• Memorial Day

    The “l” sound at the beginning of a syllable is pronounced with the tip of the tongue behind the upper front teeth. For the “l” sound at the end of a syllable or word, the tongue tip does not touch behind the upper front teeth. Instead, the sound is shaped with the back of the […]

  • When life gives you lemons, make lemonade

    In American English, stress affects pronunciation more than spelling. To speak with an American accent, largely ignore spelling. Unstressed syllables are reduced. The vowel sound in an unstressed syllable is usually pronounced with the more neutral schwa sound, regardless of how it’s spelled. The second syllable of the word “lemon” is pronounced the same as […]

  • Hello May!

    American English has “glided” vowel sounds. This means there is a slight “w” or “y” sound at the end. (The glides are the “w” and “y” sounds.) The “ay” sound in American English, as in “May”,  is longer than in some other languages and has a slight “y” sound at the end. To sound like […]

  • April showers bring May flowers

    The vowel sound in “showers” and “flowers” is “ow”, as in “Ow! I stubbed my toe!” This is the sound in several common words, such as “about” and “how”. Some non-native speakers say this sound a little like “o”. The “ow” sound is like a combination of “ae” as in “cat” and “o” as in […]

  • Tax season

    The word “tax” has the “ae” sound. The “ae” sound is the sound in the word “cat” and is made with the corners of the lips pulled back towards the ears, as if smiling. It’s tax season in the U.S. Have you filed your tax return yet?