Archive | Pronunciation

small smore

Not the Same: Mistaken Homophones Part Two

Correct pronunciation can often mean the difference between getting what you want and not. Recently, I posted about how the words “hobby” and “happy” confuse many students because of the way an error in pronunciation of the /p/can make them sound similar. Here is another seasonal example. In summer, many people go camping or go to the […]

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There are they are theyre English ESL grammar part 2

What’s the Difference: “There Are” & “They are” Part 2

My beginning students confuse “There are” and “They are.” First, the pronunciation is hard.   To say “There,” your mouth ends up in the position you would use to say the word “girl.”  Your mouth is small and your lips are tight and turned down. To say “they,” smile big.  Show all of your teeth.  (Or, […]

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-gh words ESL English pronunciation etymology

English Has Crazy Pronunciation! Why “-gh” Words Don’t Sound Similar.

The crazy spelling of English reflects the etymology (or origin) of English vocabulary. Begin by watching Claire Bowern’s simple TED Talk on the origins of English. So. now you know that the reason why these endings are spelled similarly but are pronounced differently is due to their country/language of origin. Now, let’s look at some specific […]

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