How to Pronounce the L in American English
In American English the /l/ is referred to as a “liquid” sound.
That’s because when you articulate this sound the tip of your tongue touches the ridge behind your upper teeth.
The air flows through the sides of your tongue.
Clear L & Dark L
When /l/ comes after certain vowel sounds American English speakers will insert a schwa sound between the stressed vowel and the /l/.
We call this the Dark L and it may sound like an extra syllable.
Here are some examples:
The word feel sounds like fee-ᵞəl.
The word mail sounds like mai-ᵞəl.
The word smile sounds like smi-ᵞəl.
The word school sounds like schoo-ʷəl.
Here’s a Picture
Follow the link to see a drawing of the tongue position for the Clear L and the Dark L.
Understanding When to Use the 2 Sounds of L
In my accent reduction coaching program I teach you how and when to use the 2 sounds of the American L.
Saying this sound correctly will enable you to say words including: world, girl & early in a manner that sounds super clear!