• Dressed to kill

    The only time the past tense -ed ending is pronounced as a separate syllable “id” is when the verb ends in a “t” or “d” sound. Since dress does not end in a “t” or “d” sound, the past tense ending is not a separate syllable. The word dressed is pronounced “drest”. The expression dressed […]

  • The colors of fall

    Autumn brings colorful leaves. In American English, the letter “o” is often not an “o” sound. In the word color, the letter “o” is a schwa sound, pronounced “uh”, in both syllables. Color is pronounced “cuh-ler”. 

  • Hello October!

    The “er” ending, as in “October”, is a common ending of words. In accents with a British English influence, this “r” sound is pronounced less sharply and sounds more like a vowel sound compared to that in American English. We use more tension in the tongue for a sharp “errr” sound.

  • Autumn begins

    Autumn in the U.S. has begun! When the “t” sound is at the beginning of an unstressed syllable, it’s pronounced like a “d” sound. This frequently happens in the middle of a word. The word “autumn” is  pronounced “ah-dum”.

  • How are you today?

    In American English, unstressed syllables are usually shorter than stressed syllables. Because unstressed syllables are said more quickly and less precisely, the vowel sound in these syllables is usually reduced to a more neutral sound known as the “schwa”. The schwa is pronounced “uh”, as in the word “a” (e.g., a book). It’s the most […]