Category Archives: Accent reduction

  • President’s 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 “President’s” has a “z” sound […]

  • Let it snow!

    In some parts of the U.S., February is full of this fluffy, white stuff! In the phrase “let it snow”, the “t” at the end of “let” is pronounced the same as “d”. This is because it links into a vowel sound. When “t” at the end of a word connects to a vowel sound […]

  • Joyous Jan(y)u(w)ary

    The word “January” is spoken as “Jan(y)u(w)ary”. In American English, we link two vowel sounds together with a “w” or “y” sound. The “w” and “y” sounds are in a class of sounds known as “glides”. Some vowel sounds in American English are “glided” vowels. That is, they have a slight “w” or “y” sound […]

  • Happy New Year!

    The phrase “New Year” is a set phrase. A set phrase is a word or phrase made up of two base words that has a specific meaning different than the meaning of the two individual words (e.g., ICE cream, TOOTHbrush). A set phrase is stressed on the first base word. Happy NEW year!

  • “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.