10 English Words You're (probably) Mispronouncing


Hello! I'm Emma from mmmEnglish and in this

lesson, I'm going to share with you 10

English words that you're probably

mispronouncing! If you are learning to

speak English, then pronunciation is

probably one of the biggest frustrations

that you have right now and these words

that I've chosen are difficult because

of the combination of letters or sounds

in English. Together they can be quite

difficult or your eyes can, in fact, play

tricks on you because the letters that

you see, they don't sound like you think

they should and some of these words are

even difficult for native English

speakers to pronounce! But don't worry

about it, don't sweat, we are going to fix

these pronunciation problems right here,

right now in this lesson! Let's get

started! OK the first word is 'vegetable'

'vegetable'. Now this word is a challenge

because it looks like there should be

four syllables in this word. 'Vegetable'.

But there's not, there are three

syllables, 'vegetable'. Can you see the

syllable - that we completely forget the 'e'?

'Vegetable'. We don't pronounce that second

syllable. 'Vegetable', 'vegetable'.


I'm going to the market to get some

vegetables for dinner.

'Comfortable'. Now

this word, just like 'vegetable', has an

extra vowel in there that we don't need

to pronounce. 'Comfortable', not 'comfortable'

or 'comfortable' but


-able'. 'Comfortable'. You skip that vowel

sound. 'Comfortable'. You look very

comfortable this afternoon.

'Almond'. Now in this word the 'L' is silent.

It's not 'almond' or 'almond' it's 'al-

-mond', 'almond', 'almond', 'almond'.

I'm going to make an

almond cake for dessert.

Now there are lots of other English words that have a

silent letter 'L' in them - words like

'salmon', not 'salmon', 'half', not 'half', 'would',

'talk', 'walk'. All of these words have a

silent 'L' in them, which makes them a

little bit tricky to pronounce correctly.

I've got a separate video that is all

about silent letters in English words

and I talk about the letter 'L' and lots

of other silent letters in that video.

You can check it out up here at the end

of this video!

OK, what about this one?

How many times

have you been asked to read a paragraph

out aloud in front of the class and

you've been reading and then you come

across this and you think, 'How on earth

am I going to say that?!' Lots of native

English speakers actually mess this up

as well and they'll pronounce X-cetera

or X-cetera and it should be pronounced

'et cetera', 'et cetera', 'et cetera'.

or 'et cetera', if you're like me. OK this one

is especially difficult! 'Clothes', 'clothes',

'clothes'. Now the reason why it's

especially difficult is because of the

two final consonant sounds, the '-th' and

the plural sound. Now this noun is of

course, always plural. Clothes refers to

shirts, shorts, trousers, jumpers, jackets

- anything that you wear is your clothes,

are your clothes! But 'clothes', 'clothes'

not 'cloths', not 'close' and not 'clothes' either!

The difficult thing about the

pronunciation of this word is the two

consonant sounds.

together. Both of

those sounds are voiced consonant sounds

so the sound is made here in your vocal


Now the thing to remember

that's really important is with that '-th' sound

you need to bring your teeth through

- your tongue through your teeth! Now the

'-th' sound is very, very soft. It is

definitely still there, it needs to sound

different from the verb 'close'. OK, which

doesn't have the '-th' sound. This word has

the '-th' sound, 'clothes', 'clothes'. It's very

short but it's definitely there! I need

to pack my clothes tonight because we

leave early in the morning. I need to

pack my clothes tonight.

'Jewellery', 'jewellery', 'jewellery'.

Again, we've got an extra vowel here that we don't need

to pronounce. We don't say 'jewellery',

'jewellery'. It's just 'jewellery' and actually

in American English the spelling is

slightly different to the British and

the Australian version. And the American

version should help you to pronounce

this word more correctly. 'Jewelry', 'jewelry',

so that's gold, silver, pearls, diamonds,

earrings, rings, necklaces - all of these

things that we wear to make ourselves

look more beautiful! I don't wear a lot

of jewellery myself. The only jewellery I

wear is this ring and sometimes some earrings.

'Architecture', 'architecture'.

This one is so often mispronounced! I hear

'architecture', 'architecture',

- which is incorrect! The '-ch' sound in this word is a

sound like in 'cat'.

'Architecture', 'architect'.


It's not the same '-ch' sound

that you hear in words like 'chocolate'

and 'cheese', it's a sound and there are

quite a few English words that actually

have this same pronunciation of the '-ch'

combination - words like 'stomach' and 'ache'.

The '-ch' in all of these words is

pronounced like a sound.

My brother is an architect.

He went home early because he had a stomach ache.

'Enthusiastic', not

'enthusiastic' or 'enthusiastic', but

'enthusiastic'. You have to work harder to

get this one correct! So many of my

students say "This one is too hard! I'm

just not going to use this word!" and I

say "NO, we are going to get it right,

right now, together here in this lesson!"

'Enthusiastic'. So what you need to do

is break down this word. Start with the

first syllable,

Where is your

tongue? What's it doing on that final

consonant sound?

It's at the top of

your mouth and the 'n' sound is made back

in the soft palate - it's a nasal sound

and to move to the '-th' sound, you need to

of course, bring your tongue down and out

through your teeth.

The tongue must come out through the middle of your

teeth! If you don't, you will mispronounce

this word and you'll say 'enthusiastic'

or 'enthusiastic' instead. You need

to say

See how I'm breaking that down for you?

'Enthusiastic', 'enthusiastic'.

Now you're going to be enthusiastic

about using that word!

'Word', 'world'.

and 'work'.

Now you're probably mispronouncing

these words because you are looking at

the '-or' and you're trying to pronounce

the vowel sound 'or', like in 'door'.

But this is incorrect, the vowel sound is actually

as in 'her'. 'Work', 'world', 'word'.

This is your eyes playing tricks on you! Your eyes are

seeing these words, seeing the letters O

and R and they're telling you to

pronounce 'or' but, in fact, you should be


for all of these words!

'Word'. 'World. 'Work'.

If you pronounce 'or', especially for this last one, 'work', it

actually sounds a lot like the English

word, 'walk'.

'Photograph'. Now perhaps you

can pronounce this word correctly,

'photograph', but what about all of the

other words in this word family?

'Photography', 'photographer', 'photographic'.

When my students mispronounce these

words, it's usually because they are

stressing the wrong syllable. English

words that have more than one syllable

always have one strong stressed syllable.

Sometimes there are secondary syllables

but there is always one main stressed

syllable that is clearer and stronger

than the others and the unstressed

syllable - the syllable that's not

stressed - is often reduced down to a

schwa vowel sound.

Now the schwa sound is the lazier sound

in English.

That's the schwa sound,

it's the laziest vowel sound in English.

And these stress patterns are exactly

what is different about the

pronunciation of these words, so in the

first example, 'photograph', the first

syllable is the stressed syllable. You

can hear it very clearly, 'photograph'.

The second syllable is

unstressed and it is reduced down to the

schwa sound.

'Photograph', 'photograph', it's very short,

it's very lazy, it's not very strong at all.

Now if you look at the second

example, 'photography', you can hear the

pronunciation is different and that's

because the second syllable is the

stressed syllable in this word.



Compare it to the first syllable where the schwa

sound is - it reduces down to the schwa

sound and you just hear 'photography'.


The third example

'photographic', the stress is on the third

syllable, so you can hear how much

influence stress has on this word family.

To correctly pronounce all of these

words correctly you need to pay

attention to the stressed syllable

and that's true for a whole range of

different word families. 'Economic', 'analyze',

'nature, 'politics', all of these words and

their word families are influenced by

stress in different ways.

Well that's my official list of the words that you are

probably mispronouncing and I didn't

just make that list up, I built that list

over years and years of coaching English

students to improve their English

pronunciation. They're the words that

students consistently get wrong! Many

different students, many different times,

they are the ones that are the most

difficult for you to pronounce.

I hope that you enjoyed this lesson, if you did

make sure you subscribe by clicking the

red button here. I mentioned a video

about silent letters earlier in this

lesson, you can watch it here and you can

also watch my imitation lessons right

here and those lessons are fantastic for

improving your English pronunciation and

expression by speaking with a native

English speaker. Thanks for watching and

I will see you in the next lesson.

Bye for now!