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10 Commonly Mispronounced Words

Average: 3.7 (23 votes)

The following words are all very common, yet they often present pronunciation difficulties. Hopefully, these tips will make it a little easier to say each word more clearly.

1. Clothes – the “th” sound followed by an “s” is very difficult even for native speakers.  Pronounce this word just like the word “close” as in: “Please close the door.”
Say: I wear clothes (close) when I close the door.

2. Months – again the “th” sound followed by an “s” is too difficult.  Pronounce this word without the “th” sound.  Just say “muns”.
Say: I will stay for one month (munth), but he will stay for six months (muns).

3. Answer – the “w” is not pronounced. 
Say: He gave the answer (anser) without the “w”.

4. An – many students pronounce this word like “on” or “un”.  All you have to do is say it just like the letter “n”.
Say: She ate an (n) apple.

5. Island – the “s” is not pronounced. 
Say: He was stuck on the island (iland) without his “s”.

6. Once – the beginning sound is like a “w”; similar to the word “won” with an “s” sound at the end, not like the beginning sound of the word “on”.
Say: Once (wons) I won one hundred dollars.

7. Women – the “o” is pronounced much differently than the “o” sound in the singular form, woman. The “o” is pronounced “i” as in the word “in”.  The “e” is also pronounced like an “i”.
Say: I see five tall women (wimin) next to one short woman.

8. Debt – the “b” is not pronounced.  This word rhymes with bet.
Say: I am in debt (det) because I like to bet.

9. Doubt – this word also has a silent “b” which is replaced with a “w” sound as in the word “out”.
Say: I doubt (dowt) that he went out.

10. Receipt – the “ceipt” part of the word is pronounced just like the word “seat”.
Say: He left his receipt (re-seat) under his seat.

Consider this:  In order to get what you want, when you want it; you may have to do what you don’t want to do when you don’t want to do it.

By ThomasWilliams

Thomas Williams is a teacher at EC San Diego

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