Learn how to pronounce the words REBEL & REBEL with this American English heteronym pronunciation lesson. Heteronyms are words that are spelled exactly the same. They just have a different pronunciation and a different meaning.


Noun: /ˈrɛbəl/

Verb: /rɪˈbɛl/


Noun: a resistor

Verb: to resist


Hello Jennifer from Tarle Speech with your heteronym pronunciation lesson. Heteronyms are words that are pronounced differently, they have different meanings but they are spelled exactly the same way. Yes that is very confusing. I just teach it, I don’t make the rules. Our words today are rebel um which is a resistor; and rebel which means to resist.

We have some variations today. I’m going to start with just the basics and then we’ll talk about the differences. Okay, so a good rule to know is often times when you have a heteronym that is a noun and a verb we oftentimes stress syllable number one for the noun and syllable number two for the verb. What does that mean? That means that the stressed syllable is louder, the vowel is longer, and it is higher in pitch. The unstressed syllable then needs to be softer, shorter vowel, and lower in pitch. All right! So to say the word rebel, we are going to start with that r sound er. To do this, tip of the tongue is down or flipped back, the back of the tongue is always pulled high up and tense. Think about having square tense lips. You don’t want to have your lips too relaxed or too puckered for this sound. Next you’re going to add that short eh sound. You can see my mouth is slightly open you can see the tip of my tongue just between my top and bottom teeth. My tongue is a bit relaxed in my mouth. eh. And it’s just there it’s kind of like a cup in the middle of my tongue and it is just relaxed and there it’s not touching my teeth.
eh eh eh
You can see my cheeks are relaxed and my lips are relaxed as well. Next we’re going to end with bull. To do this lips together for that b, they open, air puffs out, voice box is on and moving. Im writing this as bull like the animal because this helps a lot of my students. So to do that we’re going to move from that b and then we’re going to add that ul this is actually just me moving my tongue from the bottom of my mouth to the back of my top front teeth
bull bull bull
rebel rebel rebel
rebel rebel rebel

Now for rebel we are going to start with re. And to do this you know how to do the r. Then we’re going to add that long e. High flat tongue, cheeks are tense, your lips are tense. You’re smiling e ree. Then we’re gonna end with bell like you ring the dinner bell. Do this start with that b b. Add that short eh sound. Again, mouth is slightly open, relaxed tongue is just peeking out between the bottom and the top teeth, and then touch the teeth for that l. To be super specific that spot where your teeth meet the skin on the roof of your mouth.

rebel rebel rebel

Let’s talk about stress. We’re going to stress syllable number one in rebel and syllable number two in rebel.

rebel rebel

You have some variations here. You might hear this word differently instead of hearing that bull some people do hear belle that’s okay. The important thing here is is that you’re stressing syllable number one rebel rebel rebel.

I do hear some people and I actually do this when I’m not stressing a word in a sentence I will say rebel with that short i sound. rebel rebel rebel

So you can say rebel or rebel. Either is fine. So let’s try these words together:
rebel rebel rebel
rebel rebel rebel

And now for a sentence: The rebel will rebel against his comrades. That’s kind of scandalous!

Give it a try I know people are going to notice the difference. If you found this helpful, share this with your friends, give us a like, leave us a comment, all the things. And if you’re looking for help you can check out our products and classes at Tarle speech.

Thanks everyone see you next week!