Learn to pronounce the words medicine and Madison with this American English Pronunciation Lesson.


Medicine is the science of diagnosing, treatment, and prevention of disease or a compound used to treat disease.

Madison is a girls name, a city in Wisconsin, or a street in New York City.


Madison: mad-uh-sin or /ˈmædəsən/

Medicine: med-uh-sin or /ˈmɛdəsən/


Hi there jennifer from Tarle speech with your question of the week.

We have two words today:

medicine – the science of diagnosing treatment or prevention of disease


Madison which is a girl’s name, a city in Wisconsin, or a street inNew York City.

So we have our words medicine and Madison.

Three beats in each of these words and each word is going to end with the same two syllables so let’s knock that out.

We have the short uh – the schwa syllable; and then we end with syllable three which is sin.

We start with the s:  sss.  Tip of the tongue is either pointed down or behind the top front teeth.  It is not touching. Air continues to move out.  We’re going to have a relaxed mouth for that short ih.  And then the tip of your tongue touches the back of your top front teeth for that n nnn as the air moves out of your nose.  Now I wrote this as sin but because it is an unstressed relaxed vowel you can think of also saying sun or sen as long as it is short and as long as it is quick.

All right what’s the difference between the med and the mad? Let’s break this down.  We’re going to start with the m mm. Lips are together, air is moving out of the nose. For the d, at the end, going to touch the tip of the tongue to the back of the top front teeth. Very specifically to the spot where the teeth meet the roof of the mouth.  Air is going to puff out and your voice box is on and moving.

What’s the difference between these vowels? Let’s start with that very American open a sound.  To make this sound you’re going to open your mouth in a very wide circle shape ah. Tip of your tongue is really low in the front bottom of the mouth, back of the tongue is pulled really high up, ah.  As I always say, exaggerate these sounds when you’re practicing.  There’s no shame in that game! Open your mouth really wide get your tongue low in the front, high in the back, ah. Really think about moving from that closed mouth. You really have to move.  It’s closed, really open, almost closed again.

mad mad mad

Now for med. This is what people usually say and this is a more closed relaxed e sound. So we have ah eh.   For the eh sound, my mouth is slightly open.  You can see the tip of my tongue between my top and bottom teeth.

The back of my tongue is sort of anchored towards the um insides of my back top teeth. eh

So again, you can see the tip of my tongue, my mouth is slightly open, the back of my tongue is a little bit higher up, and kind of anchored by the um insides of my back top teeth.

Let’s put that all together

med med med


mad mad mad

Let’s try this all together

medicine medicine medicine

madison madison madison

medicine madison

medicine madison

And now for a sentence:

Please pick up the medicine at the Madison pharmacy.

Please pick up the medicine at the Madison pharmacy.

Give it a try I know people are going to notice the difference.  You know what I love,  give us a like and a share and check out our products on google play iTunes and Tarle speech.

Thanks so much everyone and I will see you again soon!