VIDEO: How to pronounce CALENDAR – 60sec. Pronunciation Quick Fix

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VIDEO: Calendar (KAL-uhn-der)
3 syllables, word stress on the first syllable KAL
There are two pronunciations that I often hear which aren’t as clear as they could be.
1. Stress on the two first syllables: KAL-EN-der
2. Stress on the second syllable: kuh-LEN-der
We should really try to put all our emphasis on the first syllable KAL. KAL-uhn-der.

How to Pronounce ‘INTERESTING’

How to Pronounce 'Interesting'

VIDEO BLOG! How do you say the word ‘interesting’? You’ve probably heard several different pronunciations of this word. Watch this video as I explain the many different acceptable pronunciations of the word ‘INTERESTING’. It’s a quite interesting video! Check it out! :-)

Let me know in the comments how YOU normally say ‘interesting’.


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How to Pronounce ‘REFRIGERATOR’

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VIDEO BLOG! Today’s word, ‘refrigerator’, is a special request from Bollette Joergensen in Denmark, and let me tell you, Bollette, you are definitely not the first person to ask me about this word. I think people just get intimidated by this word because it’s so long. Let’s take a closer look at ‘refrigerator’.


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How to Pronounce ‘Heather’

How to Pronounce 'Heather'

VIDEO BLOG This is one word I know pretty well, and it is one of the most common pronunciations people ask me about. How ironic that a speech specialist has one of the hardest names in the world to pronounce! The ‘th’ sound is tough for just about all non-native speakers, and the final ‘r’ can also cause problems for some. And why is the ‘ea’ pronounced as a short ‘e’ and not a long one like ‘heat’? Yes, I know it’s challenging, but here’s a short video telling you a little bit more about my name, Heather, and how to say it. I actually forgot to mention the funniest story about my name in the video. My husband and I took a short trip   Read More


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How do I pronounce new words correctly?

Reading & Listening to Improve Pronunciation

This is probably the most common question I’m asked by my clients, and one of the hardest to answer. It’s a frustrating problem for learners because even if you learn how to articulate every English sound correctly, you still won’t necessarily pronounce an entire word correctly on the first try. You need to know which letters make which sounds, and unfortunately in English, certain combinations of letters can make a number of different sounds. My answer to this question used to be to “look it up”. In other words, go to an online dictionary like dictionary.com and press the little speaker icon to hear the word pronounced. I grew up with my mom saying this to me, and I think this answer bugged my clients   Read More


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How to Pronounce English Words

how to pronounce english words

Knowing how to pronounce English words correctly every time is not easy! You’ll notice that I’ve started a series on this blog called ‘How to Pronounce…‘. The goal of this series is to help you with the pronunciation of words that I commonly hear mispronounced. Words like, ‘colleague‘, ‘purchase‘, ‘hippopotamus‘, ‘refrigerator’, and yes, even ‘pronunciation‘. Each of these short articles shows you how to pronounce words correctly. You can either read the article, listen to the 60-second Quick Fix recording, or do both! The articles and recordings focus on 4 important factors: 1. Syllables I break the words into syllables for you, so you can understand the foundation of the words. 2. Word Stress You’ll hear me pronounce the words with the appropriate word stress.   Read More


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How to Pronounce ‘Purchase’

How to pronounce 'purchase'

‘Purchase’ is a word that is often mispronounced, basically because people like to pronounce it exactly as it’s written. They look at the word, break it into its syllables, PUR and CHASE, and then read them out loud. The word ends up sounding like ‘purr’ (the sound a cat makes), and ‘chase’, as in, “My 2-year-old likes to chase cats” (they aren’t usually purring when she does that).  If you’re in a hurry, here’s the 60-second Quick Fix: // // What people forget when they say ‘purchase’ is the very important tendency for vowel sounds in unstressed syllables to ‘reduce’ (change their sound) to a schwa. Remember that the schwa sound is a bit like ‘uh’. In this case, the first syllable, PUR, is stressed and the   Read More


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Pronouncing the Double ‘C’

pronouncing the double 'c'

How do you pronounce ‘access’, ‘success’, ‘accept’, ‘accident’ and ’accent’? What about ‘accuse’, ‘account’, ‘raccoon’, ‘acclaim’, ‘piccolo’ and ‘moccasin’? The double ‘c’ can cause some problems because there are two different ways it can be pronounced: ‘ks’ or ‘k’. So which pronunciation should we use, and when? Luckily there is a simple answer to this question. I’m no poet, so this is the closest I can come to a catchy little rhyme to help you remember the rule: Double ‘c’ before ‘i’ or ‘e’ should be pronounced as ‘ks’. But double ‘c’ should be a ‘k’ when it comes before anything else. Not bad, huh? Here are some examples before ‘i’ or ‘e’: success = suk-SESS, access = AK-sess, accident = AK-si-dent And some examples before other letters: piccolo =   Read More


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How to Pronounce ‘Hippopotamus’

how to say hippopotamus

This is probably one of my favorite mispronunciations ever. I was sitting with one of my Singaporean clients and we were talking about tough English words. She mentioned some words that she recently found out she was mispronouncing and we had a laugh about them. You have to be able to laugh at yourself when it comes to these things! Then she said, “Oh, but the hardest one for me is ‘hippo-puh-TAY-mus.” I let out a giggle thinking she was purposely mispronouncing the word, but then it became clear that she was taught to say the word that way. I couldn’t believe it! “Your teachers pronounced it that way?!” “Yep.” Her whole life she had been saying hippo-puh-TAY-mus, never knowing it was incorrect. Thank goodness   Read More


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How to Pronounce ‘Colleague’

How to Pronounce Colleague

VIDEO BLOG! Colleague is another one of the top 10 words I commonly hear mispronounced in Asia. It tends to sound more like ‘colic’, but with the word stress on the second syllable instead of the first. If you prefer audio only, here’s another recording. Click the play button (it may take a few seconds to load). // // Colleague should be stressed on the first syllable, COL and the second syllable, LEAGUE, should sound the same as the normal word ‘league’ with a long E sound and a G ending. You’ll notice that this goes against the typical word stress characteristic (see Part 6 of the free course) that says stressed syllables normally have a pure vowel sound while unstressed syllables are often reduced.   Read More


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