Do you drop your word endings?

Highly educated peoplePhd

Every person who I work with in my accent reduction programs is highly educated.

They have an excellent command of vocabulary (although they avoid saying some words due to concerns about pronunciation).

Most of the people in my programs have advanced degrees such as an MD, MS, MBA or PhD.

Making grammatical errors

However, many of these professionals drop the sounds at the ends of words when they speak English.

Dropping sounds that occur at the end of words creates grammatical errors.

You don’t want that to happen!

The following list are sounds that many non native speakers fail to articulate clearly at the end of words:

  • /s/
  • /z/
  • /d/
  • /ed/

Stop and think for a moment….Does this ever happen to you? If you’re a Chinese or Spanish speaker of English, there’s a very good chance that you’re unintentionally dropping these sounds.

Why word final sounds are critical

If you drop these sounds at the ends of words…. two things happen in the ears of the American listener.

  1. Dropping the sound contributes to your foreign accent
  2. Dropping the sound creates a grammatical error

Let me explain…..

You need to use the /s/ & /z/ sounds for plurals & verb tenses

If you drop the /s/ or /z/ sound at the end of a word, your plurals will sound incorrect.

Many of your verb tenses will sound incorrect.

This will make your English sound foreign & ungrammatical.

You need to use the /d/, /t/ & /ed/ sounds for the past tense

If you drop the /d/, /t/ or /ed/ sound at the end of a past tense verb, your English will sound incorrect.

This will make your English sound foreign & ungrammatical.

You want to sound professional when you speak

If you are in a high status career, or on the path to a high status career, you really don’t want to make grammatical errors when you speak!

You want both your grammar and your “accent” to sound as correct and natural as possible.

American Accent Master Class

Pronouncing word endings clearly and correctly is just one skill that you’ll learn in my American Accent Master Class.

Follow the link above to take a free trial lesson.

You’ll learn how to speak American English in a manner that sounds clear and professional.

About the author

Susan Ryan is an accent reduction coach. Contact her with your questions about clear American speech.