Learn how to pronounce the compound nouns: FRUIT CAKE, GINGERBREAD, SUGAR COOKIE.

These compound nouns are pronounced differently due to word stress.

To pronounce compound nouns correctly:

Link them together

First word is louder, higher in pitch, and has a longer vowel

Second word is softer, lower in pitch, and has shorter vowels

Improve your accent and speak clearly with this ESL English pronunciation lesson. Learn how to pronounce English words correctly with Jennifer Tarle from Tarle Speech and Language. Lessons guide you through a quick pronunciation lesson with practice examples. Learn quick tips to have you sounding clearer in no time. Reduce your accent, gain confidence, and speak clearly today!


Hi everyone and merry Christmas welcome to our little series on Christmas words and how to pronounce them.

Our lesson today is how do i pronounce the words fruitcake: which is a cake made with dried fruits and nuts, gingerbread which is a cake or cookie flavored with ginger, and a sugar cookie which is a small sweet crisp or chewy treat covered in sugar and sometimes in icing. That’s one of my favorite Christmas treats. The lesson today is really going to revolve around word stress and how do you stress compound nouns so all of these words are compound nouns. Basically, what that means is it’s two words put together to mean a new thing. When you stress something you make it louder higher in pitch and you have longer vowels. That is opposed to unstressed which is the exact opposite softer lower and shorter. For most of my students because vowels are so difficult this longer vowel and shorter vowel is key. Again a lot of students that I work with all of their vowels are similar in length. So if you really work on making your vowels different lengths that’s really going to help with these compound nouns and people will better understand you.

Again here are our words fruitcake gingerbread and sugar cookie. How do we go about doing this? What you’re going to do is you are going to stress word number one in each of these cases. Word number two is going to have less stress. Another key point is we’re going to link these words together with no pause in between them and make them one word. So i’m not going to say fruit cake. I’m going to link those words together with no pause make them one word.  And I’m going to make this word louder longer and higher: fruit cake fruit cake. Same thing here I’m going to stress ginger link it to bread make that all one word. Ginger is longer louder and higher bread is shorter softer and lower: gingerbread gingerbread. And then for a sugar cookie sugar cookie sugar cookie sugar cookie. So it sounds some of my students say as if i’m saying these second words very quickly. And I kind of am because of that shorter vowel. So let’s give these all a try fruit cake fruit cake ginger bread gingerbread sugar cookie sugar cookie. I do want to make one last comment for sugar cookie. That has that dreaded short  ooh sound that we have in english it’s not a very common sound but we do use it in very common words. It is here. A tip for that is do not pucker your lips too much. It’s not ew it’s not sugar cookie. And don’t relax them too much it’s not sugar cookie. It is a nice in the middle slightly rounded lips that are relaxed for that ooh vowel. so again it’s not it’s not uh it’s sugar cookie sugar cookie.

Let’s give those all a try again fruit cake fruit cake fruit cake gingerbread gingerbread gingerbread sugar cookie sugar cookie sugar cookie.

My favorite Christmas treat is a sugar cookie but I will also eat gingerbread and fruitcake.

So let me know what your favorite Christmas treat is in the comments section. And give it a try i know people are going to notice the difference. If you found this helpful please share us with your friends as a little Christmas present to them. And if you need any extra help you can check out my site www.tarlespeech.com and my products at google play and itunes.

Thanks everyone merry Christmas see you for the next video.


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