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Pronunciation errors with confusing combinations of letters – Espresso English

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Hi students! In this lesson we’re going to look at some combinations of letters that often lead to pronunciation mistakes.

A lot of students ask me about rules, like how do we know when the letter e sounds like ee vs. eh, or when the letter g sounds like juh (general) vs. guh (get). Although there are some trends in English spelling / pronunciation, there are so many complications and exceptions that I’d encourage you NOT to focus on remembering rules.

Instead, when you learn new words, always look them up in an audio dictionary like www.thefreedictionary.com – listen to the pronunciation and repeat it. Don’t try to figure it out by analyzing the spelling.

I know it’s frustrating! In your language, maybe there are clear rules, or maybe each letter is only pronounced one way, the same way every time. English is very irregular, so it’s best to just learn the correct pronunciation of each word and not try to interpret them based on a logical system.

In this video, you’ll learn:

  • How to pronounce OO
  • How to pronounce OU
  • How to pronounce OUGH
  • How to pronounce EA
  • Pronunciation error with “urgent”
  • Pronunciation errors with WOR
  • Pronunciation errors with the “invisible Y” sound

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