• 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 […]

  • At last!

    The “ae” sound in American English is used in some common words that are pronounced with an “ah” sound in British English, such as “last”. 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. The expression “at […]

  • On the ball

    The words “on” and “ball” have the same vowel sound as in the word “father”. Some nonnative speakers say this sound with a more closed mouth and rounded lips. This sound is pronounced with a open mouth and no lip rounding. The expression “on the ball” means to have things under control, or to understand […]

  • Surf the In(t)ernet

    When the “t” sound comes after the “n” sound, it is often not pronounced. It becomes a silent “t”. The word “Internet” is often spoken as “Innernet”. The silent “t” is especially common in phrases (such as “San(t)a Claus”), contractions (such as “didn(‘t) it”), and verbs (such as “wan(t)ed”).

  • Ideal situation

    The letter “t” is sometimes a “ch” sound, as in the word “situation”. An ideal situation is a standard that seems very good and that which one seeks to attain. What is an ideal situation for you?