This viewer question comes from China:  “Can you tell me how to speak  “interview, indefinitely, writte­n, palm, twenty, forty, sixty” etc.  Thank you because I’m very confused.”

This is a big question.  I think the best way to approach this question is to look at syllables and spelling.

Syllables are beats in a word.  For instance, my name, Jennifer, has 3 syllables:  Jen uh fer.  Tarle has 2:  Tar l.

Spelling guides our pronunciation, but is not a recipe for speaking.  As I always say in my classes, “there are exceptions to every spelling rule.”  So confusing!  Yes, I agree.  You may need to listen to the word, slowly, or ask a native speaker to tell you the syllables.

For the words that you listed, I will write them in syllables and sounds below:

Word Syllables Sounds
Interview IN  TER  VIEW IH, N, T, ER, V, EW
Indefinitely IN  DEF  IN  IT  LY IH, N, D, EH, F, IH, N, T, L, E
Written WRI  TEN R, IH, T, N
Palm PALM P, AH, L, M
Twenty TWEN  TY T, W, EH, N, T, E
Forty FOR TY F, OR, T, E
Sixty SIX TY S, IH, K, S, T, E