Yearly Archives: 2016

  • Happy New Year!

    The word “happy” has a tense “ee” sound at the end. This common word ending, spelled -y, is typically pronounced “ee”. The tense “ee” sound is a long sound, made with your tongue high and your lips smiling. The sides of the tongue are pressed against the roof of the mouth.

  • “H”appy “H”olidays!

    The “h” sound is made by opening your mouth and exhaling a huff of air from the lungs. To make this sound, pretend you are trying to fog up your glasses to clean them. If you’re a Russian speaker, make this sound a bit softer. The American “h” doesn’t have an audible friction sound.

  • Helloo(w) December!

    The “o” sound in American English is long and has a slight “w” sound at the end. To sound like a native speaker, double this vowel sound and really round your lips at the end.

  • Happy “Th”anksgiving!

    The “th” sound is made with the tip of your tongue between your upper and lower teeth, and with moving air. If you speak with an accent that tends to substitute an “s” or “z” sound, such as Russian, think of the “th” like an “s” with the tongue between the teeth. If you speak […]

  • Smile!

    Have you ever noticed that native American speakers seem to smile when they talk? American English has less lip rounding than many other languages. We really don’t use our lips much. So smile when you talk — it does wonders for reducing your accent!