How to pronounce loose & lose

How to pronounce loose & lose

How to pronounce loose & lose

How to pronounce loose & lose

Sometimes pronouncing American English words correctly can drive you crazy.

That’s because the same letter, (in this case the letter S) can have more than one sound.

If you’re a non native speaker who learned English through reading instead of listening, you’re probably not aware of all the spoken patterns.

The sounds of the letter S

To explain what I mean about the letter S having more than one sound, let’s use the words loose & lose.

The adjective loose is pronounced with a /s/ sound. It sounds like luʷse.

The verb to lose is pronounced with a /z/ sound. It sounds like luʷ→ze.

Longer vowel sound

Notice that the /uʷ/ sound is much longer➝ in the word lose.

That’s because it occurs before a voiced /z/ sound.

Using the correct vowel length here is very, very important, especially if you want to speak with a clear American accent!

Here are two sentences you can use to practice the /s/ & /z/ sounds:

1. Did you lose some weight? (luʷ→ze)

2. Yes, and now my pants are too loose! (luʷse)

Listen here

 

Learn to use the correct sound

Just this week, I taught the sounds of the letter S to three of my accent reduction coaching clients (a Russian speaker, a Hindi speaker and a Spanish speaker).

All three were very surprised to learn that the S frequently has a /z/ sound.

No one has taught you the rules

There’s no need  to feel bad about not knowing all the rules for spoken English.

Only people who’ve taken some accent reduction training would be aware of this.

If clear American English communication is critical for your career success, find out how accent reduction coaching will help you!

 

 

 

 

4 Rules for Pronouncing Numbers Clearly

4 Rules for Pronouncing Numbers Clearly

4 Rules for Pronouncing Numbers Clearly

4 Rules for Pronouncing Numbers Clearly

In my Skype accent reduction coaching program, I work with professionals from multinational companies

Several of my clients are in finance.

This means that they MUST pronounce numbers correctly when dealing with Americans.

Here are 4 rules that I teach them for pronouncing numbers clearly.

1. Tens numbers have major stress on the first syllable.

Say the first syllable a bit louder.

Lengthen the sound of the vowel and raise your pitch.

TWENty,THIRty, FORty, FIFty, SIXty, SEVENty, EIGHTty, NINEty

2. Make the “ty” sound more like “dy”.

THIRdy, FORdy, FIFdy, SIXdy

3. When you add a number the major stress shifts to the last number.

FORdyONE, FORdyTWO, FORdyTHREE, FORdyFOUR, FOrdyFIVE

4. Teens numbers are often stressed on the second syllable.

Say the second syllable louder and longer and raise your pitch.

Make the “t” in the second syllable VERY clear. Lengthen the “ee” and exaggerate the final “n”.

thirTEEN, fourTEEN, fifTEEN, sixTEEN, sevenTEEN, eighTEEN, nineTEEN

Listen here

Improve your American English speaking skills

If you are an international professional looking for the best way to improve your American English communication skills, check out my American Accent Coaching Course.

I teach you how to say numbers, abbreviations, technical &  professional words clearly and confidently!

Ready to test yourself?

Here’s short a QUIZ on pronouncing numbers in American English.

QUIZ-Pronouncing Numbers in American English

 

Do you use contractions when you speak English?

Do you use contractions when you speak English?

Many non native speakers don’t use contractions when they speak American English.

Instead, they speak word by word, saying phrases such as can not, do not, they will, that is and they are.

Contracted forms

Instead, you should be saying these contracted forms in conversations.

  • can’t
  • don’t
  • they’ll
  • that’s
  • they’re

I know it’s hard to believe, but when you don’t use contractions, it contributes to your accent!

Contractions help you speak with a better rhythm   

Using contractions help you speak using the correct rhythm of spoken English.

When you speak using contractions you’re able to:

  • reduce the sounds of function words
  • use more schwa vowel sounds
  • blend words together more smoothly
  • use American T sounds more effectively

Friendly, melodic & natural

Since you’re not giving equal emphasis to every word, your speech sounds more friendly, melodic and natural to the American listener.

I teach you how to use contractions and many other strategies you can use to reduce your accent in my Skype accent reduction coaching program.

☆My programs are guaranteed to help you speak American English with clarity and confidence!☆

 

 

Pronouncing career, carrier & Korea

Pronouncing career, carrier & Korea

How to pronounce career

How to pronounce career

One of my accent reduction coaching clients asked me a great question regarding the pronunciation of these three words:

- career

- carrier

- Korea

Easy to mispronounce 

These words are easy to mispronounce if you don’t  use American style syllable stress and schwa correctly!

Let’s take a look

1. career

The first vowel sound is schwa. The stressed vowel sound is stressed.

Say it like this: cǝ reɚ→

2. carrier

The first vowel sound is a stressed. The second syllable has a minor stress.

Say it like this: caɚ➝riʸɚ

3. Korea

The first vowel sound is schwa. The stressed vowel sound is in the middle.  Then add need to add another schwa.

Say it like this: Kǝre→ʸə

Listen here

 

Syllable stress & schwa are key!

If you want to speak American English clearly and professionally, you absolutely must learn the rules for syllable stress & schwa.

I teach you how to do use syllable stress & schwa to say the words you use everyday clearly and correctly in my accent reduction coaching programs.


 

How to Pronounce Can & Can’t

How to Pronounce Can & Can’t

How to pronounce can & can't

How to pronounce can & can’t

My accent reduction coaching clients often tell me~

Susan, people don’t understand me when I say the words can & can’t.

3 Tips 

Here are 3 TIPS that will help you be understood when you say can & can’t.

1.  When CAN occurs at the end of a sentence

When can occurs at the end of a sentence, the vowel sound is /æ/ as in Black.

2. When CAN occurs at the beginning or middle of a sentence

When can occurs at the beginning or middle of a sentence it receives less stress.

The vowel sound is reduced to the schwa /ə/ (uh sound).

3. The vowel sound in CAN’T is always stressed

When you say can’t, the vowel sound is always /æ/ as in Black.

Don’t over articulate the sound of the T though! That’ll make you sound angry or abrupt.

Dialog with can & can’t

Here’s a sample dialog with can & can’t based on the rules above~

 

John: When cən you go to the movies with me? (schwa vowel sound)

Lisa: I cæn’t go this weekend because I have to work. (long, clear /æ/ sound)

John: Cən you go on Monday? (schwa vowel sound)

Lisa: I think I cən go then, let me check my schedule. Yes, I cæn! (schwa vowel sound + long, clear /æ/sound)

 

Learn to speak American English clearly

In my iBook, American Accent Fundamentals, I teach you the rules for speaking American English using short dialogs like the one above.

Download the first chapter for FREE in the iBookstore at the button below.

American Accent Fundamentals - Susan M. Ryan

Start learning the rules for speaking clear American English today!

 

How to Pronounce the American English O

How to Pronounce the American English O

How to pronounce the American English O

How to pronounce the American English O

Many of my accent reduction coaching clients get confused about how to pronounce the letter O in American English.

And it’s no wonder!!!

The O has at least five different sounds in spoken English. *

Here are a few examples:

/ow/ as in Rose

  • mobile
  • home
  • phone

/ɑ/ as in Olive

  • content (n )
  • process, processor
  • problem

/ʌ/ as in Mustard

  • wonder
  • recover
  • one, won

/uw/ as in Blue

  • do
  • move, remove
  • lose

/ɝ/ as in Purple

  • work
  • worry
  • world

Listen here

 

How do you know which sound to use?

It’s not always easy to know which O sound to use.

In my accent reduction coaching program, I teach you which sound to use in the words YOU use everyday.

Take a look

 

Just for fun, I’ve added four of the sounds of the letter O to this info-graphic.

Click on the info-graphic to enlarge it in a new frame.

 

Learn the sounds of the American English O

You can learn to pronounce the correct sounds of O and the other 14 American English vowel sounds in my iBook, American Accent Fundamentals.

My iPad book is available in the iBookstore.
American Accent Fundamentals - Susan M. Ryan

You can download the first chapter for free!

* of course the letter O can also be pronounced with a schwa vowel sound.

Did you say walk or work?

Did you say walk or work?

Did you say walk or work?

Did you say walk or work?

This week one of my accent reduction coaching clients told me that people don’t understand him when he says the words

WALK & WORK.

We worked on the correct articulation of those words during our session.

This is how we solved the problem

I explained to him that the vowel sound in WORK has an /ɝ/ as in Purple sound.

This sound is made with your tongue high in your mouth. If you pull your tongue back when you make the sound (retracted /r/) it sounds nice and clear.

The vowel sound in WALK has an /ɑ/ as in Olive sound.

This sound is made with your tongue in a low, central position in your mouth.

Articulation of stressed vowel sounds

Understanding how to articulate and stress the correct vowel sound in a word will make a HUGE difference in your comprehensibility.

Learning tools

I use two tools to teach the 15 American English vowel sounds.

  1. The Color Vowel Chart by Taylor & Thompson
  2. The University of Iowa Phonetics Website

And of course, detailed and focused feedback on client homework and guidance during our Skype sessions.

Learn to speak clear American English

You can learn to speak American English clearly.

But you’ll need guidance, feedback and the right tools!

Contact me at susan@confidentvoice.com if you’d like to talk about improving the way you communicate in American English.

 

Mastering the American Accent

Mastering the American Accent

Mastering the American Accent

Mastering the American Accent

If you’re looking for an accent reduction book you can use for self study, I recommend Mastering the American Accent.

Here’s why I like it~

The author provides well organized lessons on:

  • American English vowels
  • American English consonants
  • American English syllable stress
  • American English intonation
  • American English linking & blending

I used this book when I taught American English pronunciation classes in Washington DC & Maryland.

My students found the lessons clear and easy to follow.

Special Tips for Each Language Group

The last chapter contains special tips for speakers of Korean, Japanese, German, French, Spanish and Indian languages.

This is very helpful because it guides you to the best chapters in the book that people from each language should focus on.

You will need some help if you want to reduce your accent and speak English like an American.

Make a Small Investment in Your Communication Skills

This book will help you!

Don’t hesitate to invest $25.00 in order to improve your communication skills.

Get a copy of Mastering the American Accent and start learning to speak American English with a standard American accent.

Take a Look

See Mastering the American Accent & some of my other recommended books for accent reduction by clicking this widget.

Serious about Accent Reduction

If you’re really serious about making changes to the way you speak American English…

If you want to make noticeable changes to the way you speak in the least amount of time…..

You need to investigate accent reduction coaching.

Make Noticeable Changes

One on one accent reduction coaching will allow you to make changes that others will notice.

The training you receive will enable you to work on your words, phrases & sentences in a focused, confidential environment.

Start with a book.

Once you understand the basics, get the coaching you need to apply what you learned and get real time feedback.

iPad book for the American Accent

iPad book for the American Accent

In my iPad book, I teach you the fundamentals of the American accent using a format that’s fun to use and super easy to understand.

  1. Each lesson in my iBook builds on the previous lesson.
  2. That means that your knowledge grows with each chapter.
  3. Each chapter includes a QUIZ to help you assess your understanding.

No CDs or extraneous audio files

There’s no need for CDs or extra mp3 files. That’s because the audio is built right in to the book!

It’s compact and very convenient!

Check it out here.
American Accent Fundamentals - Susan M. Ryan

You can download the first chapter for FREE in the iBookstore.

Accent elimination

Will my book help you eliminate your accent?

No.

And I don’t know of a method, besides personal coaching, that may teach you to eliminate your accent.

However,  my iPad book WILL help you learn the fundamentals of the American accent…it’s an easy way to get started!