Today’s question comes from a website visitor from Russia:
“I’d like you to add some examples with some gerunds. I’ve got some problems with the double “ng”:
– Singing, hanging, etc.
I can’t understand whether you (the Americans) pronounce the sound “g” after the first “ng” (I’m sorry that I can’t picture some sounds):
1. Sing – [ s i NG ].
– Singing – [ ‘ s i NG i NG ] or [ ‘ s i NG g i NG ].
2. Hang – [ h ae NG ].
– Hanging – [ ‘ h ae NG i NG ] or [ ‘ h ae NG g i NG ].
Last variants in the examples look like the word “angry” with “g” after “ng” – [ ‘ ae NG g r i ].
Thank you, Jennifer.
Wow…what a question!
First, NG is one sound. N and G are also separate sounds.
The answer to this question depends on where (i.e. the region of the US) an American speaker lives.
Where I grew up in Western Pennsylvania, we make a hard G, then add the NG. In fact, our NG is not one sound, but two: N+G. (SIN+G+IN+G)
In the south, people would say the first NG then would drop the G at the end (singin)
“Standard” (i.e. TV English) would pronounce both NG’s as one sound: (Si+ng+i+ng)
My suggestion is to focus on the NG at the end of a word. When the NG is in the middle of the word, then it doesn’t matter as much. You can say N+G or NG. If you drop the extra G ) like in [ ‘ ae NG g r i ] it won’t impact your clarity.
My rule of thumb is to be clear and effective in communication Don’t worry about being perfect. Even us native speakers have variations and make mistakes.