Learn to pronounce the words HOTTER and HARDER  with this American English Pronunciation Lesson.


HOTTER is a comparative adjective that means something is higher in temperature.

HARDER is a comparative adjective that means something is more solid.


HOTTER: hoh-der or /hɑdər/

HARDER: hare-der or /hɑrdər/


Hi everyone  Jennifer from Tarle speech with your pronunciation question of the week!

We have two words today:

hotter which is a comparative adjective saying that something is higher in temperature and

harder another comparative adjective meaning something is more solid

So we’re doing a little sound comparison here.  These words are confusing because of these short oh and this r vowel that we actually pronounce as r.

So let’s start with the easy sound in these words the h sound.  To do that you’re just going to open your mouth, everything is relaxed, and air is just going to move out of your mouth.  Now let’s go to that der at the end.  This is the flap t.  We are going to pronounce this t as a d because it is between a vowel and an er sound.  So in those situations we can pronounce that letter t as a fast d sound or the flap t sound.  And to do this think of it as a super fast d sound. The tip of your tongue is touching almost your front teeth.  It’s on that little piece of skin that kind of starts the roof of your mouth.  Then you’re going to add that er.  To do this think about square tense lips the tip of your tongue is either pointing down or flipped back and the back of your tongue is pulled high up the tip of your tongue is not moving.

Now let’s look at the vowels.  We have that short open oh sound for this sound think of having your mouth open very wide in a wide oval shape.  When your mouth is in that shape the tip of your tongue can get very low in the front of your mouth in the bottom of your mouth and the back of your tongue will be pulled high up



ho der

hotter hotter hotter hotter

Now let’s look at that r vowel and the word harder.  We are going to need to think about moving from that oh to that er you really have to think about this.  Because if you don’t think about it enough you’re going to make that r too short and it’s going to sound like it isn’t there.   So again we’re going to start with the oh your mouth is really wide open tongue tip is low back of the tongue is pulled high up. Okay.  Your tongue is going to stay really high in the back.  You are going to then close your mouth more to that square tense lip shape for that er. When you do this again, some people flip their tongue back.  Other people keep the tip of the tongue down.  Doesn’t matter what you do just choose which works for you  for that er part of this vowel.  Again this is two parts of a vowel that’s going to make one new vowel. So we don’t want a  break in between those sounds we want just nice smooth movement from that oh to the er




Think about holding that er for just a little extra second to really make sure it’s there and let’s add that h har der

harder harder harder

Let’s try them all together

hotter hotter hotter

harder harder harder

hotter harder

Now here’s a quick tip.  This is difficult and if it’s difficult for you take it slow.  Go slowly at first and then get faster and faster.  And it’s always okay to keep going slow if you need to. Especially if it’s on a word here or there because then you will be understood. And it’s all about being clear, not being perfect as you all know.

So let’s try them one more time.

hotter hotter hotter

harder harder harder

Give it a try I know people are going to notice the difference.  If you found this helpful please share us with your friends and give us a like.  If you need help, check out our products on google play and itunes and all of our class options at Tarle speech.

Thanks everyone have a great weekend!