Learn how to pronounce the words MEAN, MEN, and MEANT with this American English Pronunciation Lesson.


Mean: intent to convey or signify

Men: plural of man

Meant: past participle of to mean


mean: /min/

men: /mɛn/

meant: /mɛnt/


Hhello Jennifer from Tarle Speech with your question of the week!

Three words today:
mean: intend to convey or to signify
men: plural of man and
meant: the past participle of to mean

I think spelling confuses people here. This is a fairly easy lesson today. We’re going to start with the m sound: mmm . Lips together, air moves out of your nose. We also have an n in all of these words for the n: nnnn. Tip of the tongue is touching the back of the top front teeth. Air is moving out of your nose. We got those two sounds finished. Okay.

Now for the vowels. We have two different e vowels. I teach it as the long e: e, and the short e: eh. This is how people in America learn to read with long and short vowel sounds. So that’s why I’m going to teach it like this. Plus a lot of people recently who are helping their kids learn how to read, so this will be helpful um for you. So to say the long e you’re going to smile. Nice high flat tongue. And then to say the short eh, you’re going to relax your mouth, open it, and you are going to be able to see the tip of your tongue between your top and your bottom teeth. Just poking out there.

Let’s look at the difference EE Eh EE Eh

Now let’s try it in some words we have
mean mean mean
men men men
mean men
mean men

And then for meant, even though it’s spelled with ea which typically we say the long e we’re going to use the short eh here. Meant. And all you’re going to do is say men and then you’re going to pull your tongue down and away for that t sound and let the air puff out.

meant meant meant

So we have
mean mean mean
men men men
meant meant meant

And now for a sentence:

The men were rather mean. Or did I misinterpret what they meant to say?

So give it a try people are going to notice the difference. If you found this helpful we’d love a like, a share, and a subscribe. If you need help, check out our products and classes at Tarle Speech. Thanks so much!