How to pronounce the TIME correctly
Many of the people who I work with in my accent reduction coaching program don’t pronounce the time in a way that Americans can easily understand.
That’s because they never learned the stress patterns for saying numbers.
Stress patterns for numbers
American English speakers pronounce numbers using familiar stress patterns.
Basically, we stress the vowel sound in the last number word.
Here are some examples
When stating the time in quarter hours, stress the /iy/ as in Green vowel sound in the last syllable.
- 7:15 sevenfiftee→n
- 8:15 eightfiftee→n
- 9:15 ninefiftee→n
When stating the time in half hours, stress the /ɝ/ as in Purple vowel sound in the second to last syllable.
- 7:30 seventher→dy
- 8:30 eightther→dy
- 9:30 ninether→dy
When stating the time using other tens numbers, stress the vowel sound in the second to last syllable.
- 7:50 sevenfi→fdy
- 8:50 eightfi→fdy
- 9:50 ninefi→fdy
When you add an additional number, stress the vowel sound in the last syllable.
- 7:45 sevenfordyfi➝ve
- 8:45 eightfordyfi➝ve
- 9:45 ninefordyfi➝ve
Getting the stress right is critical!
Since spoken American English is a “stressed timed language”, putting stress or emphasis on the correct syllable is critical for clear communication.
Try pronouncing time numbers using these stress patterns. You’ll see that American listeners will understand you right away!
Ready to learn more rules for clear American English pronunciation?
I show you the rules for saying numbers, names and many other words correctly in all of my accent reduction programs.
From iBooks to personal coaching, if you’re a fluent speaker of American English, who wishes to speak more clearly, my programs will show you how to do that.