Linking: Articles (A, An, The)

Linking is used by American speakers during conversation.  It is essentially connecting words by having NO pauses between them.  We do this in thought groups, or phrases.  Sounds complicated, right?  No worries, start with this quick and easy tip. Link articles to the following noun.  Do this by not pausing between the article and the noun.  Say it as if they become one word.  If I say “the cat”, it sounds like “thecat”.  If I say “the cat and the dog”, it would sound like “thecat and thedog”. This will greatly improve your intonation.  Try it…people will notice a difference.

Word Stress: schwa syllable

Most ESL speakers mispronounce my name, Jennifer.  They say Jen Ni Fer.  American English speakers say Jen uh Fer. What is the difference?  The schwa.  One of my students commented that it is what gives Americans their “casual” sound.  It helps to provide the rhythm to words. A schwa is basically the “uh” sound.  It occurs in words longer than one syllable.  Pronounce it shorter and softer than the other syllables.  It is ALWAYS unstressed.   When spelling, it can be represented by any vowel. Here are some examples (schwa is written as uh): Jennifer:  pronounced /Jen uh fer/ experiments:  pronounced /Eks peer uh ments/ beautiful:  pronounced /B yout uh ful/

Word Stress: Difference between nouns and verbs spelled the same

When a noun and verb are spelled the same but sound different, remembering how to say them can be very confusing.  In most cases, there is a simple rule to help you. If the word is a noun, stress the first syllable. If the word is a verb, stress the second. It helps if you remember that in many instances, we say the noun FIRST, then the verb SECOND in sentences.  Here are some examples.  The stress is shown as CAPS.  The NOUN and VERB are highlighted: polish:  The POLish woman will polISH her shoes. conflict:  The CONflict conFLICTS with the UN’s charter.

Syllable Stress: Stressing numbers with TENs.

When counting the “tens”:  20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, and 90, stress the first syllable.  Stress the number word, not the “ty”.  Remember, stress means to make the syllable louder and longer than the others. For example: 20 is pronounced TWENty 50 is pronounced FIFty 90 is pronounced NINEty

Syllable Stress: Stressing numbers with TEENs.

When counting the “teens”:  13, 14, 16, 17, 18, and 19, stress the SECOND syllable.  In other words, stress the TEEN.  Remember, stress means to make the syllable louder and longer than the others. For example: 13 is pronounced thirTEEN 15 is pronounced fifTEEN 19 is pronounced nineTEEN


Learn how to pronounce the English words TODAY, TONIGHT, TOMORROW correctly with this American English pronunciation lesson. Jennifer Tarle from Tarle Speech and Language guides you through a quick pronunciation lesson with quick tips to have you sounding clearer in no time.


Learn how to say the word THERMOMETER in this American English Pronunciation Lesson. Learn how to say TH, ER, M, short o, short u, T, and where to break syllables to say this word correctly.

How to Stress a COMPOUND NOUN

Take this quick ESL pronunciation speaking lesson to learn how to pronounce compound nouns with correct word stress. A compound noun is a combination of two words that make a new noun. Learn to stress the FIRST word in these combinations to be better understood. And remember that stress makes a word or syllable: louder, longer, and higher than the others. Improve your speaking today with this short video lesson.

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