7 Embarrassing Pronunciation Errors

 

Some common English pronunciation mistakes here in Singapore are also the most embarrassing. They could possibly cause offence, or just cause the listener to break into laughter…

1. ‘sheet’

 

Example: “Pass that sheet.”

The vowel ‘ee’ /i:/ in sheet needs to be a long sound, and not short. If kept short you will say the word that means excrement.

Another example: “Singapore has lovely beaches”

bitches

2. ‘can’t’

 

Example: “You can’t”

If the vowel /a:/ sound is not open enough it can sound like a very rude word indeed! Don’t confuse the ‘u’ /ʌ/ sound with the ‘ar’ /a:/ sound

Another example: ‘us’ versus ‘ass’

3. ‘third’

 

Example: “Richard the third”

The TH sound /θ/ should be made by putting your tongue between your teeth. Unfortunately this sound often sounds like either ‘t’ or ‘d’ sound. 

turd

4. ‘coke’

 

Example: “Would you like a coke?”

The oh sound /əʊ/ in coke is often kept to a single ‘o’ sound making it more like the vowel in ‘rock’.

5. ‘Fork’

 

Example: “I need a fork”

Like the example above the ‘or’ sound /ɔ:/ is often kept short. It should be stretched.

Another example: “Pull this cork”

6. ‘crab’

 

Example: “For me the crab soup’

The voiced sound /b/ is sometimes devoiced and becomes a /p/ sound. Was the soup really that bad?

7 ‘cement’

 

Example: “Fill this with cement”

Remember to end words with the proper consonant sound. Don’t drop the ‘t’ sound in cement!

cement

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