Improve Your Pronunciation with These Exercises and Advanced Techniques

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We have two episodes for you dedicated to pronunciation. These episodes contain many challenging exercises to help you speak clearly. 

Do follow along with me and Amnah on our podcast episodes 83. Pronunciation: Vowels and 84. Pronunciation: Consonants.

 

You can also listen to these episodes on SpotifyApple Podcasts or Google Podcasts.

Here are the exercises. (Remember, the key is to do these eight exercises out loud.)

1. Distinguishing short and long vowels:

SHORT VOWELS LONG VOWELS
lip leap
sit seat
hit heat
chick cheek


2. Comparing the following vowels:

pen pan
hat head
look Luke
sock soak
tin ten
caught coat
peach pitch


3. Exercising the unvoiced ‘th’ sounds by reading aloud the tongue twisters below:

  • My thumb is too thick to flick this.

  • Thirsty throats find things to drink.

  • These things finish sooner than you think.


4. Exercising the voiced ‘th’ sounds by reading aloud the following tongue twister:  

The thirty-three thieves thought that they thrilled the throne throughout Thursday.


5. Distinguishing the voiced ‘th’ and the unvoiced ‘th’ in the tongue twister below:

They thankfully think this thing is the best thing that they can throw the three times they need to throw a thing.

 

6. Distinguishing the ‘l’ sound from the ‘r’ sound in the following tongue twisters:

    • I looked right at Larry’s rally and left in a hurry.

    • Round and round the rugged rocks the ragged rascal ran.

    • A really leery Larry rolls readily to the road.

       

7. Pronouncing the past tense endings clearly as in the following words:

a. When the last letter in the verb is an unvoiced consonant, pronounce -ed like a /t/:

    • liked

    • watched

b. When the last letter in the verb is a voiced consonant, pronounce -ed like a /d/:

    • screamed

    • considered

 

c. When the last letter in the verb is a ‘t’ or a ‘d’, the ending sound is /ɪd/:

    • voted

    • landed

 

8. Pronouncing plural sounds correctly [s], [z], [ɪz]:

  • works vs. wigs 
  • laughs vs. loves
  • glass vs. glasses
  • trousers vs. pants 
  • likes vs. hates vs. loves

     

How do you find the exercises above? If you found them quite difficult or you are unsure about some of these sounds, then listen and watch the episodes above as I go through each of them.

If you found the exercises quite easy, then you’re ready to try some advanced techniques to help you sound natural. The techniques are:

    1. Catenation
    2. Assimilation
    3. Intrusion

 

If this is something you are ready for, watch or listen to episode 84. Pronunciation: Consonants to find out more.

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Hi there!

We’re Azimah, Amnah and Aisya from Malaysia. We created My English Matters as an online platform to help people improve their English.

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