• 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?

  • Happy Spring!

    In American English, the “r” sound is made with the tongue still and not touching the roof of the mouth. Think of a dog growling, “errr”. In the word “spring”, it can help to stretch out the word in practicing this sound, as in “sperring”.

  • It’s a toss-up!

    Compound nouns are usually stressed on the first base word. Compound verbs, on the other hand, are stressed on the second word. Note that a TOSS-up is a noun and to toss UP is a verb. A “toss-up” means a result that can go either way.

  • March wind

    March is known to be a windy month. The noun, “wind” has a different vowel sound than the verb, “wind”. Just as a sea “bass” has a different vowel sound than a “bass” drum. Same spelling — pronounced differently! In American English, you can’t be sure how a word is pronounced from its spelling. A […]

  • Presidents’ Day

    The letter “s” can sometimes be an “s” sound (e.g., case), and sometimes a “z” sound (e.g., rise).  Common spellings for the “s” sound are the letters “c” and “s” (e.g., peace, bus).  Common spellings for the “z” sound are the letters “z” and “s” (e.g., prize, lose). The word “Presidents’” has a “z” sound […]