8 Words Commonly Mispronounced by English Learners

English is not an easy language to speak. Because English borrows words from many different languages, the rules for how a word is pronounced can change, depending on the origin of the word, the meaning of the word, or even the region where the word is spoken.

English pronunciation is difficult for different speakers as well, depending on a person’s native language. Here are some common English words that are typically difficult for Portuguese speakers to pronounce.

Pronunciation

Let’s start with a quiz. Choose the correct answers. Only two of them are correct.

a) My pronounce is not very good.

b) My pronunciation is not very good.

c) How do I pronunciation this word?

d) How do I pronounce this word?

It’s common to confuse the noun and verb forms of this word.

In the questions above, if you chose answer b) and d), you are correct! It is important to know which form you want to use, and how to say the word properly.

The correct pronunciation of the noun form is:

pro-nun-see-A-shin.

The correct pronunciation of the verb form is:

pro-NOUNCE.

Now, let’s move on to some English words that many second language students pronounce incorrectly. Don’t feel bad if you’re surprised at your mistakes. Everyone makes mistakes, and you are definitely not alone. It’s all part of the learning process. I hope this list helps you build confidence in English. When you hear others make these mistakes, now you can help them, too!

Here are the top 8 words that are commonly mispronounced in English. Get your mouth ready for a serious workout!

Chocolate

Chocolate is a difficult word to pronounce!
Chocolate: Great to eat, difficult to say!

Incorrect: choc-a-LATE

Correct: CHA-klit

Chocolate is great to eat but difficult to say! Native English speakers pronounce this word very differently than how it looks. There are only 2 syllables, but non-native speakers often give it 3. Practice saying this word over and over, especially when you really want some!

Vegetables

How to pronounce vegetables
Don’t forget to eat your veggies!

Incorrect: Vedj-e-ta-BULS

Correct: VETCH-tah-buls

Short cut: “Veggies”: VED-jeez

If you want to say this word just like a native speaker, drop the second syllable and add more stress to the first syllable at the beginning of the word. Or, avoid it completely by saying “veggies.”

Refrigerator

Incorrect: RE-fri-gadagterarer…ummm…the cold place for food?

Correct: re-FRIDJ-er-ay-der

Short cut: fridge: FRIDJ

It’s much “cooler” to call it a fridge, but if you want to use the full word, stress the second syllable and say the whole word slowly to practice at first. Then increase your speed. Never say this word with food in your mouth!

How to pronounce TAI-erd
Why are cats always so tired?

Tired

Incorrect: TAI-red

Correct: TAI-erd

It takes a lot of practice to get this one right. You might want to take a nap after practicing this word again and again. Yawn!

Comfortable

Can you say, "comfortable?"
A hammock is very comfortable…until you need to get out of it!

Incorrect: Kum-FOR-tah-bul

Correct: KUMF-ter-bul

Short Cut: “comfy”: KUM-fee

This is another case of too many syllables. We need to reduce the number from 5 to only 3! It won’t be comfortable for your mouth at first, but with practice, it will become as easy as getting into a hammock. Maybe.

Restaurant

Incorrect: REST-au-ront

Correct: RES-trahnt

For Brazilians, the “h” and “r” sounds are sometimes inter-changeable, so keep that in mind and put an extra effort on making that “r” rrreally strong. Take out that middle syllable, too. Other words to watch out for: hoTEL, HEADache, and RESTroom.

Worked

Incorrect: WERK-ed

Correct: WERKT

Another common mistake is to add an extra syllable to some words that end in -ed. The rule is that only words that end in t or d get an extra syllable. Work ends in a k sound, so don’t add [-ed]. It is a one syllable word that is pronounced werkt.

Other words like this to watch out for: Walked (WALKT), Stopped (STOPT), Liked (LAIKT), Watched (WATCHT).

Interesting

pronunciation of "interesting"
So interesting!

Incorrect: in-ter-ES-ting

Correct: IN-tris-ting

You’ve got to change the stress if you want this one to sound just right. Interested refers to something that interests YOU. Are you IN-tres-ted in spiders?

 

You may not be interested in spiders, but I hope this collection of words is useful to helping you improve your pronunciation. Practice, practice, practice!

Do you know any other words that are difficult to pronounce? I’m interested to know what they are! Leave me a comment below. 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

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