English can be tough sometimes. Even rough. As you try and pronounce some new words, deep in thought about the doughnut you had in Scarborough. While reading about the old farmer’s plough, you hear a cough behind you. Someone was waiting to go through the door.

‘ough’ makes /ə/ – /ˈθʌr.ə/ thorough, borough – (sounds like furrow)

‘ough’ makes /ʌf/ – enough, rough, tough

‘ough’ makes /ɒf/ – cough, trough

‘ough’ makes /ɔː/ – thought, bought, brought, fought, wrought, sought, nought

’ough’ makes /oʊ/ – though, dough, although

‘ough’ makes /aʊ/ – plough, bough, drought

Do not confuse pronunciation with accent. Good pronunciation is not about how letters and words sound; there are other equally important features to consider, like intonation (how the tone of voice changes during a sentence, going up or down), stress (which words and syllables have more ‘weight’ when we are speaking), and connected speech – how words can sound different when they are joined together in natural speech. All of these features contribute to good pronunciation – but don’t confuse them with accent. 

Here are the top 6 Activities to help you with PRONUNCIATIONS:

  1. Listen ? > Some sounds can be difficult to tell apart. sheep / ship, slip /sleep and so on. If you can HEAR the difference, you will be able to SAY the difference.
  2. Translator ? > A good quality translator can help you practice those difficult to pronounce words like Epitome, Anemone, Mauve, Quinoa…
  3. Mouth ? > Practice in front of the mirror and watch your lips move. Some online translators will even show you how to shape your mouth.
  4. Sounds ? > Break words down into sounds.
  5. Phonetic Spelling /æ/ > Using phonics to learn sounds and pronunciations can go a long way to help you learn the correct pronunciation.
  6. Tongue Twister ? > She Sells Sea Shells on the Sea Shore. Your tongue and mouth will get a good work out ?

It is important to continue speaking. Most of my students will agree that having English Conversations and Listening to yourself and your teacher will continue to help your Pronunciation.

Get in touch to book an English lesson now!


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