The Three Consonant Rule
When a word ends with three consonant sounds, native speakers will drop the middle sound. This makes these words easier to pronounce.
- asks ass
- asked ast
- tasks tass
- facts faks
- lists liss
- scripts scips
- months monts
- strengths strenkz
- fifths fifs
- sixths siks
B. This can also occur between words
- perfect condition perfkəndition
- product marketing produkmarkəding
- strict believer strikbəliever
- best request besrəques’
- best quality besqualədy
- expert presenter experprəzenner
C. Sentences for practice
- He asks for advice.
- He asked me for advice.
- I have a lot of tasks today.
- I have lots of tasks to complete today.
- She tasked me with that assignment.
- Here’s the facts.
- What are the facts?
- I have two lists.
- I have two lists of tasks.
- The doctor gave me two scripts.
- Use two fifths of a cup.
- Divide that into sixths.
- That car is in perfect condition.
- She’s an expert at product marketing.
- What are your strengths?
- I’ve been in the US for six months.
- We have the best quality service.
- You’re an expert presenter!
In many situations, over-pronouncing consonant sounds will make your speech sound choppy and abrupt.
Remember to reach for the vowel sounds in stressed syllables. Don’t spend too much time on these groups of consonants.
About the author
Susan Ryan is an accent reduction coach. Contact her with your questions about clear American speech.