we're not saying male. There were saying e-mail long e sound it is by itself. We're considering this one as part of, we're considering D as part of the first syllable because that helps us remember. Okay, we're going to say the short sound for this one. E-mail. We are saying it separately so we can separate it into its own syllable by itself. And this one will be a similar thing. This one limits. Limits. Do, DO, DO, DO. Isn't that the long o sound? Isn't that the long vowel sound? Yes, it is. So let's take this and refer it to here. We're going to talk about it here. Now this one window, when, okay, It's in that syllable, DO 0, 0, but W is a consonant sound. So what's going on here? Well, if you remember, this is one of our special combinations, right? Except the pronunciation is different from what we practiced before. Not, how, not out, like cow, but oh, so sometimes o w like f, l, w is pronounced 0, 0 instead of OWL out. So that's something to pay attention to. We have these special combinations of letters and they don't quite fit into our rules that we're trying to make here are trying to define these rules and then we find these interesting exceptions. There is, if we say this, DO is a syllable by itself, then we should say that this is somehow Dao, Dao, right? But it's not, it's either or it's O. If it's CEO w, It's Cao, Cao, our diphthong, right? If it's this 1, 0, 0, it's the long o sound, which takes us to our next thing. So we're going to look at these and talk about not exactly a rule, but a kind of guideline that you can keep in mind. And then these, which I think will give us some insight about why this one is pronounced. Do DO instead of DOD DOE or DO, DO, DO. Do, DO is weird, right? We don't say it like that. 25. Vowel Sound Rules | Special Cases and Long Vowel Sounds: All right, so now let's look at this group here. What do you notice about this group? You notice that we have consonants at the end, g, y, w, a, y, w. Okay? But are we going to be pronouncing these as short sounds? The a, the, o, the, I know not exactly. We have to treat these a bit differently. So when you have an, a Y that is often going to be the long a sound. It's going to be a, a, a at the end of a word, a, a, a, and actually usually inside of a syllable, even if it's not at the end of a word. This one, f LOW, as I mentioned, will either be 0 or owl. Owl. And you have to really pay attention to which pronunciation it is. You have to listen to it. Sometimes you have a word like this, b, o, w, which is pronounced both ways and has two different meanings. We're going to get into that later in the course. This is called a homographs. This is pronounced bow. Bow to mean to lean down to sort of show respect to someone. But also Bo, a bow on a present or a gift and like a bow and arrow. So that's just something that you have to keep in mind. Generally, you can use this idea, this short vowel sound inside of a syllable. If a consonant sound is at the end of the syllable or at the end of a word, but just look out for a y, o, w, and also ING. Ing has a special pronunciation to now, usually this is going to be at the end of a word. But in words like B and G, I N G or S-I-N G, ING. It's the same pronunciation and the first one is not at the end of a word, but it is at the end of a syllable. How do we pronounce it? Should this be pronounced with a short I sound or long I sound? It's actually neither. It's more like a long e sound, followed by bringing the back of your tongue up to the back of the roof of your mouth, not to the front, It's not n then, then, then, then the N is made when you bring the front of your tongue up to block the air. And then then then, then, then, then, then, then, then, then, then, then, then, then, then then the right. That's the end sound. That's the end sound. But when we say this sound, It's the same as a word like g, o and g. O and g, ANG ING. Sometimes E and G is going to be this thing that happens toward the back of the mouth. Instead of none, none, none. It's Nanyang. None then the lung. Now in both of them, I am blocking the air so that it doesn't go out of my mouth and it goes instead out of my nose and you can feel it? None. None. The guy feel the air. Hang on. Yeah. Okay. I can feel that. So that means it's also not going to be a hard G sound. It's not exactly G or good, either. It's kind of a law. It's just that at the end. So this one is pronounced in England. England, it's more like a long e and then that back of the mouth thing. And Yang Yang in England in, and you kind of have to smile a bit when you say it. If it's o and g, Then it's on on, on. If it's a and G then its Ang, Ang, Ang, for all of those, It's there in the back of the mouth, bringing the back of the tongue up to the back of the roof of the mouth to block the airflow so that it comes out of your nose. Okay. So this one is pronounced. How exactly? Well, this is our syllable break. So give if, if, if should be pronounced with a short vowel sounds short I sound because we're following our rule here. And the first syllable we have a consonant sound at the end, short sound. But then we have the I-N-G, which is a special ending. So we're going to say ng. So this one is giving, giving. Now this is also a unique ending, 0. Y is usually pronounced as oil. Oil. It's often pronounced in the same way as 0. 0 is often as well like VOI, D or a OID. Avoid, avoid. This is a special sound also when it's in the middle of a word, like a void with D at the end. Boy, boy, boy, this is a diphthong. We have a change in the mouth shape within the vowel sound inside. The syllable. Now how about this one? Gre w? Well, if we were just following our simple rule, consonant at the end, that should be short. So it would be something like grow, grow, grow, grow. It's not like that. It's not like that at all. It's like 0, 0, 0, 0, 0 as in SPO, n, spoon, that oo sound. Or like you in some cases, like my name, LU IE, pronounced also boo, boo, Luke, luke, Spoon, Spoon, grew, grew, Wu, grew, grew. So this one is pronounced the same as this sound. And this sound. Now I mentioned before, this could have different sounds. Sometimes I mentioned MMULT, mule that has a different pronunciation. And this one also, for example, book, book cook, okay, that's also a different o sounds, so that can have different sounds. This one usually is boo. Boo in this case, grew. So if you're writing poem and you went to rhyme at the end, what could you put, what kind of word could you put there to rhyme with GRU? Well, how about how about 2 to 2? Grew? Grew? Yes, absolutely. How about K and E, W nu. Nu. Nu. How about NEW? Yeah, new, new grew to all of these are the same sound. It's a special sound. It's kind of the long use sound. It's kind of the long o sound and it's just something that you have to really practice until you can master it. But the point in mentioning it is that it doesn't fit our rules up here for having consonants at the ends of syllables. Now that brings us to DO, DO, I mentioned that one brought us to this last set. D O. D O. Now, why is this pronounced? Do, DO instead of DOD, Dato or something like that? Why? We can say that each one of these is a syllable, syllable one, syllable 2. And so our rule or guideline is if instead of having a consonant sound at the end of the syllable, you have a vowel sound at the end of the syllable, or a vowel at the end of the syllable, then you say the long sound of the vowel. So let me say that one more time. If you have the vowel at the end of the syllable or at the end of the word, it will probably be long, the long vowel sound. So that's why this is 0, 0, instead of this being one syllable, This is the syllable, and this is the syllable. That's why we say DO, DO, DO, DO. So. Now let's explore this guideline with our example words. Let's first just quickly mark the syllables, syllable 1, DA, syllable to TIN, G, syllable one, SO suitable to be our syllable one, BI syllable to see YC, syllable three, Ellie, syllable one to you, syllable to MIR. So but one eye. So we'll 2 D syllable three, a syllable, one, d o, syllable to NAT, syllable one, UN syllable to d o. Okay, so let's explore this. How do we say them? This one, day Ting, dating. So this one is pronounced long because a is at the end of the first syllable, day a. If the T were included in that syllable, then it would probably be dat in, right? But it's not. So we say De Ting dating, dating. Now you might be wondering if I can make the light d sound dating. Dating? Yes. Yes, That's okay. You can say either dating or dating. Both are okay there. How about this one? So br, sober. So for this one syllable, one stops there with 0, so we pronounce the long o sound. How about this one? This is a three syllable word. For this one, we can consider Y as a vowel. If y isn't a syllable, by itself, we count it as a vowel. So if we have, for example, f, l, y, we're going to, this is a one syllable word. We're going to count Y as a vowel because every syllable needs to have a vowel. This one syllable word has to have a vowel in order to be a word. So we say y is the vowel, It's like the vowel i. So we say fly, fly, fly. Okay, so for this one, for this one, this is our first syllable. I ends the syllable, but for this one, it's sick. So actually we're going to say the why as a short, I sound, as a short I sound, and then all will be our last syllable. So this one is by SEC. Oh, bicycle. The next 12 syllable word, the u is going to end the first syllable and we're going to pronounce the EU in the same way that we pronounce the O before. So it's tumor. Tumor. The next one is quite unique. I is by itself in a syllable D and a, they're each in a syllable on their own. But the a here is short, not long. So we have an interesting exception. So this one is I d idea. So when you say that one, make sure you say this. And this, the second syllable, both as long followed by a short. Next one, D O by itself, DO, DO. And then this one is the e rule which we're going to be talking about next. So that would be Nate, but it's Nate because there's an e at the end. This is called the silent e. We're going to talk about that. Dough nate, donate. And finally, UN is in one syllable and D0 in one syllable. So this one is on, do, undo. This is short because it's in front of the consonants. So the consonant n is in the first syllable and then do the OH at the end is long. It is the end of the syllable, it's the end of the word. So hopefully, this gives you a sense for how rules work with vowel sounds. We're not quite done. We're going to talk about now the quickly the silent e. I know that you're probably already familiar with the silent E, but I want to just make sure that you really get it, that you really understand how it works. Again, these are all just things to keep in mind so that when you see a word you're not quite sure about, you can guess how to say it and you can remember pronunciation a little more easily. I would stress, they are not fixed rules that are forever and always true because we will always be able to find exceptions to these rules as we have in these examples. So let's talk about the silent e. 26. Vowel Sound Rules | The Silent 'E': Now the silent D is something that you probably already know. You're probably already familiar with it. I just want to quickly mention it because if I didn't, You might say to yourself, Oh, why didn't you talk about the silent e? That's a rule, right? Yes, it is. It is a rule. It is a guideline. So what is it? Well, it works like this. If you have the silent, silent e, If you have a word that ends with an e, and before that E, there is a consonant. And before that consonant there is a vowel. Then usually that vowel is going to be long and that E is not going to make a sound. That's why it's called the silent E. The E is doing a job. We can remember it like this because the E turns this, which if it were just this MIN, we would say Min, write short sound. The n is the consonant at the end of the word. So it's going to be a short sound because we have the E there at the end. The E does a job, it's working. And so because it does this job and changes this to a long vowel sound. Now we don't say it. It's silent, it has done its job. So this, instead of being pronounced Min, is pronounced mine. Mine. And this one, the same thing. Now these are all these first ones, one syllable words. This one is pronounced flute. Flute. Now again, that is the oo sound that we talked about before, which can be u, e or 0, or just you or you, T0, or L UK, as I've mentioned several times, my name, Luke, one syllable word. The E makes the EU long flute. But the important thing is not that it's a one syllable word. It doesn't have to be looked at our next examples. The important thing is that it has this structure of vowel, consonant E. That's the important thing. Emi, EMI, how do you think that's pronounced? Meme? I mean, I've heard people say mimic though. Meme pronounced a mean. And I'm sure you know how to say this May 1. Make. Now as I mentioned, it's not important that these are one syllable words because words with multiple syllables follow the same general rule. If you have just like this, vowel consonant e, vowel consonant, e, vowel consonant, e, vowel consonant E. Then it's going to be pronounced the same way at the end. So, how do we say this one? So, loot solute. Now, you might be thinking on an ACE out. Yes, that is one of those sneaky schwa sounds that we're going to talk about later. How about this one? Celebrate, Celebrate. Again. A sneaky little schwa sound there, but we're talking about the a, a, a, this is the long a sound because we have the silent e. How about this one? Real Klein reclining, recline. Now why is this one long? Because our syllable break is there. So the E is at the end of the first syllable. So if we're following our rule, we say that one lung, right? We say long because the vowel is at the end of the syllable and then Klein is syllable to and I and II tells us that it is along I. So pretty simple. Next one, x, dream. Extreme. This. Not a long e Because we have the consonant sound at the end of the syllable, and then the E is long because of the e at the end. And we're not saying extreme a or something like that. It is extreme. So I know you probably know this one. I wanted to just mention it quickly just to make sure we cover all our bases. Now that we've explored the rules of vowel pronunciation, we're going to go on and talk about consonant rules next. So I'll see you in the next lesson. 27. Consonant Rules | Hard and Soft C: Now that we've spent some time on rules for vowel sounds, let's focus on consonants, all the other letters besides the vowels. Now we're going to really talk about three, which I think are important to keep in mind, which can actually be useful. Rules that shouldn't confuse you, that you can actually use to guess what the pronunciation of a word you don't know might be. We're going to talk about Gs, Cs, and S's. We're going to start with Cs. Now, in American English, we usually say that C has two pronunciations. We say that one is hard, and we say that one is soft. So we say we have a hard C and a soft see. Now the heart see is really like a K. So it's like the soft see is really like an S. So it's still. So just looking through these, do you notice any common things here? Here, here, here, here, and here, you notice anything. How about these here? Here, here, here? Notice anything. You might, if you're observant, you may notice that these words are all pronounced soft. And the letter after the C is either an E or an I or a Y. Now, of course, there are always going to be exceptions. You should know that by now, right? But it's a very useful pattern to notice. And then for everything else, we have the hardest sound. So if there's another letter after the sea besides E, i and y, for example, a or R, or o or l, right? Or you, then it's probably going to be the hard sound. So just take the first word that comes to your mind and see if it works. Our S CUE, That's the first word that comes into my mind. You followed by C. How do we pronounce it? Is it rescue? No, it's rescue. Rescue. What if it's a similar word that starts with an R and is also two syllables are e, ci, t. Is this really tight? Know, this is recite. Why? Well, it is followed by an i. So There you go. Again, you will find exceptions. So how do you know what the correct pronunciation is? You can always look up the word in almost any online dictionary and hit the little sound icon to listen to the pronunciation and see if it works or not. If you're just reading something or you want to guess the pronunciation. Use this rule as a general guideline. So let's read through first the soft sounds and then the heart sounds first slowly and then at regular speed. You know this by now. Here we go. Send her center cells. Cells. City, city. Notice there I said city light d sound not City. You can say city if you want to. It's okay. Citation. Citation, cyst, cyst cycle cycle. Now, I want you to note that the c doesn't tell us what the next letter is going to sound like, especially if it's i or y, because this one is C city and this one is psi. Psi temptation. For that, we may have to go back to our vowel guidelines that we talked about before. Sit one syllable e, okay, so the T is at the end of that syllable. So we have the short I sound and psi, psi notation i sound. So the first syllable is ci. Alright, there we go. That follows our vowel rule. This one, cyst, cyst. So one syllable word, we're going to say this as the short I sound and cycle psi, psi, psi. This is going to be the long sound because this is one syllable by itself. And then coal is the next syllable. That's just by the way, the point is C, doesn't tell you what the next letter says. It doesn't tell you the next sound. You have to go back to your other knowledge in order to figure that out. Now we go to the hard see and remember, this is just the same as the pronunciation of k. It's the sound. So for these will go slowly and then regular speed. Here we go. Candy, candy, call, call, create, create, core. One syllable, core, clean, clean, cool, cool. Cups, cups. So this is pretty straightforward. I don't think it's too difficult to understand. It's useful to keep this in mind because it really can help. Now I really want you to keep it in mind because we're going to talk about G, which also has the hard and the soft. So let's talk about GI. 28. Consonant Rules | Hard and Soft G: Now don't get stressed out because here's another rule I have to remember. The rule for g. Don't get stressed out because the rule for g is the same as the rule for C. You remember that? It can remember this. What's the rule? Well, i e or y, i e or why? After the G makes it That's right. Soft. And anything else makes it hard. Now, I don't have scientific evidence for this, but I think I feel as though there are more exceptions for G than there are for c. That's just my sense, That's my feeling. So I'll just tell you that as a native English speaker, okay? But same idea. We have Y here, Y here, e, e, i, i. And look at this one. This also has an e after it has some very interesting, but, but that might not always be true. What about this one? This has two G's on, but there's an a after this G. So does that sound like this or like this? Probably going to sound like this. So GOOG a GH, GU, GU, GO long words, short words. It doesn't matter. Okay? It doesn't matter if it's in the middle of the word or at the beginning of the word. It doesn't matter. So let's do it we did last time. Let's just randomly pick a word and see if it works. What's the first word that comes to your mind? A GI word. How about this one? G i 0, 0, 0, 0, 0. We've found a problem. First word that comes to mind, maybe this one. This one does not have a soft G sound. Yikes, Let's pick a word that doesn't have one of these letters after it and see if it has the hard g sound. How about GLAM? Short for glamorous. Go, go. That's a hard G sound. So yeah, okay, That one works. Great. So no rule is perfect. Remember that? No rule is true all the time. At least almost all rules have exceptions. That's a better way to say it. Now, how do we say it? The soft G has the j sound. Ju, ju, ju, ju, ju. In fact, sometimes you have a person named G, E, O, R, G, and J O. Sometimes this person we'll call themselves Jorge, depends on where they come from. But this could be George, and this could also be George, exactly the same pronunciation. So there you go, That's the sound. And the hard g sound is go, go, go, go, go. It's kind of like it's kind of like the k sound except you add your voice to it with k. Ok. No voice with goo, goo, goo. There's a voice. Okay. So hard g sounds like that. Heartbeat sounds like g doesn't sound like anything else. So let's go through these one by 1 first, slowly and then at regular speed. Jim. Jim, same pronunciation by the way, as j, m, which is another name. Gyroscope. Gyroscope. A look, CEO, hey, hard to see. Gentle, gentle. Gene. Gene. Ginger. Look, GI GE. It works. Ginger. Zhai Yi Ge, Gan, tick, gigantic. Now look at this one, GI GA. So that's the hard g sound and that's the soft G sound. So that's how that one is said. Now, you might be thinking of other examples. What about, what about girl? Okay, we're going to look at some exceptions, but first, let's go through the heart. Sounds a few examples. Goals. Goals, gamble, gamble, ghost, ghost. Guess, guess. Guacamole. Guacamole. Now this, we heard it does follow our C rule by the way. I know it's a weird word, but it's fun to say govern. Govern. So I hope those aren't too hard to say. The pronunciation of all of these, except for this one, should be fairly easy. I guess ginger and gigantic and perhaps gyroscope are maybe a little bit challenging. But you should remember that a word being long doesn't mean it has to be more difficult. Long doesn't need to equal difficult if you go slowly, if you just focus on each syllable, syllable by syllable, and listen carefully to the pronunciation wherever you get the sound of a word, maybe from your online dictionary. Now of course there are exceptions. So let's just look at a few fairly common words which are exceptions to the soft G rule. Okay? The one I mentioned, girls, girls, good goals. Giggles, get get geeks. Geeks. And you will come across others as well. Are there any Gy ones? Yeah, sure. Like gynecologist, for example, that would be an exception for gy. So I hope now it's very clear why toward the beginning of this course, we focused so much on this idea of developing your ear and awareness. Because really what it comes down to, really what you have to focus on is what does it sound like? And when you look up a word, never just look it up. Look it up. Okay, find the meaning new word, great. And then listen to it. And it is not hard to find the pronunciation of words. There's almost always whether you're searching on Google or a dictionary app away to listen to the pronunciation. And if what you're using doesn't have that, then you need to find a better one. It's that simple. Always learn with the pronunciation as well. And then you'll be able to more easily find those exceptions or whether or not the word that you're learning follows the rule. 29. Consonant Rules | Voiced and Unvoiced 'S': Now there's one more really useful consonant rule that I like to teach you about S. But let's draw a line between the G and the C and the S rule or rules that we're going to talk about because this is different, okay? G and C very similar, following the same general, general pattern, right? So the question here is, I know that S makes the sound and I know that it makes the unvoiced sound. So how do I know when it's one or the other? How do I know when it's how do I know when it's safe? Now the rules that we're going to talk about, these first two are four S's at the end of a word, which are modifying the basic form of the word in some way. Now what do I mean by the basic form of a word? Well, let's say the basic form of this word is move. And the basic form of this word is Carol. And bean is the basic form of this one. What are we doing to this when we add the S? Well, we might be changing it so that it agrees with the subject. For example, if it's i, then it would be move. If it's HE, it would be moves. So we are modifying it or changing it so that it agrees with H0. Okay? Or perhaps we're making it plural. What does plural mean? Well, we have singular and we have plural. And we often add S when we make something plural, like this word. Movies. Movie is singular. One movie, movies, that's plural, more than one movie, right? Okay, so that's singular and plural. So when we're changing it from this basic form of movie to movies, were doing something to it. We are modifying it, or we might add an s If we want to make something possessive, pos E, S, S, E, that would be this one. For example, Carol is a person. If there's something that belongs to Carol, then it is Carroll's. So let's say umbrella. What, whose umbrella is that? Well, that's Carroll's umbrella. Okay, so we add the S to modify it. This basic form, what's called a basic unmodified form to make it possessive. So we're adding S is for different reasons. But for a word like boss, that's the unmodified form that ends with an S. We're not talking about words like that. Okay? We're talking about the S's that are added to unmodified words, either to make them agree or to make them plural, or in this case, to make them possessive. And that is by the way, most common. Most of the time, you're going to have an S at the end of a word because it's doing one of these things. It's for agreement, it's for possessive, and it's making something Plural. Okay? So hopefully we understand that. Now. What is the rule or what are the rules here? When do we say one as the z sound, the voiced sound, and when do we say the unvoiced sound? I'm just going to write S here. What I mean by this is unvoiced. What I mean by this is the voiced sound, okay? So what you want to do is look at the end, the last sound. Remember I mentioned briefly the ED thing. When we add ED to a word, it depends on what is the last sound in the word. While we're doing the same thing here, we're going to look at the last sound of the unmodified basic form of the word, the sound before the S. Now I'm saying sound, not letters because again, there are sometimes combinations of letters that make a sound different from either of the two letters, like m and b and g and n and t and h and c and H and all of those pH. What we're doing is focusing on whether or not it's voiced. So you don't have to worry about the spelling or anything. Is it voiced or not? And if the end of the word is voiced, then we're going to voice the S as a Z. And if the end of a word is unvoiced, if it's an unvoiced sound, then we are going to say the S as the unvoiced S. That's it. So to say it one more time. If the last sound in the unmodified word is voiced, we will say. And if the last sound in the unmodified word is unvoiced, then we're going to say, hopefully that is clear. So this one, we have the S because we need it to agree. Probably. This one is possessive for Carol. This one is more than one beam. We're adding it, we're making it plural. This one same thing, plural, and this one is also plural. Plural may be the most common reason to have an S at the end of a word. Don't hold me to that. I I can't guarantee that, but that's my that's my feeling. All right. So let's go through these and then we'll talk about the unvoiced ones. And then we're going to talk about one more kind of rule with ES, which is a little bit different. We'll focus on that next. So first slowly, you know how this works. And then regular speed, are you ready? Moves? Moves. Now you have to really go quickly there. You have to jump from the V to the z sound very quickly. Try not to say, does move us, is adding a syllable. Don't add syllables. It's a one syllable word. All right. Carol. Carol's, Carol's umbrella. Carol's umbrella. All right. The next one. Beans, Beans, Beans, tasty beans. Next one, careers. Careers. Movie. Movies. All right, Now let's talk about the next set here. These unvoiced S, these are all going to be. So note the last sound in the unmodified word. Back flip on voiced p, wasp and voiced p, th, unvoiced, t unvoiced. And even though this is an E here, remember silent e, right? It's silent. We just say. So. This is why it's so important to pay attention to the sounds, not the letters. If you were looking at letters, you would say, Oh, that's funny. Shouldn't that be might exist? No. No. It's about the sound. This is an unvoiced e, right? All right, so let's go through these slowly. And then regular speed. First one, back flips, back flips. Now for that one you have to again jump quickly from the p to the s. Spss, backflips. It's kind of tough, can be tough to say. This one is also a little tricky. Pay attention to this sound. Spss, SPSS. I feel silly. I feel silly now don't feel that silly. Here we go. Wasps. Wasps. So practice that one. The difficulty there is going from S to P to S, but you have to wasps, you have to really focus on making it go. But you can't have a space. So it's SAS. Spss. Sas sounds like I'm yelling at someone or making someone be quiet in a movie theater. The next one is one of the most difficult words for many English learners. Many English learners struggle with this one. Because we have to go from the end. Remember, we're blocking the air coming out of the nose. And we're not releasing it. We're not saying none and, and, and, and that's easy. We're not doing that, we're holding it. And then we slide the tongue forward to the th position. But this th is an unvoiced th. So this is where you have to pay attention to the actual pronunciation and listen to it, okay, so it is unvoiced. Therefore, this S is going to be unvoiced. Okay? So this one is pronounced. By the way, you have to really focus on the S sound because it's tough. And to th, then immediately to takes a lot of practice to get this one. We say months. One more time slowly, months, months, months. So you can see it's all happening very fast, but it is happening so you have to practice it slowly. So that you can really master it to get the tongue to all three positions. But you can slide the tongue back and push the tongue forward. It doesn't have to be a sudden movement. I'm sliding it forward to get to the th. And then I'm pulling it back to get the S. Fs. Very important that the tongue goes outside of the mouth to say that one correctly. Okay? Now how could some easy words? Here we go. F expects. Expects, might mix, by the way, same pronunciation as MICS, as in more than one microphone. We shorten it to Mike. You say, Oh nice Mike. Mike's to Mike's, Mike's, Mike's, Mike, Mike's, Mike's. You could say Mike's, Mike's same pronunciation except that one is like Carol's without the sound, the sound, but it's possessive of Mike. Now I have to mention one other thing for S, because you may be wondering about words that have an ES and E, S at the end. Which sounds like, is, it almost sounds like the word is. In fact, it is basically the word is, the pronunciation is the same, is, is. Remember I mentioned the word BOS, S boss. Well, if we have more than one, then how do we say that right there. We say this as boss's. Boss's. So you might be thinking, Whoa, hold on there, wait, wait, wait, wait. S is unvoiced. Boss. Why am I saying this voiced? This is more than one bus, right? Why am I doing that? Well, we have a special case here. If we have S or Z, or SSH, or c, h, or x, then we're going to have this is at the end. It's going to be kind of a special thing. It's going to be is, is. Now we're gonna go through these examples and I want you to listen carefully for it, try to repeat it and note, here we are unvoiced. And then we still have the is. This one voiced sounds like the Z crews. This is going to be exactly the same. Is, is this one CH, unvoiced speech still going to be, is this one, SH, still going to be, is this is pronounced ssh, it's unvoiced. So you might think but but that should be that should be I watched. Watched, right? No. No. It's not pronounced that way because it's an exception. It's a special case, like we talked about with the ED rule. Remember d and t, if it ends in d or t, then we have that ID sound. Well, this is kind of the same thing except we're talking about S, right? So is for S C, S, H, C H and X, okay? Same for this one. This is actually unvoiced. And then we have is. And I don't have a Z1, but it would be the same if I had a Z1. But this one is the z pronunciation. So this is our, let's treat this as our z sound. And you can make your own lists. Make a word with a z there. That's fine too. So let's go through these one-by-one. Let's go through them first, slowly and then regular speed. You know this by now, here we go. Houses, houses, cruises, cruises, what churches, watches, Bush is bushes, boxes, boxes. So that's it. I know it's weird to have these add on rules, but if we don't talk about them, then when we try to use something like this, we get confused. When we find words like this or like this, we say, hey, what about that rule I learned? That's why it's so important to remember that there are exceptions to almost all rules. If I say to all rules, then there must be an exception. So I have to say almost all rules, right? Right, right, right. So when you're looking up words, make sure you're listening out for these three. Also, carefully, listen for the different G and C sounds that we talked about. Now that we've spent a little time on consonant rules or guidelines, we're going to go on, we're going to talk next about word stress and some rules that can be very useful when we're learning about the stress of words. 30. Rules of Stress | Second and Third from the End: So we've talked about rules for vowel pronunciation. We've talked about rules for pronouncing consonants. Now we're going to talk about rules for word stress. But what exactly is stress? Well, if a word is stressed in a sentence, then we say it a little longer, stretch it out and a little louder. We say it a little longer and a little louder. So I'm actually stressing the words longer and louder because I want to make those two words a little bit more obvious in the sentence. But within words, there is also stress of syllables. There are stressed syllables in sidewards, and the stressed syllables inside words often follow patterns or rules. So we're going to talk first about how the endings of words can tell us Which syllable in the word should be stressed. Now you can't do this with every single word, but there are many common endings. We can find some patterns here that can tell us about which syllable should be stressed. Then after this, we're going to talk about a few more rules of stress. So our keyword here, which should be very familiar to you by now in this course is syllable or beat. Beat in the word and I am writing the stressed syllable in capital letters, okay? The stressed syllable is stressed this way for a reason. And I want you to pay attention to the ending of each of these words. Do you see anything in common with this first group here is S i o n, heres t i o n. Here's C I j n heres t i, ae. And so we see these common endings. But why are we looking at these endings? What is it telling us? Well, it looks like the syllable before this ending is the stressed syllable. So graph here is stressed and it is not stressed. We'll talk about the schwa sound after we focus on, after we focus on stress. So actually EQ here is going to be the schwa sound, that sort of relaxed vowel sound that every vowel can make. But then you may be asking, Okay, well it's the one before, but what if it's a longer word? What if it's a three syllable word, a four syllable word of five syllable word, doesn't matter. It's going to be the one before the end. If it's one of these endings, if it's one of these endings, it's going to be probably the one before the ending. So Gia, graphic like that. And the same thing for these. The one before the ending, the one before the ending, the one before the ending. So pay attention to these endings when you see them in words and then stress the syllable before that ending. Let's go through these one by one before we look at this next interesting set. Here we go. Graphic. Graphic, graphic, geographic, decision, decision, motion. Motion. Tech Shen, technician, recession, recession, Egypt, shin. Egyptian. So pay careful attention to which one is a little louder than the others. Which one is slowed down? It's a very interesting pattern when you're reading lookout for these, try to say them out loud. When you're watching a movie or TV show, listen to what people are saying. Are they stressing that syllable, the second from the end? Now what's different about these? Well, here we have some different endings. Here are endings are PHY, PHY than we have. G, y, t, y a, l, and see why. But for these, we're not talking about the one before the end. We're talking about the third syllable before the end. Now, it's the same thing as this, in the sense that it doesn't matter how many total syllables there are. The total syllables in the word. Not important really. We're looking at the ending and we're counting back, it's the third from the end, 1, 2, 3. Totally how many syllables are in this word? For TA, grow, fee. So four syllable word, and we're stressing the second syllable. But if we had another thing in front of it, right? Part of this word then it wouldn't change it. That's what that means. It doesn't matter if it's five syllables or three syllables or 10 syllables, It's going to be the same thing. So now that we know that, let's just read through them slowly at first and then at regular speed, follow along with me. For tog, growth fee. Photography, for loss. Phi. Philosophy. By geology, biology. Here's a long word. Reflex, solid, GI, reflex, ology, neck to the t. Or connectivity. Like d, sound. Connectivity. Novelty. Novelty. Notice this is the first syllable in the word, doesn't matter. It's still the third from the end. So it doesn't matter. Magic, coal. Magical. Again, it's the first syllable, but also 123, okay. In turn, Nash, null. International. Free, Quincy. Frequency. To mock. Chris see, democracy, privacy. Privacy. Really, it's not more complicated than that. This is, I think pretty easy to understand. We're just looking at the endings. It's one of these, it's like this. If it's one of these, it's like this. Pretty interesting I hope. But most importantly, very useful. Because stress is what makes us sound like we're alive and not robots. The rising and falling if it's random and you're talking like this and it's going up and down. I'm sorry. I'm making my voice go up and down, then you sound crazy. But if you know generally the patterns for stress, then you can start to, for example, when you're reading a book out loud, sound natural when you're speaking and still have your voice go up and down. Which is more interesting to listen to if your voice is flat like this and use a very word and syllable the same way. It sounds like you are a robot and it's very boring to listen to as well. Right? That doesn't sound good. So we want to have stress. It's good. We want to stress words in sentences that we want to focus on. That's even easier by the way. Mostly you're just choosing the word that you think emphasizes your meaning in the sentence. And then inside, we can't always do it, but we have these nice little indicators that can give us a clue about the stress. Now, what about those unstressed syllables? Did you notice, for example, that I didn't say photolithography or photography either I said, for typography. Uh, this is the infamous schwa sound. We're going to talk about it. It is related to word stress, so we're going to talk about it. But first, we're going to go over a couple of simple stress rules, which you may be familiar with because they're a little simpler. But let's just go over those quickly. Before we talk about the schwa. 31. Rules of Stress | Two-syllable Words: Now let's spend a little time talking about two syllable words, the stress placed on two syllable words, and the rules that we can use to know which syllable we should stress. Because could be one or the other. And sometimes a word is spelled the same way. But depending on what we want to say, we might say it with a stress on the first syllable or a stress on the second. A perfect example of this would be something like the word present. Now, I have present here, but notice that the break in the syllabus is different. Here. I've broken it here. Here, I've broken it here. I've broken it up. Differently. Syllables are actually slightly different, but that's not the main point. The main point here is that here I'm stressing the first syllable, and here I'm stressing the second. So this one is present. And this one is present. Some very interesting. Why is that? Well actually there are quite a few words like this that have both, but let's not get ahead of ourselves. We'll get there. I will make it clear. First, I want to define a word. The word I want to define is prefix. Now prefix is something that is fixed to the beginning of a word and usually it has a meaning, or it adds a meaning to a, to a word. Pre means in front, or it could mean in front. And fix is sort of like attach, right? You know, the prefixes there are, of course, many of them, but for example, D and an end in and x. These are examples of common prefixes. They attach two words, they attached to words usually to add a meaning. For example, if you say the word invite, that means you've maybe asked somebody to do something with you, right? But if you put an in front of it and invite them to very different story, That means that you invited them and then you said, actually are for not doing it anymore or whatever, you tell them. No, not nice but on his change the meeting and made it opposite. Now, prefixes don't always make things the opposite. They just change the meaning of the base word. Okay. So why am I telling you this? Because as a general rule, as a general rule, it's not true all the time. We don't stress prefixes for two syllable words. We don't stress prefixes for two syllable words. Now a prefix gets its own syllable. A prefix gets its own syllable to syllable D syllable, EX, syllable. So this is a two syllable word prefix, prefix, right? But I'm saying prefix, not prefix, prefix, prefix. If we don't usually stress prefixes, then why am I stressing pre? Well, there are exceptions or perhaps one of the other rules. The rule we're going to talk about next replaces this rule. This rule is what I would describe as a rather somewhat at least weak rule. It's not particularly strong, certainly doesn't work for many three syllable words. So it's something that you'll see fairly often. But I wouldn't say this must be true all the time. There are going to be plenty of exceptions. So let's just read through these two syllable words which do not stress the prefix, ready, one-by-one. I'll say each one twice as usual. Here we go. Decline. Decline, review. Review, include, include, explode, Explode, undo, undo, protect, protect. All right, So let's now talk about the one that makes this one actually stressed here rather than here, which stresses the first syllable rather than the second. Our next rule, or guideline is for nouns and adjectives. And remember we're talking about two syllable words here. These are all two syllable words. Okay? So for nouns and adjectives, for two-syllable nouns and adjectives, we're going to be stressing. Syllable one, the first syllable, and then not putting stress on the second. So that's pretty simple, right? So we say this is a noun, right? This isn't out. It is a thing, it is a noun. This is a prefix. It is a prefix. So perhaps we could say that this one has overruled. This one, this rule has overruled this rule. Interesting. Alright, so let's go through these one at a time. Pay attention to the stress on the syllable and note the pronunciation. Here we go. Classic. Classic. Der, t, or dirty. Note the light d sound dirty. Dirty. I usually say with the light d sound foolish. Foolish. Candle, Candle. Tiger, tiger. Ang, go. Angle. Timer. Timer. Present, present. Now note this one. We stress it here. What does it mean, a gift perhaps, or the now where we are at this moment, we are in the present, right? Okay? But, but if we have a verb or an adverb or a preposition, that's two syllables, then it is likely going to be the other way. We're going to be. Once again, stressing syllable to. Now. Often, usually prepositions can also be adverbs. For example, across, to reach across, to reach across. That's an adverb. My house is across from your house. That's a preposition. So often it's just how it's used in a sentence. So let's now say these with the stress on the second syllable. We said here, present. Here we're going to say present, present. Notice it's PR, instead of pre. Pr, pr. Present. Explain, explain. Rid, deuce. Reduce. Notice it's not reduce. Its reduced schwa. Decide. Decide. Not to decide. Decide of above, above a, cross, a cross B, and beyond before, before. So this all useful stuff, but always keep in mind. Certainly, certainly there are exceptions. Sometimes these rules conflict. For example, this one conflicts with this one, right? This is a prefix, but, but we don't count it, but, but because it's a noun, we say it with the noun rule. Now that we've talked about stress rules for word endings and two syllable words. Let's spend a little time because it is related to stress. Let's spend a little time with the schwa sound. 32. The SCHWA Sound | Identifying the SCHWA: I often feel that the schwa sound is under appreciated. That means, I think people don't fully realize how important it is for getting that natural, that natural fluence sound. Why is it that when native English speakers are speaking, they sound really natural and things are flowing along. Well. There are many reasons and we've talked about some of them up to this point. But one of the keys is the schwa sound. So what is the schwa sound? What exactly is it? Now that we've talked about word stress, we can talk about the schwa sound. This is a vowel sound that is not stressed, which is pronounced in a kind of neutral way. And it kind of neutral way. And every single vowel can be or have the schwa sound, a, e, I, o, u, and y. That's right. They can all have the same sound. What is the sound? It's this, uh, uh, totally relax your mouth and say a. Because it's unstressed, it's usually said quite quickly. We don't focus on that syllable. You will often hear the schwa sound in unstressed syllables. In words longer than one syllable. If it's a one syllable word, usually not. But if it's longer than one syllable, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. And it's an unstressed syllable. It may be the schwa sound. You have to listen out for it. Now that doesn't mean that we cannot find one syllable words with the schwa sound. We can often too. In a sentence, it's a one syllable word is pronounced with the schwa sound. If someone says, I want to go, I want to go, to, go, to go. Well, the actual pronunciation is two. So shouldn't we say want to go, right? And T0 and geo, same ending. So shouldn't they be pronounced the same way to go? Well, this is a long sound. Okay, so that's a little bit, a little bit different. But this one to two, shouldn't we at least say it like that? Sometimes we do, but often, often we pronounce it with the schwa sound. To, to notice that relaxed mouth that I have to, to, to, it's almost like I'm falling asleep to, to go. So we're going to look at a few full sentence examples, but before that, let's just identify it. Let's see if we can listen for it with different vowels. Let's look at these three words. How do we say this word? Potato? Potato per TA DO? Well first, notice that I'm using the light d sound for this one, but not for this one. I'm not saying potato, saying potato, potato. Interesting. Okay, Now, we should definitely here this one clearly it's a stressed, stressed syllable, TE, take, right? It's the long a sound and then no, no, set an OH, DO. Yes, that's an o sound. So that's not the schwa sound. What about the first one? The potato? Potato? Because if we say potato, that sounds very odd. So not saying it really strongly, not stressing it, doing the schwa sound allows us to have this sort of casual, relaxed, natural flowing sound, which is so essential for natural American English pronunciation. Potato. All right, so we got it. The O is the schwa there, always schwa here as well, but 0 is not the only schwa. O is not the only schwa. How about this one? Well, this is a noun. So we're going to stress syllable one or syllable to. When the stress syllable one. Remember, right? So how do we say this? Rival, rival, rival, rival. Okay, So can we hear the eye? Yes, very clearly RI, the stressed syllable, syllable one. But do we hear an a sound here? Is that rival? All? All would be the a sound like col, col all, all. Do we hear that? Rival, vole? Rival, rival. No, we don't hear it. That is the schwa sound. Schwa sound. Is there a is schwa. Schwa. All right, Now let's look at this one. Now this should be if we pronounce everything the same, three, A's, banana, banana, banana, banana. That is not how we say this word. Listen to how I say it. But nana, this is very interesting because we have three different pronunciations of a. Listen carefully. Nan, a, NAN. Banana. This a is, this a is net. Like Apple, apple at the clear short a sound, right? So we have two slightly different sounding A's there and this one is just doing this. Well. I'm barely doing anything but, but, but, but, but I feel so relaxed. And then NADH, and then no, no, no. Now that's pretty close to a schwa sound because we're not stressing it, but let's count that as a short a sound to end. Say that this is our very clear schwa sound, banana, banana. So I hope you can hear it now. Now, notice I'm not giving you any really hard strict rules for the schwa. Because really the rule is, you often see it in unstressed syllables, but pronunciation changes so much. And in this case, it's hard to give a very clear, very simple rule for when you must say the schwa sound. So I think the best thing to do to really get a sense for it is to read some full sentences and see if we can identify the schwa sound in the sentences. 33. The SCHWA Sound | Full Example Practice: So here we go. Let's read these sentences one at a time. And for each one we're going to try to mark where we think we hear the schwa sound. Alright. I connected her digital camera to my computer. I connected. Schwa, connected. I hear an e there. This is an ID and remember it, remember we have that rule at, there's one connect connected. It's not a clear o sound, right? Her digital. Digital. Digital. So this I here, the short, I did it at all. All. I hear the a there. So I think our I here is the schwa did digi digital. Digi digital. Okay. So That's that's our schwa. There. We do an arrow camera. Camera. Where is where is the E exactly that we can call a schwa, RA, RA, RA. So the rods more clear but not so much schwa sound to my, to my there's one as well. Computer. Computer. Computer. Come, come, come, come, come. Computer. All right. So there's 12, so 123, 45. I connected heard digital camera to my computer. Sounds pretty natural. I connected or digital camera to my computer. Now I know that's very fast, but that is how I might say it normally if I were just speaking. Okay, let's look at the next one. My manager is to liberate and tenacious woman. Interesting, my manager, can you hear it? Where is that? Men? For men and Madden's clear a, but here my manager is. Now we could say that that's 12, right? Is the so, why not deliberate? So here's a clear i sound or is a clear ER, sound. It, it, I don't think that is either but to, to, to, uh, do deliberate. So there we go there. And tenacious to. Okay. Also the e there. Woman woman month, month, month. I'm not saying woman, woman, right? It's woman who is a clear stressed syllable, so that's not where it is, but here is our schwa woman. My manager is to liberate and tenacious woman. My manager is a deliberate and tenacious woman. I hope you can hear these unstressed syllables and this neutral vowel sound in there. The last one, the Canadian Olympic cache Athlon, team. Sec, see, did the, the, the, the, the, I think we can say we've got one right there with the E, Canadian. Canadian. There we go. So a is a clear a right? Olympic. We're not saying Olympic or all Olympic Are we were saying Olympic? And Remember our IC stress rule. Remember if it's icy, what we say, magic, geographic, It's the second from the end. So a limb or limb stress pick, pick. Now is pick, pick. It depends on how it's said. I hear it said both ways. Sometimes people say Olympic pick and sometimes people say Olympic pick. And so sometimes that one could be pick, pick, pick. I do here and i sound there. Pick, pick, pick, pick. So let's just say it's not there. Some people will say it with the schwa sound. Again, I'm not trying to give you very hard concrete 100% rules. Some people will say these a little differently. I'm picking out the schwa sounds based on the way that I tend to speak. And I want you to get a sense for this, a feeling for this because it is a common trend in unstressed vowel sounds. But that's not to say. This must be a schwa sound because some people might say Olympic, olympic and you can say unstressed, or some people will say Olympic, pick, pick clear. So it's a close one. How about this one? Decathlon to Kathleen lawn. Lawn. Lawn. I hear the 0 add definitely there, but here the and team, one syllable word. We don't talk about the schwa sound for this, for this one. We did it for this a, we did it for the two. But a and two are so often passed over so quickly when we're speaking that we say a dinosaur, a dinosaur, a dinosaur and it's not a dinosaur or a dinosaur, it's a dinosaur. So we can consider that one. And that one often to be a schwa sounds okay, succeeded. So it's hardly a U there at all, so that's definitely one. C did, did, did, and we have our classic rule. Remember the ID? Did, did, did. It's not stressed, but it's still there. The I is still there. So the Canadian Olympic decathlon team succeeded. The Canadian Olympic decathlon team succeeded. The Canadian Olympic decathlon team succeeded. That's me saying it rather quickly. So that's the schwa sound. You have to watch out for it. Pay attention, listen, Turn your ears on. Be very aware. This is where you need your full concentration and your full listening ability that you've been developing and building. Up to this point. If you have any questions about the schwa sound or any of the other rules that we talked about in this section. Let me know and I will see you in the next section. In the next section we're going to be talking about words that sound almost the same. 34. Overview of Similar and Identical Sounds: Now that we've talked about some of the rules of pronunciation and when we should use them. And we've talked about some tough sounds. How to say those sounds. We've talked about how to make your voice flow through a sentence. Now that we've done those things, I feel that we can go on to the thing that may be the most advanced in the course, something that may be more difficult, but it may also be the reason, or at least the main reason why you decided to take this course. Now we're going to be talking about things that sound almost the same. And we will also cover some things that sound exactly the same. But why do I say this is more advanced? And why are we talking about this in this course? Why is it important? Well, it's more advanced because now we're getting into the area of subtlety. Subtlety, a lot of the differences between one sound and another are not very clear. They're very subtle. So tiny little differences, little changes In mouth position or tone or stress or whatever. Maybe a sound, a little sound that's, there may be a schwa sound. A lot of these things are so small that being able to hear and say the differences really does take some practice. And we're going to be, of course, spending some real time on this. Now why is it important to do this? Why should we learn the small differences? It's really for the simple reason that the difference is define the subtlety of the sounds. So let me explain what I mean by that with an example. Here we have moth month mouth. Now if I say those quickly, if you're listening to a movie and you hear people say moth month mouth, it might be hard for you to distinguish those right away. Now maybe you can do that one. Maybe that one's not so tough. The differences between these three. But it's often, when a native English speaker is speaking at a regular speed, it's often one of the reasons that it's hard to understand someone. And it's also often one of the reasons that a non native English speaker may sound not so natural because they're not quite getting the sound. Maybe it's 95% right. Maybe you're saying it 95 percent perfectly, but not quite. So what is that not quite, what is that 5%? That 5% is the difference between this and this is the difference between this and this. So it's really important to get that 5% because that's really the area. That's really the thing that takes you from here to here in that natural sound. And if you can really master what we're learning in this section, you are going to get to a much higher level. And when you speak, of course, you're going to have to practice and repeat many, many times to really get it. But if you can master these small differences, your pronunciation is going to be much more clear and much more native sounding. Okay, so just quickly to overview what we're going to talk about. We're going to focus in this section on things like this, the small differences between words. We'll talk about some of the differences between similar phrases. That one is more or less for fun, but we can learn some things from that. This is really the main thing. And then we'll also talk about things that sound exactly the same, which is useful for a slightly different reason. And we will talk about that too. So that's what we will be talking about. And of course, there are going to be many examples for each of these. But since we're looking at these, since they're here right now, Let's just quickly talk about the differences. Mot h. Now we know the short O sound, ah, ah, ah, so we say this and then THE is unvoiced, ma, ma, and then an unvoiced th moth. Moth. Now, for this one, it's very important just to leave your mouth relaxed before you do the th sound. Don't do anything funny with it and make sure it's the r sound and not the r sound. Math, math, math, math. Okay. Now how is that different from this one? Well, we've learned this sound, we've learned this diphthong, remember the owl? Owl, and hopefully you've been practicing that out. So this is Mau Mau practice the first part, Mau Mau, Mau, Mau. The mouth is wider and then it gets smaller. So mouth also an unvoiced th mouth. Mouth. Okay, this one, then we actually have two differences. It looks the same as this one plus an N, right? Mot HMO, n-th. So it should be month. No, it's not. This is actually a short use sound, short. You, which remember is a very relaxed. So this one is pronounced MAN month. So that should be pretty familiar to you because we practiced months before. You should be practicing that one. So you should be familiar with that. Now we say the three of them together. Moth, mouth, month. You should be able to hear the differences clearly and you should be able to say the difference is clearly. One more time. Moth, mouth, month. Can you do it? Can you hear it? And now what about this? Well, these are little phrases or groups of words put together. And they are interesting because they are spelled differently, right? Totally different words, totally different meaning, but actually the end pronunciation is very, very close. Let's try this for same as FOR candles. For candles, for candles. Okay. Now this one, we need to make sure that we put the k sound directly beside the r and then make the space before the H. So before we said for candles, for candles and there's a little gap there. Now there's no gap, fork, fork, fork. And then we need to make the H sound. So that has to be there. It won't be very obvious, but it has to be there for candles, fork handles. So it goes directly from the to the h. So let's do these two together. For candles. For candles. One more time. For candles. For candles. Okay. Small difference. I hope you can hear it. Now. The last one, these all have exactly the same pronunciation, exactly. We're going to talk about that. These are called homophones. These are things which are written differently, different words, totally different, but the pronunciation is exactly, exactly the same pronunciation. Sense. Since both of these are the sound, no sound With the end there. Make sure you go. Make sure the n goes up in front. Sense. Sense. Since, since, since sense exactly the same, okay? Those we'll talk about as well. So this is just a little introduction. We're not getting serious yet. Let's first start by talking about homographs, and I will explain what that means in the next lesson. 35. Homographs | Part 1: What is a homo graph? What does that mean? A homography is a word or a spelling which has perhaps two or three meanings, and perhaps two or three different pronunciations to go along with those meanings. Now sometimes it's not meaning, but actually form. And I'll explain what I mean by that in a moment. But for the first set, I want to talk about words which have two different meanings and also to different pronunciations. Now the first one of these you should be very familiar with. We've talked about that one before, but I think it's a good one to start with. Now I mentioned before that this word can mean thing on a gift. And it could also be something that goes with an arrow, but it could also be an action, right? So let's do this. I'm going to say the word twice. And then I'm going to tell you the two different meanings just so you're clear on those, I'll say it first slowly and then at regular speed, pay careful attention to the differences. Here we go. Bow, bow. Bow, bow. Now, what are the different meanings and what are the different pronunciations? Well, Bao, Bao is like our Cao, Cao, Cao, Cao. It's that one that we've talked about before. And bow is just the o sound, the long o, the lung. So you have that our diphthong and you also have the long o is the action. It's a verb to bow to someone. Bot is the thing that goes on the gift, and this is the one with the OH, pronunciation. Bot could also be, for example, bow and arrow. And it has a few other meanings as well. Actually for these, It's not always just one or two meanings. Sometimes it's more, but usually it's not more than two pronunciations. This one minute, minute, minute, minute. Now, does this follow our rules? Remember we said that nouns and adjectives usually stress if there are two syllables. The first syllable, right? Well, this one doesn't quite right? Minutes does, But minute, which means very small, does not. It stresses the second. So this would be an exception to that. So the first one is the short I sound MIT, MIT, MIT, and then knit, knit, knit is actually the schwa sound of the EU. So we're not following are silent e rule either. It's a schwa, the schwa sound nut, nut. So this one is minute, minute. Now some people will say that as the short u, but the short u and the schwa sound are often very, very close. So if you say minute or minute, or minute, that's okay too. A lot of people will cut the t sound minute, minute and not actually say, and that's just fine. But the second one you do have to say the TI, you have to. This one stresses the second syllable, and this one is the long you sound. So this one is actually following the silent e rule, but this one also interestingly is the long I sound. Remember we talked about how the end of a syllable, if there's a vowel, it will be a long vowel. Yes, So there you go. My Newt minute, and it means very small. Of course, you know what minute means my newt? Minute, very small. All right, next one. Here we go. Pronunciation first. Bass, bass. Bass. Bass. Can hear the difference. The difference is between these two are actually, I think pretty clear and pretty easy to hear. This bass, bass, short a sound, short a bat, bat, bet, bass. And the other one is the long a sound, ba, ba, ba, base. The same pronunciation as B, a, S, E. Now bass is a kind of fish. So type of fish that may live in a lake or I don't know. Do they live in the ocean? Yeah. I guess they do a certain kind of him. And then the other one base could be, for example, an instrument, a musical instrument, but also describes the deep tones. For example, in music, very low tones, a lot of base in your voice or in the music that you listen to. Base, base, these two base. Our homophones and we'll talk about what that means in the next one. Okay, this one, listen carefully. Wound, wound. Wow, wound. Alright. Now how about this to hear the differences between those two? What are the differences if you had to describe them? Well, this one is kind of like woo, woo, woo. And then the sound wuh woo, wound, wound. This one is a noun. It's something like a scar or an open cut, something like that, right? The other one, the verb, the other one is a verb. This one means to wrap something. In fact, it is the past tense of the verb wind. We don't say, why did we say wound? Now the pronunciation of this one is kind of like WOW, and then wow, wow. It is also the ow sound that we've talked about for this one, the diphthong, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow. And so the noun, the cut is wound. And then this one is wound. This is the verb in the past tense. So you could say she wound the bandage around the wound. It was wound around the wound. And that sentence would look a little funny because it has sort of the same word twice. Wound and wound would look the same but very different meanings. Okay, let's look at this one here. You might know one of these, but what about the other? These two pronunciation? Polish. Polish. Polish. Polish. Okay. Do you hear the difference? Is there any difference in the second syllable? This one? No. No, there is no difference. So the second syllable, leash, leash for both of them. What's the difference? It's the o sound for the verb, which means to shine something often with a cloth, We're going to pronounce the short O sound, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, polish, polish, polish. And then for the second one, we're going to pronounce the long o sound. The long o sound is the adjective for the country of Poland. If you're from Poland, hello. If you're not, also hello, polish. If someone says I am polish, that means they're from the country of Poland, right? So polish, polish, polish, the only difference is in the o sound. All right, now this one, you might know, I don't know if you'll know this one, this one you might know. First one. Lee, lead, lead, lead. All right, what are the differences? Well, you might notice a trend here. Often the differences are in the vowel sounds, often in the vowel sounds for these words that are spelled the same, the OL and the same thing. No difference there. This first one was the long e, lead, lead. This is the verb, lead to lead, others, others follow you, you lead that may be a strong leader. You would use the word lead in liter and Leadership. The long e simply the long e sound several things make the long e. Ea sometimes, usually makes the long e sound. Ii makes the long e sound e, and then a consonant, and then a silent E usually makes the long e sound. So that's pretty easy. Now what about the other one? Led? Led, which Val is that? That is the short e. The short e sound, which is a lead. So that's the same pronunciation of L, E, D. Okay. And what is that? Lead is a metal, if I remember correctly, it's PB from high-school. Pb, is that right? Pb. Now, here's the interesting thing about this one. The past tense of lead is lead. So the past tense of this word is the same pronunciation as the other pronunciation of this same word, which means this metal. So the metal don't get confused here. The metal lead has the same pronunciation. Of the past tense of the verb form of the word. Just think about that for a second. All right, you got it. Don't forget. I know that's a little weird. It's funny. I think it's an interesting, sort of an interesting, Well, what is it? It's an interesting thing. Next one, close, close, close, close. So while most of these have differences in the vowel sounds, this one does not. This one is the same vowel sound. What's the difference? We've talked about before? We know the unvoiced sound and we know the voiced sound, which is the z sound, right? So the o is o because of the silent e rule. We know that very well now. Oh, oh, oh, Close, Close. All right, That's straightforward. But which one is which? If something is close, close, then it's not far. This is an adjective. The adjective of something not far away. It is close. Close is a verb. A verb, close is a verb. So remember the verb, which means, for example, to close a door, to close a window, to close your computer, to close your eyes. If it's that one, it's going to be the voiced sound, the z sound. So how do you remember this? Well, you can come up with your own tricks. Different ways to remember things are different for each person I think. But one little trick is to come up with a, a connection somewhere. So verb is voiced and z is voiced. So that might have, okay. Okay, verb and both voiced. So it's the pronunciation for the verb. An interesting point for this one is that we can say CLOSE-UP as a verb is a homophone of CLO THE S. In fact, most native English speakers, when they say this word, one of the most mispronounced words, that's an, oh, by the way, the way that a lot of people say this is clothed the Clovis. So you know that that's not right. And so you try to say clothes, the clothes, which is technically correct, except because it's so hard for a lot of people that even native English speakers won't say clothes, clothes. Most native English speakers are just going to say Close, I bought some clothes. So you could say those are homophones or words that sound the same. All right, two more of these, pronunciation. Console, console, console, console. Right? Now, are there any rules we can use here? Remember our stress rule. Our stress rule is if it's a noun, then we stress the first one. If it's a verb, we stress the second one. So console should be a noun according to our rule, and console should be our verb. Is that right? Yes, it is. Thankfully, this one follows our rule. Yes. Yes. So let's match these with their meaning. Let's start with the verb console. Console. How are we saying that concussion UX sounds a lot like a schwa sound, right? Can, can, can, can console. And then we emphasize soul O, O sound can console. Okay? But if we stress this, oh, and by the way, to console someone is to make them feel comfortable. They feel sad. You say everything would be okay, It's going to be all right. Action of comforting someone who feels sad is consoling them. So if we stress the first one, then how is it going to sound? Console? So there it's the short O sound, clearly not concurrent, but Khan on it's still the o sound. It's the o sound, not the schwa sound. Schwa sound is a, this is a con con console. Console. Now does this become the schwa sound? No, it doesn't. It's still soul. It's still the o sound is still the long o sound, but it's not stressed. A console has a lot of different meanings, but one would be, for example, a type of gaming system like a PlayStation 5 or an Xbox as opposed to a PC. So you're either a PC gamer or you're a console gamer. The word that we use to describe the people who use that type of thing, like a Playstation or an antenna, switch or an Xbox. We describe those people as console gamers. Console gamers. So that is one of the meanings of console or in a finally, we have this one. Here we go. Object, object of GEC. Object. What's the difference? Pretty simple difference. Not a very strong difference except for the stress. So we know that the stress is different, is a different because one is a vowel and one is a verb. Yes. Thankfully, object is a noun. Object that is unowned. We're stressing the first syllable. And object. Object is a verb. Object object. This is the short O sound. And then checked. Checked. Now, is that the schwa sound? Object, object, no, that is the short e sound, so it's still checked. It's just not stressed. And an object is a thing. It's a physical, usually a physical thing. Thing that you have in your hand, a pencil, cup, light, it's an object, okay? And of course, object can have some other meanings as well. This is not a vocabulary course, that pronunciation course, if you want to look up the other meanings of these words, the dictionary is there. Now object, the verb form of this object, the verb form does have a schwa sound, so this is still checked a short e. But this OH, is the schwa. We're not saying jacked. We're saying a, a, a, a, a very short unstressed sound. Object, object. That is a verb, and it means to kind of protest something. If someone says I want to do this, you say I don't know, I don't want to do that. No, I I object. I object. Now that's quite formal. It's not that common in conversational English. But an objection is something that you will hear and I object is maybe something you've seen in movies before. It's a very common phrase in sort of formal situations, debates and in court rooms, for example. So that is a verb, and so we stress the second syllable. 36. Homographs | Part 2: Now some of the differences in pronunciation aren't because the words have different meanings there, because the words are different forms. Now, let me quickly explain what I mean by a form of a word. Well, I'm sure that you already know this, but you know the word run. What is run in the past? How about Ran? And we can also change the form for agreement. For example, he runs, we run. So that's the same as that, but this is the form that agrees with, for example, we, and he or she would be runs to agree. It's called subject-verb agreement. That is another form. And you could also say that running, running is a form and Runner are formed. They're all forms of the word Run. Now, these have the same pronunciation. This one, for example, in this one, it's the same. Obviously this one is different because the spelling is different, but RUN, RUN and I and G, are you ns? That's the same. What we're talking about here are words which change pronunciation when you change the form, although the meaning is still basically the same idea, it's the same word. And often these are going to be noun, verb differences. That means the noun has a different pronunciation compared to the verb. So let's go through these. This first one. Add the kit. Advocate. Advocate. Advocate. So which one do you think is the noun and which one is the verb? Advocate. Advocate is the noun, and advocate is the verb. An advocate is someone, it's a person, it's a noun for a person who really support something strongly and tells others about it. And they're really, really trying to push something out there so that other people know about it because they're a strong supporter. So they are in advocates. Now the pronunciation is add short a sound but stressed, stressed short a. This syllable add, add. And then that's definitely the schwa V of, of, of, of, of, of a advert. And then Kit, kit, kit. It's not Kate here, it's cut. Now that actually sounds more like an I sound. You could say that's a schwa vote kit via cut. I think it sounds a little bit more like an eye. Maybe it doesn't matter that much, but it is a very soft bucket, bucket, sound. Advocate. And then Kate is stressed. Advocate, advocate. This though verb adverb is the schwa sound, advocate, advocate. So that is the schwa sound. And then this Kate sound is the stressed syllable. That's the one that's stressed here, and it just means the verb of what the advocate does. So advocates advocate for things. That's what they do. All right, Let's move on to the next one. Now this one should be familiar and pretty easy to learn because the difference is quite simple. Use, use. Use. Use. All right, easy, right? The difference is the S sound. One is the unvoiced, and one is the, which one is, which use is the noun? Use is the noun. The noun is the one that has the unvoiced sound. And you know what that means, right? I don't need to tell you what this word means. It's probably the first word you learned in English. Use then is the more common one. Uses the one we use most often to use things I use this use that uses less common, but they have the same basic meaning. The meanings are closely related. They're tied together, but they're just different forms. The noun of use is use. So here maybe it helps to do the same thing where a verb here, verb is voiced, voiced, and z is voiced. So use the verb is voiced. If that helps you. Great, but just remember that the voiced one is the verb. Next. Address. Address, a dress. Dress. Okay, What's the difference here? It's the stress. And we also maybe hear a schwa there as well, right? Address we're stressing the first syllable. Is that a noun? Yes, it is. All right. Rule confirmed. Address, address, still the short a sound and then dresses the short e sound. But we're stressing the first syllable, address, adress, addressed. This is the verb. This one maybe has the schwa sound there instead of address, its address, adress, addressed. So we're stressing the second syllable and leaving the a kind of unstressed and almost unsaid addresses where you live, where are you? What is your address? If we address someone, we talk to them in a formal way, or perhaps we give a speech in front of others. She addressed the crowd after her hearing. That means she talked to them, she told them something, she passed them some information. So address noun, address, verb, difference in stress. Now this is a little different from the other ones we've been talking about because so far advocate and advocate because say meaning, use and use, say meaning. This one. Address where you live is not the same as talking to someone. And the reason is because there's an exception here. When you say she gave an address, she addressed the crowd. Notice that my pronunciation is the same, so that noun stresses the first syllable. But to give an address, an address in front of a group of people. That's also a noun, right? And a dress. But it's pronounced in the way of the verb. And you will see that sometimes, sometimes you'll see that because a pronunciation has been taken, then the noun form takes on the same pronunciation of the verb. And it's almost like, oh, well, yeah, but we're already using that pronunciation for where people live. So I'm sorry, adress noun. We can't let you take it because people might feel confused. So let's just keep the pronunciation the same as the verb. And say it's also a noun, so the pronunciation is the same. All right, next one. Invite, invite, invite, invite. All right, well, how about these two? Which one is the noun, which one is the verb? You know, by now? Invite, invite, that's the noun. And invite. Invite is the verb. And they do have the same basic meaning. And invite is when someone invites you, it's maybe card that you get in the mail and invite to a wedding and invite to an event. That's a noun. Invite, an invite. Yeah, I got your invite, stressing the first syllable, and then the second one unstressed. But still the long I sound, still along, i sound vite, vite, invite, but invite, invite. That one sounds a little bit more like the schwa. So you could say that invite, invite, invite, maybe close to the schwa or a very, very light short. I sound for that one. Next one. Graduate, graduate. Graduate. Graduate. So graduate is the verb grad, g weight. This is the short a sound. We're stressing the first syllable, graph, graph, and then Jew. Now notice that sounds like a j sound. We kind of pronounce it as a Jew. Sometimes the D sounds like a juh sound instead of a d, it's usually not pronounced. Graduate, graduate. Often, especially if a UE follows a D, It's not quite a rule. It's going to have the sound. So graph, Jew weight, Jew, weight to weight, Jew, wait, clear, You sound clear a sound, but not stressed. Graduate. That's the verb of finishing your education. And if you did that, what are you? You are a graduate. Graduate. Graduate. Graduate. So I guess the stress is not quite the different thing, is it? What's the difference? Well, the graph is still stressed. Graduate, graduate. The difference is instead of eight at the end, instead of eight. It's like IT short I sound gradually and this UX is also the same graduates, graduates. So that part is the same for both gradual, gradual, gradual. And then one is 81. Is it the noun? Is it the verb is eight. So if you did that, That's your action. Then you graduate with the long a sound. And if you are that fits the noun, then you are a graduate. Graduate with the short I sound. That's a kind of a different one, a weird one because the place of the syllable of the stress doesn't change for either form. The next one should be pretty easy for you. This one is house. House. How's how's okay. So I know you know the word house. So I'm not going to explain what it means. And I know that you know that a house is a noun. So the house with the unvoiced is the noun, and then house to house someone or to give them a place to live, perhaps that one. The verb form, whoo. So the S sound makes the voiced sound, which is the z sound. How's this as, as, as a pretty easy two more of these, pronunciation S to mate. Estimate, estimate, estimate. Familiar. Which one's the noun, which one's the verb? Well, remember we talked about graduate and graduate. Here we have the same kind of pattern. Estimate is the verb estimate, stressing, rest, rest, rest to short I sound mate, mate, verb. We're saying a clearly a TE or saying the long a sound, S to mate estimate. But when we say the noun form, which is the noun of this thing, and estimate is a kind of guess or an informed guess or maybe it's 35 people who were there yesterday, but I'm not quite sure. That's my estimate. That's the noun and that has the, its pronunciation. It if you guess, you estimate, if you made a guess, then you made an estimate. Same exact pattern as graduates. Last one. Rip cord. Record. Record. Record. Now, this one's pretty interesting for a specific reason. Obviously, we have our rule here where we stress the first syllable for the noun, wreck, wreck, record. And a record, for example, is a file that you have about something that happened before. Maybe you have a doctor's office and you look at the medical records, or perhaps it's a disc, big black disc that plays music. Maybe you've seen those, those are often called records, has several different meanings in the noun form. But notice that this is just the sound a record Kircher occur. It's just her, her. But when we stress the second syllable and we leave the first one unstressed, then it's going to be schwa sound. So the unstressed e then chord, chord. So we're not saying curd. We're not saying it like this before we said Rec Kurt, Kurt just her or ER AND, OR can have the same pronunciation. Can have the same pronunciation. Right? Like teacher, ER, and doctor. We're not saying Dr, right? We're saying Dr or her. Just her. But if we stress the syllable, then we probably won't say just vr, ir. Then it's going to take on the o sound more, more. Or it's going to sound like this one or not her. So it can make both the Earth sound and the sound. And here, when it's in the verb form to record, record, we have that clear or sound. That means of course, to take notes. Maybe that means to sit in front of a camera and make a course about pronunciation to record is what I'm doing right now. Of course, there are more examples of homographs out there. I wanted to give you a sense for how we can explore these. And hopefully now you've started to pick up not rules, but some patterns that might help you continue exploring these. You may have noticed, for example, how the S makes the sound here and here when it's a verb and that tends to be true kind of. So these patterns certainly can help. But most importantly, I hope that you can hear the differences between the sounds very clearly. And in fact, even more importantly, I hope that you can make the sounds clearly, that you can repeat those sounds after I say them and that now you will practice them. Write down the ones that are most difficult for you. Practice them in front of the mirror or record yourself saying them many times until you've really got them down so that they can become habits so that you don't have to think about them when you're actually using them. Next, we're going to be talking about homophones. This is something which is a similar idea. We've explored it a little bit with Cl OSC and ClO THE S. That's a homophone. We're going to talk about that next. It's pretty interesting and very useful. 37. Homophones: So now you know what homographs are. These are words that are the same in spelling, but different in pronunciation and different in meaning. Or perhaps the same in spelling and just different in pronunciation, but basically have the same meaning. Now we're going to talk about homophones. But what is a homophone? What is the difference between that and a homo graph? What is the basic difference? Will actually graph is usually related to writing. Phone is about sound, about listening. So you can probably guess these are words which have the same sound, the same pronunciation exactly, but which are spelled differently. Different spellings, same pronunciation. Why is it important to learn about these mean if the same pronunciation? Who cares, That's fine. The main reason we're talking about these is that we want to focus on sounds, something I've mentioned quite a few times throughout this course. We're focused on how things sound. And yes, you want to be able to pronounce words that you see on the page. That's of course very important. But the focus is on the sounds were trying to disconnect one word from one pronunciation. We're trying to instead say, what does my year here? What am I hearing? Oh, it sounds the same, but it must be different because they're different words. No, maybe not. Maybe they are exactly the same. Or as we will talk about in the coming lessons, maybe they're very close to the same, but not quite. Okay. So we're going to go through these fairly quickly, briefly, we don't need to spend too much time on these, and then we'll get into those small subtle differences. So here's what we'll do. We'll do the pronunciation onetime slowly and one time at regular speed, I'll leave a space for you. I want you to say the word out loud in that space. Are you ready? I'll do I'll do both of them even though they have the same pronunciation just so that we can get in that extra practice. Here we go. First one, close, close, Close, Close. Now, the technically correct pronunciation of this one is closed. This. But we're learning real native pronunciation and not technically what the pronunciation should be. I've talked about that several times. We don't actually say, Wait. Most native English speakers will say, wait, in this course you're learning real pronunciation, right? So most native English speakers are going to say, close by some close, I bought some close, close the door, close the door, and there's no difference between them. Next, I IL I0, I0, I0. And for this one, I S L E is also the same. So that is also a homophone for these two same pronunciation. Exactly. Now, do you hear the sound? Make sure, make sure when you say these that you don't say ale or something like that, It's got to be the I clear. I sound long. I sound and then all all you don't want to release the old though you don't want to say, I love LA. We don't say Look, just aisle, aisle. You would only release it if you have another word that starts with L, for example, I'll let you know. Notice I put the two L's together. I'll let you know. I'll let you know. Okay. Next one. Band. Band. Band. Band. I have a band. I'm in a band. I'm a singer in a band. Oh, my account was banned. Who? I think that movie might be banned in my country. Same pronunciation, even though it looks like this one should be pronounced differently. Remember our rule. If we have the voiced sound here, if we have the voiced last sound, then this will just be the same here except this is not following that rule because it's just the word that ends with a d. Next, choose, choose, choose. Choose same. Now you might say, well, wait a second, what about the W, right? Well, remember that words like this. We're not saying it in the same way that we would say w if it started with a W. If we say, we're, we're really pushing our lips out, why? But this one, we're not saying flu, we're not doing that. So this is more like that oh sound and more like that. You consonant e sound, right? That 2-SAT, just the oo sound. Choose and choose. Next one. Patients, patients, patients. Patients. Notice that the is the same and this is the same. This NTS is dense. So it really sounds the same as the CSE out. It's exactly the same. So as I've said several times, we don't always pronounce t When we see a T. If a word starts with a T, Then yeah, usually it will be. Sometimes in the middle, often in the middle of a word it will be but sometimes not. There'll be that light d sound we talked about. If it's the end of a word, we will stop our voice instead of saying the sound, instead of saying, we'll say, wait, wait, you stop. Your voice. Has weight. Weight. Often, if t is at the end of a word, then we will say it like that. It can also be in combinations of letters like this, NTS. Often when you say this at the end of a word or you have this at the end of the word, it's going to sound like this. Just so I know that sounds a little weird, but nobody will say. Patient says, no. No, nobody will say that. Okay, here we go. Guest. Guest. Guest. Guest. So what is this sound saying? Is this UE? Does it always say no, but here it is, just the short e sound. Remember the short e sound is a, a, a, a. So guest, Guest, it's the same short e as this one, except the S and the T are flipped around. Guest gets, guest gets, right, so it's just flipped around, but it's the same beginning. Get, get. Even though it's you eat, there's no way. There's no gray here where I would usually be something like GW EN that would be pronounced when then you would have 1, 1, 1, then you would have that or q, u equal Cu question, Qu question, then you have that strong woo, woo sound, but not always in this case. Just a short e Next, allow. Allowed. Allowed. Allowed to think aloud and think just thinking aloud. Sorry. What if we thinking alone allowed? Yeah, you can do that. You are allowed to do that. You're allowed to do that. No differences in stress, no differences in tone or anything like that. They're exactly the same. O, w, e, d, and OUD. What do we hear? Their 00, 00, 00, 00, 00, 00. We've talked about that sound, right? It's the same sound. Make sure you say that if it's allowed or something like that, that's not correct. Make sure you do that. Ooh. Ooh. How how loud allowed, allowed. Next one. C are real Cereal. Cereal. Cereal, a serial number. What's the serial number of that product? Could you check the serial number? Or my favorite thing to eat for breakfast is serial. What's your favorite cereal? Coco puffs, that's my favorite cereal. So here, this c makes a soft sound. Why? It's followed by an E. That's why. And this, because this is the same as S, is pronounced just like the unvoiced S. Okay, last set here. Thank you already know this one, but hey, it kinda do it. Genes, genes, genes, genes. I bought a pair of jeans on sale. Things where there's nothing I can do about my genes. That's just the way I look. Your DNA, right? Okay, same pronunciation and look G followed by ys. So that's going to be the soft G, which is the same pronunciation as j. Remember sometimes George can be pronounced with a J or it can be pronounced with a G because George is spelt G, E, O, R, G. Now of course there are so many more of these. My suggestion would be to go look up a long list of homophones. I don't want to go through thousands of these because that's not what this course is about. This course is really to give you the tools to take your pronunciation to the next level. You can very easily just look up a list of these with pronunciation that you can listen to anywhere. You can search it online, pretty easy to find, and if you're interested in this, you can learn all of them. So now we're going to get into the real meat of this section. In the next lesson, we're going to be talking about words which sound almost, almost the same, very close pronunciation. And that's going to really help us find those subtle differences that can give us that extra 5% to sound really, really natural. So I'll see you in the next lesson. 38. Similar Vowel Sounds | Part 1: In this lesson, we're going to be talking about words that sound almost the same. And we're going to be focusing on vowel sounds. But we're going to kind of go in a chain for each of these lines. Each of the lines here will kind of be a chain of words that will help us explore small differences between each one. So the first and the last one might be kind of far away, but they're going in a specific order because I want to give us a feeling of exploration through these sounds. Now we're going to talk about each of these line by line. First, I'm going to tell you what the basic sound is, the sound we're going to focus on for that word. And then we're going to read through the line once slowly and once at regular speed with a space in between, of course, for you to pronounce the word. So this first one, we're going to have, what do you think? It's got the e, right? So this one is going to be long. The long You sound. This one is going to be our o w sound. This is going to be the long o sound. This is going to be the long e sound. This is going to be the short a, the short a sound. And this is going to be the short, short I sound. Okay? So they start with the same, this line starts with the same letters and we have to just listen carefully. Pronunciation is not, as I've talked about, not all about. What do you say? How do you say it? It's that too. That's what we're trying to do really in this course. We're trying to create a link between this thing and this thing, which may have been missing before or maybe not developed enough before. Now remember, you have to put in the work. So once we go through these, I really hope for the ones that are really difficult for you, you will make your own lists to practice. Very, very important to do the mirror practice or record yourself practicing. So here we go. Are you ready? Flute. Flute, flout, flout, Float, Float, flea, flee, flat, flat, flipped, flit. Now if you're struggling with, for example, I can't quite hear clearly the difference between flat and flit. Flat and flit. Well then that's a vowel sound issue that you need to work on. What is the sound, how do you make it exactly? If what you say doesn't match what I say. If it's not close and these two sound the same when you say them, then you need to work on that. Master the sound and master the sound. When you say the sound, the mouth is more open, right? When you say the sound, your mouth is a little more narrow and your lower jaw is slightly, slightly pushed forward. If it is flat, flit, then if you really want to get crazy, you can read through the whole line at regular speed. And then once you get good, you could speed it up a little bit. That can get that muscle memory going. Muscle memory is the thing that you need when you're in a conversation to say it automatically. That's the goal, right? So try saying it at regular speed all the way through and then speed it up, but makes sure that it's perfect. Each time. Flute, flout, float, flee, flat, flit, fluid flout, float, flee flat flip. Kinda tough to do very quickly. That is called a tongue twister when you're saying something very quickly as a way to work on your pronunciation, but you have to be careful when you do it. You gotta do it right? Kinda make sure all the sounds are correct. Before we go to the next line, one small point I just want to mention. Notice I said flute and flout and not flute and flout. So I did that because that is correct. It is the correct pronunciation of the word. And because we're focusing on more the vowel sounds here, I could have just as easily said. And in a conversation, most native English speakers would say, flute, flout, float, flee, flat, flip. And notice there that I'm not saying I'm not saying that t What I'm doing is stopping my voice. It's called the stopped T float. Float, float, float. So it's not wrong to say float. It's fine when you're saying words individually can actually be good to say it. That way when you're pronouncing a word, one word at a time. But in a conversation, often it will be flute, float. All right, so let's look at our next line here. This will be the long a sound. This is going to be long. This is going to be long. This is going to be our AW, aw, aw, aw sound, which is also the same as often the AU sound. Ah, ah, ah, ah, this one is going to be the long o. This one is going to be the same as the o sound, oil. Oil. This one is going to be the same as x2, same as my name. And this one is going to be the long e sound, the long e. So here we go. Say, say psi, psi saw, saw. So, so soy, soy su, su Si. Si. Okay? Now one common mistake is this one and this one together. Often saying in the same way, I say something, I psi sounds too much like a, an, a sound. It's not quite right. It's got to be a clear i e, Remember the eye pronunciation that long I, I, I, I e, E, I say psi saw. So soy su see, say psi saw. So soy su see, I'm not actually that great at tongue twisters. They're a little difficult for me. Although the Peter Piper one is, I can do Peter Piper picked a peck, optical peppers. Alright, now let's look at this next set here. These look very similar, but they're actually very different. This is going to be voiced. And this is just going to be the long o sound. The whole thing. Just going to be the long o sound. So it's going to be voiced this th, and then logo. This one is not going to be the long o at all. This is unvoiced here. And then we have the r and then the 0, 0. So like this one, same as this one. That oo sound, this one, even though it's o w, is not going to have the same o w sound as this, right? This is our, our, our sound. This is not throw around. No, no. This is going to be the long o sound. This one is going to be the, just the long o sound. Sometimes o w be o w, remember is going to be long. Oh, this one FLRW. You remember this one, right? This will be what? This will be our 00, 00, 00 sound, boo, boo, boo. And what about this one? This one is going to be like this one that we talked about, that aw sound. This is going to be like are a U sound. Okay, so let's try these slowly and then regular speed though. Though. And in fact, some people, when they text message, they'll just write that like that though. And it makes sense, right? Because that's how it's pronounced. This one. Through. Through. Okay. That's unvoiced. Sound. Make sure that's unvoiced. And then make sure that R is their third. Third, third through, okay? Throw, throw. Now, make sure that these two are different. Be careful with those. This is 0, this is 0. That's the only difference. By the way. This is ooh, this is o, the beginnings are the same. Okay? This one. Flu. Flu flaw. Flaw. Okay, So the flu and flow, make sure for flu, your lips are pushed forward a bit. Woo, flu, flu. And when you say the aw sound, remember that your mouth is more open. Ah, ah, it's not the o sound. Oh, oh, oh, no. Ah, ah, ah, so flu and fly. Okay. Let's read through them one time though. Through throw, flu flaw though, through throw flu flaw though through thorough flu flow. Okay, practice that one until you get it perfect. It's got to be perfect. Gotta make it a habit. Next group, here we go. This is going to be, I think you can guess, this is going to be the long e sound. It's the name of a place. This is going to be the long e sound and then the long a sound. So long and long here. It's not Crete, even though sometimes E and a together make the e sound like MCAT meet, right? Well, in this case it's going to be yea, yea, and there we have a little, tiny little y sound to notice. Yay, yay. Okay. And then this one is going to be just the long a sound. So let's try these one at a time. Crete. Crete. Create, create, crate, crate. Now these two are really close. So be careful about that E. Make sure that E is in there. This has no effect. There's no EA, it's just crazy, crazy, crazy, crazy, like crazy, right? This is create, create and make sure that little sit, little tiny Y sound in there. Makes sure that is there. Okay. Crete. Create crates. And you could say, of course, as with the ones we talked about at first, create, create, crate without the sound. And that is actually probably more common in regular spoken English. Create, create, create, create, create crate. Don't force yourself to go fast. You don't have to read it quickly. If you want to just practice them slowly, as long as you do it many times and you have a really good list, speed is not very important. I don't want to push you to do it fast, that's fine. If it's not fast, important thing is, is you get it right, right, like piano. Play correctly, perfectly master that focus on mastering it. Don't focus on speed. 39. Similar Vowel Sounds | Part 2: All right, Now let's look at this next group. This one certainly looks like it would be phi, right? Because we have the EIA, you'd guess maybe feed. But actually no, this is going to be the short e sound. And that's very weird. This is going to be the short e sound there. This one is going to be the long, the long a sound. This is going to be the short. The short a sound. Not the short a sound, but the, ah, short a sound. The one that's very close to ah, the short O sound, right? This one then will be the short O sound. Ah, ah, ah, ah, ah. Okay, So and also make sure that you pronounce the d very clearly. This is different because it has a D. Alright, so let's go through these one-by-one. Fed their feather. Fader, fader, father, father, fodder. Fodder. Now remember we're focusing here on the vowel sounds. So what about these two phyla? Father, fodder, try to get that difference right. Father, father, father. This one, clear a sound. So it's not too difficult. Fei, a fader, that a Y, AY, long a sound, a feather. Make sure this is voiced. And this is voiced. And just because this has two Ds, doesn't mean it's longer or something. It's the same pronunciation, right? So feather fader, father, father, feather fader, father, father k. Now this next set might be a little tricky. It is a little tricky, not super easy, this one. So it'll be very careful because we have a couple of difficult points. The w sound, what? We'll be careful not to start the w sound. Ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh. Know, the W sound starts gently. It can't be word. It's gotta be word for word. Whoa, whoa has this natural ramp up. And it's very important because otherwise it sounds too hard. If we say, oh, no, it's not right, it can't start suddenly like that. It's got to be, it's gotta be right to do it. You have to really push your lips forward so that they almost close, but not quite. What you can feel, the vibration in your cheeks when the air is coming out in a sort of narrow stream. Your lips, right? So that's how the W starts for these words. Remember I said that OR can be the same as ER. That is true here. This one is kind of a weird one. We have to be a little careful of this set because R does weird things to vowels. It gets kind of blended with the vowels. It gets mixed up with the vowel sounds. And so because it is kind of an open sound, the Earth, it's war. If it's worth, if its ear, if it's R, if it's, or it gets kind of blended together, it's hard to separate them. It does funny things to vowels are, does this one is actually going to sound more like or like OR, or by itself or, or. This one is going to be long enough. This one is going to be a kind of short sound. A short sound, not the oo sound that we talked about. Not the LLC IU, not the f, o, d, ou, not the GLA, UI, UX. These make the same Wu long sound. This is a shorter sound, which goes woo. Woo. You have to push your lips forward when you say it, 0, 0, 0. But because it's after the W, it's going to be woo, woo, it's going to be very careful with that one. Now you might be wondering, well, what about a word like this? Does it sound the same? Ou, this OU. Yes, these two are homophones, wood and wood. They sound the same even though this is an L, This is a silent L. They are homophones. And this one is going to be a short. Short a, ah, ah, okay, So let's go through them. Word for word. Ward. Ward. Weird. Weird. Would would maybe that 11 more time. Why did would wad? Wad? Okay. Just be very careful about this one that it's short the sound. And be careful that this one sounds like or, or war, even though it's AR, it's weird. I know word ward, weird would wad word ward, weird would wad word, word weird. Woodward. Alright, now let's take a look at the next group. This is going to be a slightly odd, long o sound. And it's going to be odd because of this combination of the L and the k, it's going to be OK. Ok, So we have to go directly to the L, Okay? This one is going to be long. This one is going to be, for some people, a schwa sound, and for some people a short I sound. They'll actually say it as focus with a sort of I pronunciation, short I pronunciation is probably the most common one. This one is going to be short. This one will be our a U sound that we're familiar with. The, ah, ah, remember that? And this will simply be the, OR sound, not the ER, Saudi or sound. Okay, Now, before we go through these, there are actually two common ways to pronounce this. One is with the l, k, s sound, and one is just the o sound. So Oaks, making the L sound, pushing your tongue up to where the L is, the Olmecs. But a lot of people will just say it like folks, folks, folks and have no l sound at all. Both are very common. So just be aware that there are two common ways to pronounce it. So here we go. Folks. Folks or folks. Folks. Focus. Focus. Fox, Fox, Fox, fox, forks. Forks. Now these two are dangerously close. Let's talk about the differences between these because they're so close together. One, fox, fox, fox. This one, just make sure to have that. Ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah. So for this one, that sound is critical to make it clear what you're saying. I know it's very small difference. I know it's very subtle, but you have to be able to hear that difference and copy that and get that sound right. Fox, Fox, Fox, fox, very close, dangerously close, but not homophones. So let's read through them. Folks. Focus Fox, Fox forks. Those are fun, right? Folks. Focus Fox, fox forks. Folks focus Fox, fox forks. Practice those. Let's go to the next set. This is our a U sound. This is our a new sound or a w sound. This is our a as in apple sound. Path at Apple sound. This is a different short a that at not the father, father, father, but the apple, apple, this is going to be a short you. But sometimes it's said so short that it goes from P to L, almost making The US sound a schwa sound almost. And I know I said that you don't have schwa sounds in one syllable words, right? But it's very close because you're going directly from P to L. And this one is going to be, as you know, long a sound. Now for these two, the difference, I want you to just make sure that you say the l, because otherwise there is no difference. This is the same, a new sound as this one has. So make sure the L is there, otherwise, people will hear the same thing. Make sure your tongue ends in the 00, 00, 00 position. Your tongue is pushed up against the back of your teeth. When you say that o, and the air is going on either side of your tongue as it leaves your mouth. 0, 0, It's gotta be there. Of course, we need to make the l sound for all of these words except for this one. So just make sure that you're not saying it for that one. Here we go. Paul. Paul. Paul. Paul pow, pow, pull, pull. Pale. Pale. By the way, my brother's name is Paul. It's my brother's name. Alright. Now let's go through them together. Paul. Paul pal, pole, pale. That's really not much of a U, is it? Pulpal? It's almost not there, trying to go directly from the p to the l and you can't help but make the u sound on the way there, but you're not trying to focus on it. It's not like Paul. Paul, No. It's very fast. Pull pull. You wouldn't go as fast as you can from the p to the l. Immediately pull, pull, pull as quickly as possible. Paul, Paul, palpable, pale, paul, Paul palpable, pal, alright. The final set Are you're ready. Now the interesting thing for these is that this one, we would expect it to be long, right? The long o because ONE, right? No, this is the short u sound. It's not even a short O sound is the short u sound. This one is the long You sound, or the oh sound. This one is the short u sound. This one is the long o sound. This one is the O W sound that we've talked about now many times. Okay, when you're doing these, make sure that this one is the short one, and this one is the long one. But make sure this is the short u sound, even though it's spelled with an O, just because it's spelled with an O doesn't mean it has to be pronounced with an OH. Okay, and then for this, it should be pretty easy. Just make sure your mouth is relaxed here of the short u has that almost dead face sound. You're very relaxed, relaxed jaw. And this one is not that oo sound we've talked about up here. It's that oo sound, that e w, e w sound. And we of course now know owl. Okay, Done. Done. Dune, dune, son, son. Soon, soon. Sound. Sound. Now by now we've had a lot of practice with these sounds, these vowel sounds. So my hope is that with all this practice you've been doing and we've been doing together. This last set is pretty easy. I've been practicing a lot. These sounds are getting, getting very easy for me. I'm able to get that sound that I want to have. That's my hope. One interesting thing here is that S ON and SUN are homophones. They sound exactly the same, same pronunciation. Sun, sun, sun x1, x1, x1, x1, x1. So just pay attention to the sound over the spelling. Don't let the spelling tell you what to do. Let instead your ear, teach you the pronunciation and then link it back to the spelling so that you know how to say it when you see it on a page. Now that we've explored mostly vowel sounds in these similar sounding words, in the next lesson, we're going to look at another whole group. In the next lesson, we're going to focus on consonant sounds. So I'll see you in the next one. 40. Similar Consonant Sounds | Part 1: In this lesson, we're going to continue talking about very similar words and sounds. Last time we talked about and focused on mostly vowel differences. In this lesson, we're going to be focusing on consonant sounds, consonant differences, mostly. Now what I mean by consonant sounds is not only the letters themselves, but also, for example, combinations of letters that make the same sounds, like pH makes the sound same as f, rights, but also those sounds which are made when you pair two consonants together. And it creates a new sound like CH, CH, that is a combined sound. A combined sound which creates a new sound. Sh would be a good example. So we'll include those two and we're going to do what we did last time. It's going to be the same thing. Remember that we're looking at these so that we can hear and say the small differences between words, the small differences between sounds, because those subtle differences are the things that will make you sound much more natural, especially if they become habits. For this first row, we have m words, they're all one syllable words. Some of them are short o sounds and some of them are short, you sounds. But we're really focusing on the consonant sounds. That's our main focus here. This one is going to be an unvoiced S sound is a simple sound. This one will also be unvoiced. Unvoiced. Th, if you say those quickly, they can sound very, very similar. Gotta make sure to stick your tongue out for this one. Then you have the also unvoiced sh, sound, ssh. So this can sound pretty close to th, sometimes if it said rather quickly. And remember for all of these it's ah, ah, ah, the short O sound. Now this one is going to be the same as this one except for the u sound. So they're side-by-side and the difference is only the vowel sound. But we do that so that we can transition into a new set of consonant sounds. So we have the MU SH unvoiced than MU CH unvoiced and then MUL CH, this is unvoiced, but we have to make sure to say the l sound. Clearly. This is an, this is an this is on, we make sure that this one is really, really clear because if it's not, it will sound too much like this one. Just gotta make sure you put your tongue in the L position, 0, 0, 0, before sliding it to the CH sound. And actually, this might become this, you might become close to an unstressed, totally unstressed, almost schwa sound. Well, we'll go through it. So let's read through these one at a time. Here we go. Moss, Moss, moth, moth, Marsh, marsh, mush, mush, much, much mulch. Mulch. Okay, now we're going to go through the whole thing one more time, but just make sure you've got these two perfectly because they can be so close. Moss moth, moths, moths, can you hear that difference? And then these too much mulch, much mulch. Mulch noticed that actually for much we focus, we're just making a normal use sound. But here we're not focusing on the EU at all. We're trying to go from the M to the L almost as quickly as possible. It's almost like we don't want to say the US l are trying to go from 0 to 0, almost directly, mole, mole, mole. And that u sound is not a model. It's not like that. It's very, very fast, very, very light. So it's kind of a schwa. Moss moth mosh, Much, much mulch. Moss moth mosh much, much mulch. That's probably as fast as I can say it without messing it up. It is kind of like a tongue twister. So if you want to use any of these or from the last one as tongue twisters, you can just, just make sure they're perfect. Okay, next one. This is the sound that we've talked about many times that OU, OU or o w sound, the ow, ow sound, and this one is the same. This is going to be the owl sounds. So these two will be the same except for the W and the v sound. Make sure when you say that w. You push your lips forward very close together and you can feel the wind coming out in a straight line. Okay, and then for the v, We want to make sure that the bottom lip touches the top teeth. We don't have to do this. And put the bottom lip inside the mouth. You just touch lightly the bottom lip, the inside of the bottom lip to the top teeth. Wgu, and make sure it vibrates. These two are going to be the same, EN T sound e, n, t and t short e. And again, we just have the difference between UX and UI and UX. So same kind of thing that we're trying to learn here. The difference between the W and V have to be able to get that one. Perfect. This is the same row, row, row. This W just enforces that. So it's not going to change much. If it were just R0, that would be pronounced ROE. Roe pronounced ROW, ROW, pronounced row, row, row, row. Those are homophones. Okay, we have arrived at the end, so that's the same two. Again, the key difference is WU or VCU, or VCU, or VCU. And you've got to make sure you know which one is which, so that you're saying it correctly. All right, Here we go. Wow, wow, wow. Wow. Wow. Vent. Vent. When int Went rover, rover, row or rower. Okay. Now, for some people, those are pretty easy. For some people. Not think as long as you pay attention to your lips, what you're doing with this part of your mouth. For these two sounds, you'll be okay. Onetime, straight through, well, a couple times, straight through. Wow, vowel vent Went rover rower. Wow, vowel vent went rover rower, wow, vent went rover. Our o, I think that one is a tongue twister is pretty fun, not too difficult. I find this one to be actually more difficult as a tongue twister. Ok, now this one we're focusing on mostly the d and the t difference. D t can be very close. D t, the letters are different, but inside words, they can sound very, very close. Listen to this. The, the, what's the difference? Well, the main difference is for the I'm adding my voice and four. I'm not. So is unvoiced and d is voiced. Otherwise, these are the same Ir sound. This is the long I, this is a long i. And then we have the earth, the earth sowed. Make sure when you say the sound that your tongue is curled up toward the back of your mouth. Now, what about when the D or the T is the last sound in the word? This gets a little bit tricky. So the row is the same here as rho. They're spelled differently of course, but pronunciation is the same. It's row, it's row, it's row, it's row, it's row. That's it. But then we have an interesting difference. This must have a kind of D sound. Even if we're holding it, if we just say the word will say road, road. Do you hear that? At the end there? That's very important because if you don't do that, it sounds like just row, just row. So make sure that even if you don't release the D that you do put your tongue in the deep position and push against it a little bit. It's gotta be there or else people will notice road, right? Then this one, you want to make sure that you're making either the t sound at the end if you're going to pronounce it like that, wrote, or you stop your voice. Hut, hut. Now it might be more common if you're reading a whole sentence, if you're saying a whole sentence to stop the voice at the end. So we'll try it both ways and see how it sounds. Then again, we're doing a beginning with of course, unvoiced and the voiced, but otherwise it is just the long e sound. And then the er sound, ear, ear, ear, just like EAR. That's why they're spelled this way. Ear, ear. Okay, here we go. Dyer. Dyer tyre, tyre road. Road. Wrote, wrote or wrote. Wrote. Tier. Tier. Dear, dear. Now this has another pronunciation which is tear with the a sound, but we're talking about the T-H sound here. So of these, the one to probably focus on most is this, these two because of this stopped t and because we're not releasing the D road road, if you say road by itself and it's not wrong. But if you're speaking conversationally, most people will just say road, I got on the road or leaving, we're getting on the road. Okay. And for this one, most people will not say wrote. They will say wrote, wrote, I wrote a letter, I wrote a letter. Or if it's connected to something else, it'll be a light d sound. So straight through dire, tire, rode wrote tier, dear, diary, tire rode wrote tear, dir die or tire road, road tear dear. Okay. All right, good. Let's keep going. Now we're focusing on m and n. And these are especially tricky when you're trying to talk on the phone and explain something to somebody, because people will often miss here these because on the phone It's hard to tell, is it or and in fact, sometimes if you can't see a person, you really can't tell. So you have to judge what they're saying based on the context of the situation or the word that it must probably be. But the clear difference between m and n is just m. Has your mouth closed completely using your voice. It's the easiest sound to make, I think. Hmm, that's all it is. Now, n is a little trickier because you have to use your tongue. The tongue goes up against the roof of your mouth and the air must all come out through your nose. It does also with m, but for a different reason. One because you're blocking it with your mouth, the other because you're blocking it with your tongue. So that's the only difference for these two, just the difference in sound. Otherwise, they're totally the same. Now, this one is interesting because we have two interesting differences. We have to be careful about these two, right, in the same way. But also listen for this. I'm not going to say this as if I wanted to. I could, but I'm going to actually use the light d sound. And so it's going to sound very similar here to this one. These two are going to be very close. You might not be able to tell the difference. Often native English speakers will not even say them differently. They'll say this sound when you change the t to a light d sound, the same as they say the regular d sound. All right, Now these two are the same. This is the long o, the o, except for this difference at the start of the word. Okay? Same, same thing, same sound as these over here. Let's go through these. Home. Home. Hone hone, nettle metal. Metal. Metal. Noon noon. Moon. Moon. Okay. Now some people will say here, nettles, nettles, nettle and it's not wrong to say it. So I want to be clear. Whenever I use the stop T like vent or I say for example, wrote or rote. They're both right. Both of them are correct. Which one is more common kind of depends on where you are, but I would say the light D in this case is more common and the stop tea here is more common. Now let's go through the whole thing. Home. Hone, nettle, metal, noon moon, home, home, nettle metal, noon moon. Home home metal-metal noon moon. Okay. Practice those. Let's go to the next 11 of the things I always get questions about is the ON or ING IN or ING a can't hear the difference between these. I can't say the difference between these. And I know it can be tough, especially if, for example, the ING is right at the end of the word because it kind of stops. Or the O and G is at the end or the UNGA is at the end, and it usually is. So that's what makes it very tough. So really the best way to get this as to hear them side-by-side. And that's what we're going to talk about now. So let's look at the first one, T O N G U E. By the way, we don't say q here. This is just going to be pronounced the same as we would pronounce SUN G. It's going to be pretty much the same, the same sound. But what is it compared to this? This is also going to be a U sound. Well, I mentioned this earlier in the course, but when you say this one, whether it's ING or UNGA, or whatever, you're going to bring the back of the tongue. This is your tongue front, back. You're going to bring the back of your tongue up to block the air up against the back of the roof of your mouth so you bring it up and then all the air goes out. When you say the end sound, it's the front of the tongue which comes up to block the air. That's the difference. This, or this, this, or this. And you can't hear it very easily when you say, for example, on, on, on, on, on, on, right, That's pretty hard to hear the difference. It's not very easy, but a good way to practice it is to release the sound after it, to really emphasize the release. For example, Ana, Ana, not, not there. You can really hear the difference clearly. So if you stop like you normally would if you were speaking, it's just on, on, on, on. And you have to do it like that because people will notice. But when you're practicing, it's more like on, on, on, on, on not. And there I think it's very easy to hear the difference. You should hear it really, really clearly. So just stress the focus on the release of the sound when you're practicing. Now, let's go through these pairs of words that can hopefully give us a better feeling for these two sounds. So this one is, I mentioned is going to be the short u, and we're not going to pronounce that. This one is going to be just the n sound at the end. Make sure to bring up the front of the tongue. Then this one is going to be the short O sound, the short sound with the knot at the end. And this one is going to be the long e sound and it's going to have the yeah, yeah, yeah. At the end as well. Then this one we're going to bring up at the front of the tongue so it'll sound different. This'll be in a singing, singing. This one will be in, in, in, in, in, in, in, in, in, in, singing, singing in an, in an init. Listen for those two differences. The ER is the same for both of these, and then this one, make sure you say the short, short u sound, the short short use sound. But this one will be unknown. And this one will be on none, none, none, none. See how if you say it several times like that, you start to feel it a little, a little bit more and hear the difference more clearly. All right, Here we go. Tongue. Tongue. Tn, tn. Tong, tong. Singer. Singer, sinner, center. Stung, stung, done, stun. Okay. How is that? If you feel a little lost and you feel like you can't hear the difference. Just practice the repetitive sound for each of these until you can hear the difference, until you can feel the difference. Just practice on none, none, none, none, none, none, none, none. And you might feel silly doing it, but if I can do it, you can do it. Okay. And for this one practice in bringing in in, in a singing in an inch, It's ridiculous. It's silly. But it, it, it will help you. You'll get the feeling for it and you'll have a little realization and it'll be much, much easier. Okay, onetime through tongue, ton, Tang, singer, sinner, stung stun. Tongue, tongue tang singer, sinner stung stun tongue, tongue tang singer centers. Dung's done. All right, good. 41. Similar Consonant Sounds | Part 2: We've worked on these first two. We've already kind of practice these. So this should be, this should be sort of review for you, but we're going to really focus on the sounds of THS and THS, th, c or Ts. They're either very close or the same. The THS and the THS are the same here. But we're going to be focusing on saying the n sound. We need to make sure the, the voiced and is there, this is going to be a short u sound, and this is going to be a short O sound. This is going to be just the OR, just or, or, or. And then we have the th, the unvoiced th, and we could add S to it because that's also a word. So we could say that like we say this one just like that. Then we have c0, which is going to be just like the unvoiced S. Remember the unvoiced s? Very simple sound. And then this is going to be a bit different. This is tough because we can't just say force. We have to make sure that t gets in there. But in a special way, we generally don't say fort no, no. It's going to be a kind of stop before the S. Remember we talked about the stop t ven, ven, ven, or wrote, wrote, wrote. This is going to be forte, forte. Forte Instead of forte, forte. But we can't just stop at Fort. We have to go on to say the S. So it's going to be four. It's four suits. So you make the T-H sound, but it's not focusing on the t sound, it's focused on the stop. And then the t sound combined with the S sound. And if we have a word like this, It's a similar thing. Su ITS suits, suits. We're not saying suit to know. We're not saying the tea that strongly, but it's not just Seuss SUSE, because if we say SUSE, Seuss SUSE, that's obviously a different, That's the name of a famous author. It's not the same thing. There's got to be that stop. And then that It's it's it's a hard beginning. It's a sudden beginning that turns directly into the unvoiced sound. It's, it's trying to make a good sound would be the sound of a symbol. If you're a drummer and you hit a symbol that just make that sound, cysts, pushing the tongue outward after the placement of the t toward the S. That's all it is. Okay, so let's go through these one slowly. Once regular moths, moths, months, months for fourth. And let's add fourths. Fourths, similar to this challenge here. And this one. Force, force for fourths. How do you do on these difficult, easy, not too bad. Hopefully you got this one. And this one, I would say these two are probably the hardest based on my experience of working with English learners, these are the hardest to months and four months. So that's sound. You gotta focus on that. All the way through. Moths, months forth, fourths, fourths, fourths. Moths months forth fourths, fourths, fourths. And I'm adding in here the one with the S just because I want to give an extra challenge. Moths months forth, fourths, fourths, fourths. Hey, not too bad. I did it. Yes. All right, The next set should be very familiar to you. We've worked on these sounds and the differences between them. So I don't want to spend too much time talking about the differences. You know, the z sound is the sound but voiced. That's it. And you've got to make sure that it is sustained vibration, meaning that you can continue it if you want to for 10 seconds. And it's not the sound. Gotta be careful about that. And then of course we have the basic sound CSC together is also. So these should be hopefully by now, pretty easy for you. Here we have it in the middle, in the middle, at the end. The end, at the start and at the start, and we're focusing on the S and the Z sound. Of course remember that the S can make the z sound if it is usually at the end of a word or sometimes in the middle. Are you ready? Muzzle. Muscle muscle muscle, fuzz. Fas fas. Zack. Zack. Sac. Sac. All right. How are those? Now let's go through the whole thing. Muzzle, muscle, fas fas, Zach, sac. It's a pretty good tongue twister muscle muscle fas fas Zach, sac. Pretty good. Not too bad. Next, here we go. What's the difference between these? We've also spent some time on these sounds. We know that j sound, we know that it is not a sustainable sound. It's and can't go on forever. But this one we've talked about is one of those sustained vibrations. And we should be able to carry it on for five seconds if we need to. So that's what we're working on for these, except for these last two which are going to compare that sustained vibration sound with the SH sound. This is going to be SH, this is going to be our sustained vibration sound. And this is going to be the j sound because look, it's followed by an eye. Remember that rule. This is going to be our sustained vibration sound. This is going to be the regular j sound that we know, and this is going to be the sustained vibration sound. Alright, so let's go through these one at a time. Genre, genre. John. John lesion, lesion, legion, legion, Azure. Azure. Sure. Sure. Now I want to make sure that you can hear this. What if this were another word, but with the sound, then it would be John. John. So what would be the difference there? John, John. John. John. Can you hear that? John? Softer, right? John. John. That's harder, judge. Judge. Judge, Azure jump, jump, jump, jump, jump. Gotta be able to hear that sound. And it's the same thing for this one, G. Leisure, leisure, and this is lead. Lead gen can almost picture a tiny little D somewhere in that sound. There's a, there's a, there's a D and little d wrapped up somewhere in that sound. And maybe holding that in your mind can help, can help a little bit. Okay, so let's go through the whole thing. Genre. John lesion, legion Azure assure genre. John lesion, legion Azure assure genre John legion, legion Azure assure. All right, last one. What are we talking about for the last one? This one is a little complicated to even say what exactly we're working on. But one of the things that we need to focus on is how vowel sounds interact with the letter R. There are some very interesting interactions that vowels have with R. Because R, it in some way is like a vowel because it's kind of open. Like a vowel is open. It's not using the lips really are. It has air flowing through it, so it has some characteristics of a vowel in that way. So we need to look at how it interacts with long sounds. This will be long, short sounds, this will be short. And when we say the short sound, It's almost like we're going to cancel the US sound. It's not going to be there. Basically, we need to look at it with the, OH, this is going to be the short O sound, but it's going to sound just like this word OR. And then interestingly, with the W, you have this one plus or, and this is going to be exactly like it looks, were, but excludes the E. It's like we go directly from w to r were, were, were, were, and we don't try to say the E at all. But here we have p and b. Make sure when you say B, the baba, baba, baba is voiced and the GPA is unvoiced. But that's the main difference between those two. And then this one at the end, we have the l sound in here. Also. This is going to be the o sound. This is going to be bot, and this is going to be Bao. Bao, Bao. Remember our two pronunciations of this? Okay? So let's go through these one at a time. First. Pure, pure per, per pore, pore. Pow, War. Power. Bow or Bauer bowler. Bowler. For these makes sure you're really focusing on that. Ow sound out, wow, pow, pow, pow, pow. And this one, Bao, Bao, Bao. The only difference is the B and the P Bao Bao. And then the earth sound is just that or without the or sound or anything else. And this one looks the same as this one, but it has the important difference of not being out but instead, oh, all right, let's go through the whole thing. Pure Per poor power Bauer bowler, pure per pore, power Bauer bowler. Now that we've covered similar consonant sounds, now that we've covered similar vowel sounds, words that sound close, my hope is that you're starting to feel more confident in your ability to hear first and make second. These sounds very important, but you have to take it from here. To take it from here, you have to make your own lists. Be responsible. Make your lists the ones that you struggle with. Be creative, come up with a schedule and really commit yourself to practicing. If you do it, it shouldn't take you that long to make great progress, but you have to be dedicated and you have to be consistent. If you do something for two days and give up for two weeks and then do it for two days. It's not going to work. You've got to have consistency. If you have any questions about any of these, let me know. We're going to now go on and talk about similar phrases before we get to the last section of the course. 42. Similar Phrases: In this lesson, we're going to talk about phrases that sound almost the same. Now the value in these is the same as what we've been talking about. Through the small differences, we discover, the subtleties, the subtle things about pronunciation, which allow us to more clearly here when others are speaking exactly what they're saying. And which allow us to, when we know those little differences, pronounce things more clearly, more naturally, more natively. So we're going to go through these. We're not going to talk about many of them. If you want, you can research many more if you're interested in this kind of thing. I think that the words that we've been talking about or a better way to do it. I think the phrases are not quite as useful. But if you want to research these, you want to study more of them because you think they're interesting. They are called or a nims or an hymns are these groups of words or phrases that sound very, very close. And some of them are exactly the same, but they're different words. There are different phrase, they have a different meaning, and sometimes the meaning is not, for example, in the consonant sound or in the vowel sound. Sometimes the difference is just how long we say something, how long we hold a vibration when we stop it, where we stop it, it's often those differences. So that's why I think it can be very useful to study or an image because we have to pay attention to the very, very subtle points of when should I pause? When should I not pause? Where are the pauses so that I can hear the differences between the two? So let's talk about four of these. I have four examples for you. I'm going to say each of them, but I'm not going to tell you which order the first time I say it, I'm going to say them both. Right? I'm not gonna say which one I'm saying first, so I won't necessarily say this 1 first. I might say this 1 first. And I want you to see if you can hear which one. Then I will tell you which one I said and you can see if you're right or wrong, then we'll talk about exactly how to say it. Okay. Time machine. Time machine. Can you hear the difference? Which one did I say first? I say this one or this 1 first. I said this 1 first. I said time machine. But what's the difference between this one and this one? Listen carefully. Time machine, tie machine. So if you listen carefully, I am continuing the voice for both of them, right? You've learned how to do that by now. But for this one, I'm spending more time on the m sound because M is the last sound of this word. And I'm kind of in my mind jumping from one to the other. And so I'm carrying through the m sound longer. Whereas for this one, I'm staying on the, i sound a little bit before saying quickly the m sound. So the main difference is simply the length of time that I spend on the m sound. It's not about me stopping my voice. I'm not stopping my voice. Time machine, time machine. Time machine. Time machine. How about this one? Now I'm not going to tell you which one I say first. So just listen carefully. Ice cream. I scream. Which one? And I say this 1 first or this one? I said again, this 1 first, this 1 first. And the difference between them is pretty much the same thing, ice cream. So I go to the k sound after a longer unvoiced S sound, which is the c sound here, this ice, ice, the eye goes to the sea very quickly. Whereas when I say this one, I scream. I scream. I scream, I'm staying on I longer and the S is shorter and goes immediately to the sea. It's a little, it's pretty short, whereas this one is ice cream. Ice cream. I scream, There's much more focus on the i sound and it will be usually stressed a little bit more as well. Now let's go to the next one. Which one will I say first? That stuff. That's tough because you hear it. What did you hear? Which one did I say first? I said again The second 1 first. The second 1 first. That stuff. That's tough. These two are more different from these two that we've just been talking about. But what's the difference? Well, we've been talking about two things. One is this stopped t where we go hut that, that, that, and then it starts St, st, st from S to T, from S to T, right? And the other one's still has the stuff t. But it goes like we talked about in the last one. As you, ITS, it goes with this t s sound, which is the sound of a symbol sets, right? That's the sound we have to make. Instead of st, st, we're not saying, we're saying the opposite. It's st, st states. So when we say this one, we're stopping here and then making that sound and then we start with the sound right after it. So this one is That's tough. That's, that's tough. So we're jumping, but we're still starting with the strong tough sound or this one is this combined ST, stuff, stuff, stuff that's tough, That's tough. That stuff That's tough. That stuff That's tough. Okay. That one's challenging I think, but hopefully not too difficult. Alright, here we go. These two, are you ready? I'm gonna say both of them. See which one I say first. Good examples. Good egg samples. Which one? I said this 1 first again, second one I said first, and this one I said second. What's the difference between them? Good examples, but I blended them. I said, good examples, good egg, good examples, good examples, good examples, good examples. So I'm focusing on probably the good in these two. This is where my stresses as a stressed word. For this one, I'll probably focus on egg. And so that's one difference. Likely people will stress the egg there because it's more important in the phrase. It's a meaning word. It represents what this phrase is about, right? But besides that, what about this first part? Good egg, good eg, Not really, Not really. But this one is an unvoiced S, whereas this one is the z sound. So that's a key difference. Good egg samples. So I'm still carrying the voice. I could say good egg, good egg. But a lot of people would say, good egg, good egg, good a measure, good egg. You're a good egg. That by the way means you're a good person. I think you're good. Good egg samples. Unvoiced s, good examples, good examples. Voiced z sound there for that one. All right, so I hope you can at least distinguish the differences between these. Again, if you want to find more examples or more egg samples, if you like, then you can search or a nims. Now I want to also recommend that you do a bit more research about a very interesting poem called The chaos. And it is crazy. It's very difficult to read. Even for a native English speaker. Native English speakers have to research the words in this crazy poem and it plays with all of these things we've been talking about how spelling is not connected to pronunciation. Or you might have EA and EA, but sometimes it's E and sometimes it's EA. Write this kind of thing. It's very playful, but it also challenges your idea of spelling versus sound. It forces you to really pay attention when you're listening to someone, read it. And I'm just going to give you the very first part of it. And I encourage you to go look it up and find someone online who has read it, the whole thing from beginning to end because it's a great way to sort of expand on what we've been talking about in this course. So the beginning goes, dearest creature in creation. So there's a T there, dearest creature in creation. So at the very beginning we have this complicated thing where Deere is pronounced e and then CRI is pronounced e, but this is yay. So we have to remember EA, dearest creature. This is by the way, the CH sound creature in creation. All right, Then it goes on and it gets a lot more complicated. So I encourage you to check this out. Very interesting. And if you'd like to do some more research on these, but in the meantime, of course, make sure you're practicing building your own lists. You've got to be the one to put in the hard work, the repetition it takes to get muscle memory to build habits. But first, make sure that you have the ear for it. Make sure that you've honed your ear, your awareness so that when you do say it, it sounds perfect and you're not practicing the wrong thing, That would be horrible. And of course, in addition to these, if you want to treat the rows that we did in the previous lessons as kind of tongue twisters that I would encourage you to do that. If that's something that you'd like to improve on, gradually increasing in speed. If you'd like to look up more tongue twisters, you're also welcome to do that. Besides researching these and this poem, search tongue twisters. And there are a million tongue twisters out there to practice. For some people it's fun for some people it isn't, I'm not saying you have to do it. That's why we're not doing it in this course. You don't have to. But if you find that interesting, it can be a good way to practice and build muscle memory. Alright, so great job on these similar sounds, these similar words, similar phrases. In the next section we're going to be talking about intonation, how the voice rises and falls when we're speaking, are going to be talking about questions, whole sentences, the ends of sentences. It should be interesting and it certainly will be useful. So I will see you in the next lesson. 43. Intonation for Ending Sentences: We're getting very close to the end of this course. So congratulations for making it this far. I hope you're starting to feel more confident about your pronunciation and you're really starting to build those habits. Now we've covered difficult sounds and words that sound almost the same. We've talked about the schwa sound. We've talked about making sure we carry the voice through words. We've talked about all of these things. In this section, we're going to talk about something which is really important for that fluence sound, but also something that is not so clearly defined that you have some flexibility and creativity in this is intonation. Now let's just say what intonation is. We know about stress when we say a word a little bit louder and a little bit more clearly. But what about intonation? And why is it important simply, intonation is the rising and the falling of the voice, either within a word or for example, for a whole sentence or a phrase. How does your voice go up and how does it go down? But why do we need to know about this? We use intonation to get meaning across it can be very important for meaning, especially when it comes to something like sarcasm. And we will talk about that very soon. But also, we use intonation for things like the ends of sentences and the ways that we end sentences are different in different situations. Of course, intonation also expresses our emotions. How do we feel really? What, what does that express? Genuine surprise, probably really what? And you might feel that I'm resentful, may be bored. Maybe I'm a little bit disappointed. And so I'm expressing how I feel using intonation. Now. This is where it's very flexible and very kind of creative and unique to each person. So it's not always clear. There's not always, hey, here's the rule about intonation. Now there are very common trends in the way that we use intonation. Common patterns, common things that native English speakers do. And we're going to talk about those. But I just want to make it clear that this is also something that you should be playing with. That you shouldn't only be thinking of intonation or stress for that matter, as it must be this way, it really is intonation in some ways, actually stress to your face of your words. What do I mean by that? Well, when you're speaking, you use your face, but if you're on the phone, you can't really use your face to express yourself. And so the intonation allows you to have a face without someone seeing your face. Now of course, as I mentioned that there are common patterns. So that's not the only thing to know about intonation. There are these common things that we need to learn, but I really want to encourage you to play with it. Have very flat intonation or you never really stress words. I would say, good luck having conversations. Having people are going to be really bored by what you say. I had a university professor always talk like this and he's the next thing and the next thing and the next the hang hand, it was terrible. It was terrible. So because of that experience, I thought to myself, I really can't be like that. If I ever teach anything ever in my life, I have to make sure that my voice goes up and down because I want to keep people interested in what I'm saying. I want them to be focused on what I'm saying. If you're still here, hopefully that means I've done an okay job at keeping you using partly my intonation. All right, Now we're going to get into, to start this sentences, we're going to talk about some general guidelines. Or perhaps we could say patterns, patterns that are common. Now these are not hard rules, hard laws of pronunciation and intonation. What they are is what most people will do usually. And we're going to talk about the ends of sentences because that is an area where a lot of people often do it in a way that doesn't sound very natural or native or fluent. Now don't worry about questions for now because we're going to talk about questions next. We're going to spend quite a bit of time on questions. It's not as simple as you may think. Well, here's the idea for sentences, regular sentences. Usually for a regular sentence, your tone will go down at the end of the sentence, at the end of a sentence, so that the person listening can hear the beginning of the next sentence. It's kind of a marker. So it goes do. Now, if the end of the sentence is a one syllable word, Then it's just that last syllable that goes down. And if it's a word with several syllables, two or three or four, then the intonation is going to be higher and go down in the last syllable, or sometimes go down in the last two syllables. If it is a longer word, and then usually the voice goes up at the beginning of the next sentence, and that is a marker. It says, Hey, new sentence. And we also often do this when there's a comma as well. We'll go in and add the voice falls down, falls down in front of a comma and goes up a little bit after the comma. Not as much as the beginning of the sentence. Often, but it's a way to kind of market to give the person listening to you a break, a bit. And also to give your whole, let's say paragraph or sentence or thing you're saying. More character, more flavor, more expression. Now I think the best way for us to really get a feeling for this is to go through some examples. So I have made some examples and I'm going to read through them and we're going to explore intonation as we do. We'll go through it really slowly and talk about the intonation. And then we'll go through the whole thing at a regular speed. 44. Practicing Sentence Intonation: Kiran and Samantha had been friends since primary school. Primary school. Now listen to that very carefully. Since PRI. And so the PRI, the beginning of primary is the same sort of level as the sense. But then what happens? You hear it go like this. As it goes down as a slope. You could say it's depths down a little bit. But whether it's a step-down or a sloped down, maybe is not so important. I like to think of it as a slope down, ending in the period at the end of the sentence, primary school. Now let's see what it sounds like. If we don't have that and I'm going to start the even as I normally would hire, even though even though So let's see what it sounds like. Kiernan Samantha had been friends since primary school, even though you hear that? When I don't it's actually hard for me to do. It makes my brain hurt. When I don't make my voice fall down at the end of the sentence, then we get this weird thing where I was that that was, that was at the end of the sentence or what? We mark the end usually with that falling primary school. Then even though otherwise it's primary school, even though that sounds weird, right? So generally speaking, now notice school goes down very fast and that is normal right at the end it goes down, usually dips down very quickly. But often if the last word is a two syllable word, for example, it'll have this interesting shape. It will go like that. And you'll see that in a second because we have, we have one of those in the next sentence, even though they were different in many ways. Now, listen carefully to this one. This is in front of a comma, right? We can hear there is going to be continuation because for this one, there is a slight tiny, tiny little dip upward right at the end. Barely. Listen to this again. In many ways like that. Do you hear that? In many ways, if it's the end of the sentence, then I'll say in many ways. And that's like that primary school in many ways. Even though they were different in many ways. Each seemed. And then we'll continue. Now, that's not wrong. If I say it like at the end of a sentence like that, primary school in many ways. Each seemed. That's okay. So you can treat it like the end of a sentence if you want to. But often you'll hear this marker that kind of tells you right there that, hey, this is a pause, This is a comma, but we're going to be continuing now. So there's a slight dip upward in many ways. In many ways like that, you got to practice that. Now if you don't master it, it's fine again because you can treat it like a sentence and it is. Okay. Each seemed to always know what the other was. Thinking. Thinking, thinking thing, King, thinking, thinking, this one goes down, a little bit up thing was thinking, was, thinking, was thinking, was thinking here that was, was thing King, king. And if the sentence very clear, they laughed. Again, starting the new sentence up high, they laughed at the same jokes. Again, we have, we can treat this as a two syllable word, same jokes, same jokes, same jokes. Those last two have this interesting kind of slightly up and straight down shape. Slightly up and straight down. I like to think of it as slightly up because actually at the same, it goes up compared to the right. The same, the same jokes. To emphasize it going down there is a slight upward tonal shift before the last syllable, or in this case, the last word. Now it's not always the last syllable if it's a long word. But often it is. They cried at the same movies. Same thing, the same, the same movies, the same movies. They danced to the same music. We have a recurring pattern here, a repeating pattern that enter into the dentin, dot, dot, dot that, that Then here that try to find the musical nature of sentences. Communication, speaking is not only about the words that you say, about your face, your hands, how you speak, intonation, stress, all of these things that we've been talking about in this course all blended together to finally communicate something in a certain way. Which makes someone feel a certain way or believe a certain thing or no, a certain thing, whatever it is, you're using your voice. You're using little mouth sounds to turn what's into your brain, into a thought in another person's brain. That's what you're doing. And so you want to be as good at that as possible. And in order to get good at it, you have to know this stuff. Now, let's read the last sentence of this because it might be a little bit different. They were best friends. They were best friends. They were best Friends. Now, do you hear it going down as much as the other sentences we've been working on. Let's take away the exclamation and just do a period. They were best friends. They were best friends. They were best friends. They were best friends. So because in this last sentence I have the exclamation mark. The exclamation mark, then the shape, maybe something like best friend. And then right at the end kind of go down. But it's more flat because we want to make it different from a sentence that doesn't have an exclamation mark. We have to communicate somehow that this sentence has an exclamation. I'm reading it. You can't see it. I can. I need you to know well, then what is the thing that I do to make sure you know, well, I mostly keep it flat and it does go down kind of at the end. But it's not like this pattern where we go. If it's just a period. They were best friends. They were best friends. They were best friends. They were best friends. They were best friends. They were best friends. They were best friends. So I am giving a little more energy to that, but I'm also keeping it a bit flatter. And let me just be clear. There are a lot of variations here. People will say these differently. I'm not giving you hard rules. I'm giving you a common patterns. I'm trying to tell you what most native English speakers would do. So let's read through this whole example one time, of course, I want you to practice it. And then we'll look at a couple more examples before talking about questions. I'm going to read it now at normal speed. This is how I would read it if I were just looking at it in a book and reading out loud. Kiran and Samantha had been friends since primary school, even though they were different in many ways, each seemed to always know what the other was thinking. They laughed at the same jokes. They cried at the same movies. They danced to the same music. They were best friends. So how was that? Was that pretty clear? Difficult to do, difficult to copy. Now, of course, variations, there are different ways that you could read this and still be correct. There's no wrong here. But to get that natural sound, you do have to be aware of this end of sentence thing where it goes down. Usually at the end, some people will read this in this whole paragraph. They were best friends. And that's okay if you do that, but I won't be able to necessarily hear the punctuation. If you say, Was there an exclamation mark or a period at the end of that sentence. And I can't see it. I will say, I don't know. I'll just guess. No. If you want to make sure it's clear, then you'll say they were best friends. They were best friends. You'll have that at the end. All right, let's look at these last few examples here, just to make it really clear how we're dealing with these things. Let's discuss this another time. Let's discuss this another time. Now this one is a little bit tricky because here we have intonation and stress kind of blended together because, uh, no, this is the NO is stressed, know they're there and then there goes down. This is the less stressed syllable in this word. Schwa sound probably know their time. So you could say this is part of it going down at the end, or you could just say, well, at the last syllable it goes down another time, another time. However you want to think about it, as long as it has that n. And at the end, then it should sound okay? And people do say it slightly differently. People say it in different ways. Okay. How about this one? Go home. Go home. Now, just like we had for this one, we have go home. And then maybe it goes down home. That goes down a little bit, but it really is pretty flat. Now, I want to make it clear. This is where the flexibility and the creativity comes in. What do you want to make the other person feel when you say this? Go home, it's a command. Or maybe you're annoyed. Go home. Go home. So there, you're not going to say it in the same way. Or maybe you have a rising tone out of frustration because you've said it 1000 times. I said coal home, right? That is not a question, but I'm expressing maybe anger. So I want to make it clear that most people, when they read that just as a sentence by itself, go home. It's that. But there's so many little ways to do it when you're playing with the emotional part of intonation. And that's where I think it's up to you to express it as you feel you want to express it. How do you feel now and then sort of just follow your instincts, follow your gut feeling. And it'll probably sound real at least because it's following your emotions. Go home, right? Or maybe go home. There are a lot of different ways to do it. Okay, Now the last one here, I don't know. There are many possibilities. I don't know. No, don't know this. That two syllable thing or two one-syllable words at the end of a sentence? Don't know. I don't know. I don't know. I don't know. Don't know. Don't know. But we could say I don't know. I don't know. And there it's kind of like that, a wavy tone. When people are really uncertain, they sometimes say, I don't know, I don't know. And that tone gives more uncertainty. It's almost like a question Tony. And I don't know, a lot of people will say it kind of like that. Or some people will say, I don't know, I don't know. And that really is like a question tone. It goes or maybe it goes like this. I don't know. I don't know to make it really insistent and forceful. These two will be flat data data and then hit very hard down. I don't know. I don't know that masking. Right. So again, different ways to do it. I think the standard way would be this classic shape, which I like to keep in mind because that really is the traditional end of sentence intonation pattern that we see. There are too many possibilities, possible abilities, possibilities. So ladies goes down, ladies, ladies, and then Bill, that is Bill, ladies abilities. Now, what if this is just a word by itself and is not in a sentence? Possibilities, possibilities. There are too many possibilities. There are too many possibilities. So you notice how that sounds a little odd to me. It sounds a little odd if I say the word possibilities, as I would say it by itself, I just see the word possibilities. Then I'm going to say pi. So ladies, that's going to be my general stress on the word possibilities. Possibilities. But then if it's in a sentence, there are too many possibilities. I'm going to increase or raise this, the height of this one a little bit. It's almost like I'm I'm increasing the volume there so that the fall downward at the end is a little bit more clear, right? So the way that I would say this in a sentence is just a bit different from the way that I might say it if it's by itself, by itself, possibilities, possibilities. In a sentence, there are too many possibilities. Possibilities. Why? Because I want to have that sharp fall at the end. So it is clearly marked as the end of a sentence. So that if I say another sentence that is clearly marked, does that make sense? I hope so. Now, we're not making hard rules here. I want you to play with this. I want you to practice reading. If you can read out loud, if you're good at that, that's a great skill to have because others will see you as someone who can communicate well, who is clear when they speak, they'll want to listen to you more. And by the way, it is a good way to just practice pronunciation. So you can record yourself reading a text and then you can listen back to it and say, How's the flow? Am I saying any words in a strange way? Do I pick out any pronunciation points from maybe any of the words that we talked about or sounds that we've talked about in this course. How's the stress? Am I stressing the right parts of the words? Am I stressing the right words in the sentence? If I want to emphasize one thing or one person or the meaning of a word, I might focus more on that word in the sentence. Am I using natural intonation? Is it going down at the end of a sentence and up at the beginning of the next one, I'm I going down a bit before a comma, whether it's like a sentence or it's a little bit more of a thing at the end. Whatever. Just give yourself feedback and make sure you practice it a lot. Make sure you're always looking at what you've recorded as something outside of you so that you can be really honest with yourself and really notice these things that you can improve on to sound more natural. In fact, a lot of the improvement you can make can be within yourself doing your own practice, your own exercises. If you develop your awareness, if you develop your listening, if you develop your habits and you start really building habits, now we're going to talk about what you came for, which has questions next. But there are different types of questions. So we're going to start with questions that require or request information. Questions about information next. 46. Asking 'Yes/No' Questions: Now let's talk about what you probably know as the question tone. This is when the intonation rises at the end of a question. It tells us that it's a question and it's simply this. But we'll get into the details in a second. The question tone is usually used for yes or no questions. This is, instead of asking for information, what time is it? Notice I go down there. This is asking for confirmation. You say yes or you say no. Is it ten PM yet? Is it ten PM yet? And notice that my intonation is rising throughout the sentence and I will teach you exactly how to do it. So that's what we're talking about. These yes, no questions usually, but it's important to note that we don't have to always write. Can you do You are we is it did you did I do I am I ru should we write these are all yes-no questions. The answers to these questions will be yes or no. But we have to note that sometimes we use the question tone only. Still means usually yes or no, but we're not writing the full question. And here are some examples of that. Instead of do you or are you, we just say the thing itself, right? Like hungry, ready? This means, are you ready? Are you hungry? And notice it's the tone that goes up which tells us it's a question. And if we just say ready, that could be the answer to the question, which is like, yes, I'm ready. So the intonation is actually really, really important. Now how do we actually do this? Well, let's look at our first sentence and study how we actually say the question tone. How we usually say the question tone. Can you believe she said that? Can you believe she said that? So let's track the intonation here. Can you believe she said that? So it goes up, notice in the last two words, or is it the last two syllables? Remember last time we talked about this kind of structure. Well here we're talking about this kind of structure, except it's going up instead of down. And it might be the last two words, or it might be if it's one word, the last two syllables. Now of course there are exceptions to this, and of course there are other ways to say questions. We'll talk about that in a moment. But I just want you to get a sense for that. When we say a regular sentence or a question that gets information, we typically have done like that. And when we have a yes-no question where we want confirmation, it goes this one goes a little bit up and this one goes even higher up at the end. And actually most of the rest of the sentence is flat in the same way that a regular sentence would be. If we said this without the question tone, it would be mostly the same here. Can you believe she said that? Right? Can you believe she said that? That's our right. But if we say it as a question, if we want to use the question tone, the intonation, can you believe she said that? Said that. So it really is for this way of saying it in the last two syllables or in the last two words in this case. Can you believe she said that? Can you believe she said that? So practice it, get a feeling for it. Let's look at this next example. Do you want some ice cream? Do you want some ice cream? Dan, dan ice cream. Okay. How about this one? Once some ice cream. Once some ice cream. Once some ice cream. Okay. Same thing except we're taking out the do you now we can't always do this where we take it off. But often when we're getting confirmation about something, It's common, especially if it's this sort of thing. Ready, hungry, tired, like that. Are you tired? Are you tired? Are you tired? Are you tired? So if we go down, then this part is still staying the same. And then tired is two syllables within one word. Are you tired? Tired, tired, tired, right? Are you tired? Now that's not how we usually say it, but I'm just trying to make it clear here that most of the difference is in the last two syllables, here for 12 syllable word and here four to one syllable words. Okay. How about this one? Did you send that without asking me? Did you send that without asking me? Did you send that without asking me? Or just moving through these examples fairly quickly because I want to show you some variations here. So how about this one? Have you been to Australia? Have you been to Austria? Have you been to Australia? Have you been to Australia? Then Anna, there we go. Should we buy sandals before the trip? Should we buy sandals before the trip, the trip? Now, this is where I want to explore another way to say it. Remember we talked about word stress, how we put stress on words when that's the main meaning of the sentence, that's what we want to focus on. So listen to this. Should we buy sandals before the trip? Should we buy sandals before the trip? So when we start putting stress on other parts of the sentence because we're talking about the different things we could buy. We could buy luggage, we could buy sandals, we could buy sunglasses. And I want to focus on that. It starts to change a little bit and it's not this simple delta because I'm also putting the stress here. Should we buy sandals before the trip? And so what it sounds like is from sandals, it starts to go up gradually like this. Should we buy sandals before the trip? It's going along. Should we buy sandals before the trip? So it's almost like the stressed word is pushing the intonation upward after it. For these types of questions, Have you been to Austria? So notice after I say been to Australia, it goes up from to Austria, which is not just two syllables, right? So it's after the stressed word. Did you send me that without asking me? Did you send me that without asking me? It keeps going up from you. Did you send me that without asking me? Did you send me that without asking me? So there it goes up after that. So what are you placing the stress on? And then we'll just make the intonation rise after that. This is another common way. So this first way we talked about it, the last two syllables. That's the kind of standard. So if you're not sure how to do it, just use the standard. But then there are all of these variations, even for this type of simple yes, no question that we can explore. And you really have to listen out for them. But there's this common one of right after the stressed word, the intonation goes up. Can you believe she said that? Can you believe she said that? Can you believe she said that? All right. So I think you get the idea. Now, there is another common variation of this, and this is more about the emotional expression. For example, what if I want to express frustration rather than disbelief? If I want to express disbelief or shock, I'll say can you believe she said that? And that's going to be the natural normal way to ask a yes, no question, right? I'm shocked. But what if I want to express disgust, resentment, or annoyance? Can you believe she said that? Can you believe she said that? So there I'm choosing to use the downward tone like a regular sentence. And I'm focusing on the word believe because I want to emphasize that one for whatever reason you're doing it because you want to express a certain emotion, a certain feeling. Now for this one, it may not make sense because really, why would you ask that question unless you want to get information from someone, right? But some of these other ones, especially this one, are not so much or don't have to be so much for actually getting information, but may instead be rhetorical. Now, a rhetorical question is one that doesn't need an answer. And we say it as a question, it is a question, but we're using it. Just make a comment and we're not actually expecting anyone to answer. So if I say, for example, this one, can you believe she said that wouldn't you love to go to the moon? Notice I can say it in a flat way because I'm not really expecting someone to say, Oh yeah, yeah, I would like to go to the moon. I'm just kind of thinking out loud. Wouldn't it be great to go to the moon? Wouldn't it be so interesting? Notice I'm not using the question tone there. I'm not saying it so that you'll say yes. I may be saying it to a whole group of people in a presentation. And what I want is for them to think about that. So I'm using it for the effect that it has. And not really to get you to say yes or no. But for this one, I probably am trying to get you to say yes or no. And just another quick example. Let's look at this one. I'm asking you. I'm asking you if you did this. Did you send that without asking me? Did you send that without asking me? So there's the rising tone and you say, oh, yeah, I'm sorry, I did. I should've asked. But what if I'm describing something that happened in the past and I was wondering I was thinking to myself, did you send that without asking me? Did you send that without asking me? So there I'm kind of lost in thought. I'm in my own mind and I'm wondering something. So I'm not really trying to get a yes or no answer. So that's where you have to look at these yes-no questions a little differently. Not just as tell me yes or no. But maybe I want to focus on this or this or this or this, or perhaps I'm thinking to myself, I'm describing something that happened in the past. Or maybe I'm talking to a group of people and I want them to consider something. And in those cases, I may not. In fact, I probably will not use the basic Question tone. I will probably use the standard intonation that we talked about in the last lesson. The real thing I want you to do is now that you have some awareness of the intonation of different kinds of questions, I want you to start to listen out for it. Find differences, find variations, find exceptions to what we've talked about here. And that's going to broaden your understanding of intonation, which is going to allow you to hopefully sound more natural when you're speaking. Now we're going to talk about one more type of question. Very interesting. We're going to look at tag questions and the two ways that we can say those. 47. Tag Questions: This is our last lesson for pronunciation of questions. We've talked about how to pronounce information questions to get information. We've talked about how to use intonation for yes, no questions. And also, when we're using rhetorical questions, how we have some variations in the way that we use intonation or the way that we say questions. Now we're going to use what we've learned so far for tag questions. But let's just quickly talk about what a tag question is. There's a very basic structure for a tag question, and I want to make sure you know what it is before we talk about the intonation. So a tag question is a question that is tagged onto a statement. It's pretty simple. And the verb of the tag question is the opposite or the negation of the verb at the start of the sentence. And there's also a comma in front of the tag question. So let me show you what I mean here. Clover is and then the tag question, clover is moving to Toronto. That's a statement. Now if I want to confirm if that's true, I might use a tag question, so I'll do a comma. And then the opposite opposite of is, is, isn't, right? Isn't she? She, because we're talking about clover. And clover is a girl. The budget hasn't. Now we have, has not. Well the negation or opposite of has not, is, has, is, isn't, has hasn't. Fairly simple, right. The budget hasn't been finalized. That means I think it has not. That's my statement. If I don't wonder anything and I'm not trying to confirm anything, Then I just make the statement and there's no tag question. Clover is moving to Toronto. Done. Okay. This isn't she is when I want to get you to say something back, a confirmation. And for this one, I think something has not happened. The budget, our money plan hasn't has not been finalized. That's my statement. I could stop there, period. And if statement that is true. But I want to confirm I'm not sure. So I want you to say something back. Has it? If I say the budget has been finalized, then I will say, hasn't it? You were there, weren't you? You were there, weren't you? You weren't there. Were you? You weren't there, were you. All right, so this is not that complicated, but there are two kinds of pronunciation to intonations of tag questions that we have to be aware of, that we have to talk about, that we have to focus on what are they. If you were listening to my first three examples, you would have heard me use the question tone, the one for yes, no questions that I taught you in the previous lesson. And you would have heard it here. Hey, hey, hey, hi. It's that rising intonation that goes up into syllables. Ha, ha. Like that isn't, is two syllables, isn't she? Isn't she? Okay, so we can hear that. We also have to pay attention to what happens before the comma. Now before the comma, what do you think we do? We treat that as we would a standard sentence. So you can imagine that this is a period here, and I'm going to do the thing. Clover is moving to Toronto, isn't she? Clovers moving to Toronto, isn't she? So you can hear that up down here and then up, up over here, right? Pretty easy to here. So let's do this one. The budget hasn't been finalized, has it? The budget hasn't been finalized, has it? I really want to know. You were there, weren't you? You were there, weren't you. And then you'll say Yeah, yes or no. You'll answer me because that's how I said it. But I might say it a different way. What if instead I say, you were there, weren't you? You were there weren't you. This is a little different. So I'm going to read the next three. And we're going to talk about why the intonation is different for a different type of tag question, written the same way, same grammar, different intonation. I didn't get the job, did I? I didn't get the job, did I? She lied, didn't she? She lied didn't she? You're not coming to my birthday party, are you? You're not coming to my birthday party, are you? Now what's different here? What's different in our intonation, and what's different in the meaning? Why I'm saying this question? Well, the difference is I go up down here, I didn't get the job. And then I do it again. It's repeated, did I? So it's a double data. Data. I didn't get the job, did I? She lied, didn't she? She lied didn't she? She lied, didn't She? You're not coming to my birthday party. Are you? You're not coming to my birthday party. Are you? Compared to you're not coming to my birthday party, are you? So this part is the same, pretty much the same here. Maybe a little bit more, sometimes disappointment in the intonation, a little bit more negative emotion. You probably saw my face. You're not coming to my birthday party, are you? Because that's often how it's used. It's used when we already know the answer and we don't really need anyone to confirm it for us, where pretty much sure, 95 or 97%. Sure, 99% sure. And we just want to say it and maybe the other person will say, I can't come to your birthday party or maybe not notice. Or they won't say anything because I'm just making a comment. So this one feels a lot more like a comment. This one feels a lot more like we're just noticing something and not like I really need information. I really need you to confirm this. The budget hasn't been finalized, has it? I need you to answer right now. Answer, please. It has. Okay. Good. Thank you. Good. That's wonderful. Or oh, no, we need to whatever it is, I need the information. Right. But if I say the budget hasn't been finalized, has it? I'm a little disappointed because I'm pretty sure that it hasn't. Maybe I know that it hasn't. And maybe you still say mean it hasn't. But the purpose is different. Now, I'm making it as a comment and you're admitting that yeah, this is true, but I already knew. I don't really need you to answer. And so for that reason, it's more like a statement. It's more like a comment. If we say she lied, didn't she? She lied, didn't she? I really want you to answer. I need you to answer and I won't be complete in my mind unless you do. She lied, didn't she? I already know. She does it a lot. I know about her. And you're probably going to say yes, she did, but I already knew. So I didn't really need the information from you. It's almost a way to make a comment and have another person just nod their head like that because it's already known. And I can't really put a percentage on it. Sometimes it's completely known a 100 percent. Maybe if we say this one, the budget hasn't been finalized, has it? No. And then the reply might be just an emotional response or a head nod, whereas the other one is genuinely a confirmation. I need to know right or wrong. Is this statement true or not? It's 5050. Be 50 percent. Yes. 50 percent. No. I need to know. So I hope that's clear and I hope it makes sense to you how to say tag questions. I think tag questions are very interesting and a lot of people don't really pay attention to the intonation of these and how the meaning can change depending on how you say it. All right, In the next lesson, we're going to look at a few other ways to use intonation are going to be talking about one of my favorite topics, sarcasm. 48. Sarcasm: In this last lesson, we're going to explore a few other things related to intonation. Because when you go out there and listen, you're going to hear a lot of different things. There are so many ways to use intonation to express yourself, to be expressive, to show your uniqueness. And yet, there are also many patterns that we come across that are common among many native English speakers. And one of those is the sarcastic tone. Maybe you've heard people say, Oh, he has such a sarcastic tone. Sarcasm is the noun and sarcastic. Sarcastic is the adjective. And what does it mean to be sarcastic? Well, if you're sarcastic, you might not be totally genuine all the time. And you might often say the exact opposite of what you mean. Either as a kind of humor or perhaps just because that's how you express yourself in a kind of dark away. Sometimes sarcasm is considered dark humor. And there are a lot of TV shows where sarcasm is used, especially American and British TV shows. You'll see this sort of dark humor where people are saying exactly the opposite of what they mean. Now, often, sarcasm comes with a kind of intonation. There's a way to do it and it's different for different people. But we're going to try to explore it a little bit. So if someone says, great, they don't always mean great. They might mean terrible. If something terrible is announced or somebody says, Hey, we have 10 new pages of homework I just realized we have to do. When someone says great or great. What they probably mean is, that's awful news. That's terrible. But they're saying the opposite because that's how they want to express themselves. Or maybe because they want to be funny, they think that's funny. So sometimes people don't use different intonation at all when they're being sarcastic. And often then it's very hard to tell that they are being sarcastic or they're being sarcastic or is he, does he actually think it's great that we have more homework. I'm a little confused. So when you want to let others know that you like to be sarcastic, that you are being sarcastic than you might use a sarcastic tone. And here's how it could sound. More homework grade. So you'll notice that things are really stretched out longer. And there's a tendency to have a downward tone, right? Not an upward tone, a tendency to have a downward tone, which gives it a kind of negative sound. And I'm not trying to give you a rule here because people do do it in different ways. But generally speaking, it has this. And it might go up sharply and then fall away down. And a word might be really stretched out to exaggerate the stress of the word, to pull the word out really long and to make it go up and down, way down. More homework, great. Instead of more homework, great. That would be the normal way to say it, right? More homework. Great. If I'm actually fairly excited about homework. Now, maybe that's me being sarcastic. In fact, that's how I do it. But if I want to indicate sarcasm, more homework, great. That's the sound. So there's an exaggeration there. It's kinda hard to describe what it is. But notice the falling tone and notice the stretching of the word. Let's look at this next one. I really appreciate you forgetting my birthday again. I really appreciate it. I'm emphasizing the word really because usually I would only use the word really. If I'm very serious, I really appreciate it. But you're forgetting my birthday. So this is a terrible thing. So I want to say the opposite. So I'm going to now stress the word really, because that's the most sarcastic thing that I could do to focus on the word that would be the opposite if I really meant what I was saying. I know that's a little confusing. This is tough. I know this is, this is fairly high level stuff, but just listen to that intonation standard. I really appreciate you for getting my birthday. Why would you say that in a genuine way? Thank you so much. I really appreciate you forgetting my birthday. Now notice that that's coming with some facial expressions to that is a sarcastic face like that. I really, I really appreciate you forgetting my birthday. So it's a little different, but I hope you can hear it. What about this one? What a surprise? What a surprise. That would be a standard way to say this. Just flat. What is surprise? What a surprise goes way up and surprise and way down. What a surprise you can hear. And I'm kind of stretching out surprise. What a surprise. Stretching out the word surprise. And I'm making my voice go farther up and farther down. Now, you know, I'm being sarcastic for sure. And you don't need to guess. Seeping sarcastic, right? This is actually a very common sarcastic phrase that people use. I'm so impressed by your ability to come on time. I'm so impressed with your ability to come on time. Which one is genuine, which one's real, and which ones sarcastic. This one is genuine. I'm so impressed. I'm so impressed with your ability to come on time. But what's the situation with a situation is you're late for the third time this week. So obviously, I don't mean it in the most genuine way. So if I say it in a flat way, you know that I'm just really good at being sarcastic. And if I went to let you know that I'm being sarcastic, then I'll say, I'm so impressed. Notice I stretch out so really long and it goes up and then down. When I say impressed, I'm so impressed. I'm so impressed by your ability to come on time. All right, so that's very sarcastic. So you'll notice often that it's words like so. And words like really. And words like more, words like very. These words are often the ones that are stretched out because, and the reason is because they would be the ones that would make it very, very genuine. And so it's totally flipped around. That's the one we focus on. It really, really isn't. What I mean. I'm so sorry. I'm really impressed, right? Very sarcastic, very sarcastic. I very sarcastic. What about this last one? Maybe we've just made a delicious meal and we spent two hours on it. And you spill everything on the floor. It's gone now, instead of saying, Oh my God, how could you do that, You idiot. I wouldn't say that, but if I were angry, right? Or if someone were angry, I instead say, great job, great job, great job. So I'm being very sarcastic. I mean, the same thing that I really mean, You idiot, right? Because great job means very good. Oh, very good. Except you can very clearly hear my sarcasm. Gray. Job. Great job. Okay. I'm sorry. I didn't mean it. Hoops. So whether or not you use sarcasm, I'm not telling you that you should use sarcasm. At least you have to be aware of it because you'll often hear it among native English speakers, both from the United States and from the UK, for example. 49. Make it Your Own: Now this is more of a reminder about intonation than a rule. The reminder is, like I said before. Often the purpose of intonation is expression of emotion, which means expression of your individuality of how you feel. And so one way of using intonation to say something that you might use might be very different, how I might use it. And I just like you to listen to a couple of different ways that we can say these sentences so that you can feel that variation and so that you can listen for it and so that you can start using it yourself. Okay, So let's, let's just look at a couple of examples. Someone might say, Oh my God, we've been going the wrong way this whole time. Or someone might say, Oh my God, we've been going the wrong way the whole time. Or someone might say, Oh my God, we've been going the wrong way the whole time. And that's very flat. And that might just express being annoyed, not as strong as Oh my god or Oh my God. Oh my God. There are so many different ways to do it, right? So you're a painter and you have a Canvas, how do you want to say it? And that doesn't mean that you should be totally random. But stress, what do you feel should be? Stress the important words in the sentence and let your voice show what you feel. And these waves that I've said this are not the only ways to use intonation. You really have to play around with it. This is the last chance I'm going to give you. This is the last chance I'm going to give you. This is the last chance I'm going to give you. So different ways to do it. Just playing around. Yeah, I guess I'll get over it eventually. Yeah. I guess I'll get over it eventually. That's kind of optimistic. But how about this? Yeah. I guess I'll get over it eventually. And that's not optimistic. That's like I'm probably going to feel this way forever and I'm not going to get over it, but I'm going to say these words, but I feel terrible or yeah, I guess I'll get over it eventually. And that's maybe something like who knows? I don't know. Maybe I will maybe I won't. I don't know. And I'm just playing around with these. These are all just play. And I want you to do the same play around. See what fits you. How do you say things? How can you use intonation to express yourself to sound more natural and always have your ears open. Now we're going to look at one more thing very quickly before we move on to our course wrap-up. 50. Speaking Lists: I just want to mention very quickly, a quick point about intonation when we're making lists or when we're explaining lists that use commas. Remember how I said? Usually, when we have a comma, the voice goes like the end of a sentence, or it goes a little bit up for all of the words in the list before the commas, except for the last thing in the list, we're going to have a kind of flat tone. So this is just for lists. This is kind of a unique thing, kind of an exception. Keep your tone of flat and then at the end, go down like this. Cynthia's bringing red wine, red wine, gifts and cake. And cake. Cynthia's bringing red wine, red wine. So that's kind of red wine, gifts and cake. And if it's more things, it's still that data into that, that, that, that, that, that, that, that, that data and like that. So here would be an example with 1234 things. Next week, I have to buy a suit shoes, a briefcase and a computer. A suit shoes, a briefcase and a computer and an ADA. Then it goes down like a normal sentence. I've got a headache, a fever, a sore throat, and the chills, and I just want to sleep. Now you might be thinking, hold on. Didn't you go down for chills? Yes, that's right. This is the last thing in the list. This is not part of the list, so we don't count it. It's the last thing in the list. If I put a period here, that would be the end of the sentence and that would be fine. I've got a headache, fever, sore throat, and the chills. End of sentence. So we treat it the same way, even though here it has a comma, because this next thing is not part of our list. We have a thing in the list. This is a symptom, this is a symptom and this is what I want to do. So in a way we can separate it out and we can make it kind of like it's a new sentence. And I just want to sleep. I've got a headache, fever, sore throat, and the chills, and I just want to sleep. So it's a little bit different. But actually because this is really the last thing in our list, it's the same, just looks a little bit different. So I hope that's clear. It's just a small point. If you have any questions, let me know. If you have questions about intonation, let me know. Make sure you're practicing these. Make sure you're writing out your own examples. Make sure you're playing around with intonation. Make sure you're practicing tag questions. Questions to get information. Yes, no questions. There's really a lot to get the feeling for, but remember, it's all about listening. Can you hear how it said? And then building the habits so that when you need to do it in a conversation, you don't have to think about it. All right, so that's it for this lesson, That's it for this section, and that's kind of it for this course. But we have a course wrap-up. I want to leave you with a few ideas and a few things you can do to continue working on your pronunciation, to continue working on the things we've talked about in the course. So I will see you there. 51. Course Wrap-up and Next Steps!: Well, you've made it to the end of the course. You should be very proud of yourself for coming all this way. We've worked on so many things. And I really appreciate you joining me on this journey through advanced American English pronunciation. Really, really, it's been fun for me. I really enjoy teaching English. And again, thank you. Thank you very much. I hope you really got value out of this course. Now I'd just like to wrap up a few things before we actually finished the course. Leave you with a couple of things to do to think about and then where to go next. All right, so what have I been saying throughout this course? Well, there are a couple of things that you've heard me say a 1000 times. Number one is repetition is the key to habits. So now you can think of this course as a foundation, getting the tools you need. Now you have the tools. But the tools are not enough. Because just like reading a book about riding a bicycle, you have to take the knowledge and turn it into experience. And so what I hope you have been doing and what I hope you continue to do is practice regularly. Make your lists of words that are tough for you based on what we've done throughout the course. Practice flow practice difficult sounds, practice vowels, practice the rules of pronunciation that we talked about. Practice all these things regularly. Don't just do it for two days and give up. You have to make a commitment to yourself. Habits depend on consistency. How do you build consistency? Well, you can try to make it part of your lifestyle. Maybe you say every morning after breakfast. Before I go out for a run, I'm going to work on my pronunciation for 20 to 30 minutes. That's enough. 20 to 30 minutes a day added up over six months. That's a lot of practice. I'm going to stand in front of the mirror and I'm going to practice this list of words, or I'm going to do free talk and record myself. I'm going to give myself a question. We're going to ask myself a question or give myself a topic. And then I'm going to speak freely on that for a minute to two minutes. And I'm going to try to fit in to my free talk, some of the words that are difficult for me. And I'm going to do that 20 minutes a day or maybe Monday due this Tuesday, I do that. Maybe part of it is shadowing. Remember you take a clip of audio, a short clip of audio, and it can be a video too, but very short. And instead of focusing on the words that this person is saying, you focus on the sounds and you follow an imitate their sounds exactly. You can even do one at slow speed and then regular speed. What do these things do? They help you build your listening skills, which is very important to be able to hear the differences between what other people say and what you say, which is part of your awareness to hear that difference, to notice that difference, did I say did I say, did I say add or add? What did I say? Most people cannot hear what comes out of their own mouths. If you build that awareness and you have those tools, then you just practice it and practice it and practice it. Then you build the habits. And the goal, of course, is when you're having a conversation, the right pronunciation comes out of your mouth. People with a very strong accent, simply not stuck with that forever. You're not stuck with an accent you don't want to have. If people are always saying, what did you sorry, what could you repeat that? That's something you can work on. If you take these ideas and you put them into practice, if you build up your awareness, you can hear the difference. You can hear yourself. You can be honest with yourself, and you can build habits. Then you can make progress really. And I've seen it happen. So it's just a matter of work. I'm talking about hard work a lot, but that's what it takes. Okay, don't expect to have better pronunciation just because you took some course, courses. Or to give you the tools, the methods, the materials, everything that you need, but you have to put in the hard work and make it part of your lifestyle. One thing I like to do is put it in front of something that I want to do, a difficult thing in front of something I really want to do. So maybe I really want to go out with friends. I have to finish this 30-minute thing before I go out with friends or I really want to watch this movie, I must finish this difficult thing before I go out to watch a movie that can work for some people. But the important thing is to make it part of your lifestyle. So that's how you go from knowledge to skill. And I really hope. You achieve your goals. I really hope that you get where you want to go. I am rooting for you. I want you to get better. So if you ever have questions, please reach out to me. Please ask me questions. I would be more than happy to answer any questions that you may have about things from this course or about pronunciation in general, you can reach out to me here or elsewhere, but I would encourage you to do it in a place where others can see. Why. Because if you ask a question in public than others who may have been wondering the same thing, can see your question and my answer. And that can help them. And we can sort of together build up by layer more knowledge around this course. So I would encourage you to ask questions. Now in this course, we didn't talk that much about really long words. And I want to say a little bit about why we didn't do that. It's because that's kind of a gimmick. O, if you can learn these really long words than your pronunciation, will be good. No, that's not it. That's just a cool title or something. The real things are flow, our understanding stress and intonation, knowing how to say difficult sounds, vowel sounds, consonants, the schwa sound, the question tone, all of these things we worked on, these are the pieces and you can use these pieces to say any long word. There's nothing special about long words. If you know how to say short words, you know how to say long words, it just looks longer. It's just made up of more pieces. That's all it is. Nothing special about it. So don't stress out when you see long words, the key, as we've talked about a 1000 times, is to use your ear. Listen to how it's pronounced. And if you have your awareness built up, if you have your listening skills built up, you should be able to copy that sound. That's how I learned the pronunciation of new words. I don't know how people say this. I don't know the correct pronunciation. Go on to any dictionary website, type in the word, click on the sound icon, listened to it a few times and copy the sound. And that's it. It's not that hard. But the thing that has to be in place first is the listening. The awareness. As you get better at listening, I would encourage you to continue to increase your exposure and also increase the difficulty. That may mean watching movies without subtitles as you're listening gets better. That may mean listening to audio books instead of reading books that may challenge you. That's a great way to improve listening and learn new words and get a feeling for natural sounding English. That may mean listening to podcasts. Maybe you like listening to podcasts. There are many great podcasts out there. So increase your exposure and make sure that you're always slightly challenged. You should never understand a 100 percent. If it's a 100 percent, It's probably too easy. Challenge yourself and increase your exposure to always be improving your listening. And that has many positive benefits, like increasing your vocabulary, your understanding of natural English as it is spoken by native English speakers, idioms or phrases, and your ability to hopefully speak more naturally because you have a clear sense for how to use those words and phrases in context. So that is it for me for this course. Again, I really appreciate you taking the course, taking this journey with me. Don't forget to leave some feedback on the course. Let me know what you thought. And of course, if you want to continue expanding your skills, I have lots of other courses, so make sure to check those out if you haven't already. All right, Well, take care, work hard and I will see you in the next course. Bye.