Difference between DEAR, DEER and DARE?

Here is another question from a subscriber in Vietnam:  “Is the word "dare" pronounced like "deer" or "dair"? DARE is pronounced with the AIR sound.    AIR is made by opening your mouth wide then moving to rounded lips. DEER is pronounced with the EAR sound.  EAR is made by smiling then moving to…


What is voicing?

Put your hand on your throat.  Say ahhhh.  You should feel your voice box vibrate. Keep your hand on your throat and say the "P" sound.  Now say the "B" sound.  Did you feel the difference?  Your voice box does NOT vibrate for the "P" sound but it DOES vibrate for the "B" sound. This is an…


Should I get rid of my accent?

That’s up to you.  It depends on your goals. I chose to learn a new accent because people couldn’t always understand my regional dialect.  Let’s face it, most people have no idea what “Um goin downa haus” (I'm going down the house) means.  Or "yinz got a gumban?" (Do you all have a rubber band?)…


How do you pronounce “correctly”?

Today’s question is from a Chinese speaker: “How would you pronounce "correctly"?  Is the t silent? Thank you!” I hear both. Some people say the T and others do not. I personally do not say the T. Remember that there are many, acceptable pronunciation variations.  The way a word is pronounced can…


How to make the L sound.

Today’s question is from a Chinese student: “Is it necessary to touch your tongue to the back ofyour top teeth to make the L sound?  Do all native speakers do that?  Sorry for asking so many questions! :)” I love questions...keep them coming! Some native speakers will make this sound in different…


Difference between VANE and VEIN

This week’s question: “How do you pronounce "vein" and "vain". I can never get it right. Thank you! Sincerely, a Chinese student: D” Good news: VANE and VEIN are both pronounced the same way. Three sounds: V-long A-N. To say these words, start by gently biting your bottom lip and keep the air…


Accent Patterns for Two-Syllable Words

There are three accent patterns for two syllable words. 1.  Accent on the first syllable: The accent is usually on the first syllable in two-syllable words.  This occurs in the words dollar, toothbrush, and airport. 2.  Accent on the second syllable: When a word has a prefix in the first syllable…


Silent W Sound

Most of my clients learned English through reading.  This leads to a lot of pronunciation mistakes since not all letters in a word are pronounced.   I often hear this pronouncing every letter in a word mistake with the silent W sound Learn these silent W combinations to avoid adding a W sound when…


Difference between WANT and WON’T

Today’s question comes from a podcast viewer: “Can you explain "WANT and WON'T" thanks again, your videos are very helpful.” Thanks so much for your kind words. I am so happy that I can help! WANT and WON'T are confusing because of their spelling. WANT is pronounced with the short u sound. It…


How do you say: AS WELL AS?

This is a great question from a podcast subscriber: “I have problems with the pronunciation of "AS WELL AS"... how do you say it?” AS WELL AS is tough. Let's look at the sounds in each word: Short a Z (as) W Short e L (well) Short a Z (as) Start with an open mouth for the short a, then close your…