20 common words that you have been pronouncing incorrectly

English is the second official language in India and according to recent studies our country has the highest number of English speakers. However, there are several frequently used words which are often mispronounced. The way your words sound can have a big impact on whether or not people understand what you are saying. Clear speech and correct pronunciation are just as important as listening and conversational skills.

Here’s a list of the commonly mispronounced words and how to say them correctly:


1. Breakfast
Incorrect : Break - fast
Correct: Brek - fust

2. February
    Incorrect: Feb-yoo-ar-ee
    Correct: Feb-roo-ar-ee

3. Violence
    Incorrect: Voi-lence
    Correct: why-lence

4. Coupon
    Incorrect: Koo-pun
    Correct: Koo-pawn

5. Pizza
    Incorrect: pee-za or piz-ah
    Correct: peet-zah

6. Data
    Incorrect: daa-ta
    Correct: day-ta

7. Video
    Incorrect: vee-diyo
    Correct: vid-i-yoh

8. Almond
    Incorrect: Al-mund
    Correct: Ah-mund

9. Women
    Incorrect: woo-men
    Correct: wih-men

10. Bowl
    Incorrect: Baa-ool
    Correct: Boh-l

11. Sour
    Incorrect: saar
    Correct: sower (as in power)

12. Heart
    Incorrect: Hurt
    Correct: hah-art

13. Technology
    Incorrect: techno-lojee
    Correct: tech-naw-lo-jee

14. Opportunity
    Incorrect: Oh-por-chew-nity
    Correct: aw-per-chew-nity

15. Determine
    Incorrect: Deter-mine
    Correct: de-ter-min

16. Salon
    Incorrect: sa-loon
    Correct: sa-lon

17. Truth
    Incorrect: Tru-th
    Correct: Troo-th

18. Dessert
    Incorrect: dez-urt
    Correct: dizz-urt

19. Receipt
    Incorrect: re-cept
    Correct: re-ceet

20. Often
    Incorrect: Off-ten
    Correct: Of-fun

So, how can you solve this problem and improve your spoken English? As a learner of English, there are several ways to ensure that your pronunciation is correct. We suggest some basic tips that are easy to follow and practise.

First, refer to good online dictionaries such as Oxford, Cambridge, or Merriam-Webster, to know how a word is pronounced. Second, focus more on listening skills. This will automatically take care of the way you say certain words. Once you’ve listened to the words, you can try repeating them. Third, become familiar with the concept of word stress, intonation, and silent letters. Word stress explains how words are broken into syllables and how the different syllables need to be said whereas intonation refers to the rise and fall of our voice when we make full sentences. And of course, you must watch videos and listen to songs to speak better English. YouTube has a lot of free content which you can access. Lastly, you can enroll for an English speaking course which will assist in building your overall confidence and you will also learn the different aspects of the language - grammar, vocabulary, and pronunciation.

If you follow these tips regularly, you will definitely be speaking clearly and confidently. So, what are you waiting for? Go grab your cup of tea and start practising!
 

Published on Sept. 3, 2019 by EnglishMate
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