8 Tips for British English Pronunciation

{“en”:”Hi, everyone. I’m Jade. What we’re talking about today is some pronunciation tips for British English. Some of them are tips; some of them are observations that you might be interested to know. We’ve got eight of them, so let’s get started. Pronunciation of-ed word endings. This is not specifically a British English issue. If your preference — I don’t know why I can’t speak suddenly in an English pronunciation video, but that’s how it is. If your preference is American English, this also applies to American English. So what I hear a lot at, sort of, around intermediate level — sometimes upper intermediate level if you haven’t had someone to correct you — -ed word endings sound like this.

I can’t even do it because it’s so unnatural for me. “Excite-ed shout-ed, remind-ed.” It’s so unnatural for me. But in fact, it’s not like that. It doesn’t sound like an -ed. It might sound like an /id/; it might sound like a /t/; or it might sound like a /d/. So I’ve got some examples here. This word, even though it’s spelled -ed, makes an /id/ sound. It becomes “excited”. “I’m really excited.” “Shouted.” “He shouted at me.” “Reminded.” “I reminded you to do your homework; didn’t I?” And — yeah.

So now, we can talk about the ones that finish with a t sound. “Finished. Dripped. Laughed.” They don’t have the-ed sound. So that’s an important thing to know about pronunciation. Even if it’s spelled-ed, it doesn’t mean it sounds like that. And what about the ones that end with a d sound, a “duh” sound. “Remembered.” “I remembered what you said to me.” “Called.” “I called you. Didn’t you hear your phone?” “Imagined.” “I imagined a better future for everyone.” So with those, it’s a D sound. How do you know for each one? Go with what feels most natural when you’re saying the word.

The main thing is don’t force the -ed sound at the end of the word because it’s that that gives you an unnatural rhythm when you’re speaking English. So moving on to — this one’s an observation, really. British English pronunciation. We have so many different accents in England. But one of the biggest divisions in our accents is — it’s between the north of the country and the south, and it’s our pronunciation of these words: “bath” and “laugh”, as I say them. I say them in the southern pronunciation. But if I were from the north — if I were from the north of the country, I’d say “bath” and “laugh” because they have a different accent up there. Well, they’ve got loads of different accents, but they don’t speak in the same way as me. So let’s break it down into the actual sound. So if you’re from the North, you say, “a”. But we, in the South, say “au”. So you say “bath”, we say “bauth”. And you say “laf”; we say “laugh”. And you can also hear it in these two words. It doesn’t have to be the first or only a vowel in the word.

In the southern pronunciation, this is “commaund”. But in the northern pronunciation, it’s “command”. And the southern pronunciation of this word is “caust”. The northern pronunciation is “cast”. The cast of Brookside came to London.” “Brookside” was an old soap that’s not on TV anymore, and it was people from Liverpool. And I was just doing the accent. Probably that’s really irrelevant to you.

You will never see that show, but anyway. You know, now. Next tip. I don’t hear this that often, but when I do, it sounds really, really, really wrong. And I think this tip generally — generally a good example of how — just because we write something one way doesn’t mean we say it that way. So in English — American English, too — W sounding words are the same as the “wh” sound in words for spelling. It actually sounds the same. So we’ve got two words here, “wine” and “whine”.

One is spelled with WH, and one is just spelled with I. “Whine” is a kind of moan or a kind of cry. Sometimes, young children whine. Sometimes, women who are upset about something are said to be “whiny”. So we don’t really say that men whine. That’s probably a bit sexist. But, yeah. The point is they sound the same but are spelled differently. So I’ve sometimes heard people try to make the “wh” sound like “hwhine” or something like that or in these words, “which” and “witch” are the same. Some people might say “hwhich”. And that used to be a feature of British English. If you listen to some speakers of British English from a long time ago, like around the 1920s — T.

S. Eliot, although he wasn’t British, he did acquire a really strange British accent. And when he spoke English, he would make the “hwhich” sound. And that was a standard feature of the accent then. But if you say it now, it just sounds a bit weird. So don’t be making the “hwh” sound. And here, two commonly spoken words with that “hwh” sound that you shouldn’t say — so you should say “what” without “hwhat, hwhat, hwhat do you want?” That would be awful.

And “hwhere” — don’t say that. Just say it without the H sound. Let’s take a look at the pronunciation of -ing word endings. So in just relaxed, informal speech, I feel that a lot of dialects don’t pronounce the G. So it would be like this. “I was listening to some music.” You don’t hear the G there. But if we’re making an effort to speak properly and with very good enunciation, you would hear the G slightly. It would sound like this, “I was listening to a wonderful lecture yesterday.” And you hear my G. It’s very soft, but it’s there. Something to say about British English pronunciation is — again, this is a north-south difference — is that they, up there, some of the accents ring the G, so it’s, like, “listening, speaking.

I was speaking to him.” And if that’s a feature of your accent, that’s a feature of your accent. But in standard English, you don’t ring it. You don’t make an extra “guh” or “juh” sound at the end. So the standard way to make the G sound, “reading.” But I’m just letting you know that in relaxed and informal speech, many times, we don’t hear the G. So when we come back we’ll look at the other four rules or tips — tips, really. Tips and observations about pronunciation. Tip No. 5, when we’re saying a word with two or more syllables, very often, the second syllable is not stressed, and it’s what we call a “schwa”. So even though all these words have a different spelling for the second syllable, they become a schwa.

So what some people do is they’ll say the word. And a good example is this word. They will say “En-gland”. But actually, it sounds like this “England”. So the vowel changes to a schwa, and then, it’s — another way to look at it is it becomes a softer sound. So let’s say some of the words. “London”, not “Lon-don”. “London, England, together”, not “togeth-er”. “Together”. “Button”, not “butt-on”. “Button”. “Cousin”. So that’s the schwa, and supposedly the most common sound in the English language, and it’s a pretty confusing sound as well because it’s always spelled in different ways, and it doesn’t actually sound exactly the same when it moves around into different words. So not an easy one to get familiar with. So the main thing to take away from it is that don’t put that very big stress on all your syllables in the word. It won’t sound right.

No. 6, tip No. 6, British English is a non-rhotic accent. This is the sound /r/. In your language, maybe you do that thing where you roll your tongue which I can’t do. I just — I so can’t do it. So like how I can’t do that sound, you might find it really hard to make that sound without rolling your tongue. Okay. It’s hard. Pronunciation is not easy. But you can always work at something and train yourself. So when we make the R sound, the position of the tongue is quite far back in the throat. R, R, R. And it doesn’t have that rhotic sound. And in some dialects, for example, in Scottish, you do hear it. So I’m going to say this sentence in a Scottish accent, “The murderer wore red.” Sorry, Scottish people. But they put the R sound in. I kind of did it then. Maybe I can do it after all. But in my accent, I would say, “the murderer wore red.” So we don’t roll our tongues. And that’s something — if you want to speak standard British English, you could work on that R if you do it.

So if you’re Arabic or if you’re Spanish, Italian as well, you could work on that sound. No. 7, now. So this is a hard sound. I’m going to have to be honest with you. It’s a hard sound for me because I’m a Londoner, and I’m from South London, and we’re not very — we don’t like this sound very much. We like to replace it with an F sound. I’m not too bad making this sound at the beginning of a word, “three”, “thought”, “think”. But sometimes, it’s quite hard for me, like in this word. I want to say “birfday” with an F, but it should be “birthday”. It’s really hard for me. But it’s not just hard for me; it’s hard for people all over the world.

Maybe we should just get rid of this sound. We don’t need it anymore. Some people replace it with D. I’ve got an Italian student who replaces it with D. So he would say “dirty dree”. That’s not an Italian restaurant, but — restaurant? Italian restaurant? Why am I thinking about food? It’s not an Italian accent. Because he can’t say “th”, he replaces it with /d/. But other people might replace it with /v/ as well. So a tip for making the “th” sound, you put your tongue between your teeth. And it’s a kind of whisly sound without the /f/. Your lip is more pursed at the top. So you don’t want to do that when you’re making the “th”. Just try it. I’ll say the words for you. “Three”, “thumbs” — thumbs up if you can make that sound — “birthday”, “thought”, “think”, “bath”. It’s hard for me. I’m trying. I’m trying with you.

We’re learning together today. And rule No. 8, “can’t”. Oh, that’s meant to have that there. A lot of people get confused because sometimes they think, “Did you say a negative there, or did you say the positive?” They get really confused. In British English, we don’t always say the T. We don’t always pronounce the T in this word “can’t”. So it might sound like this, “I can’t understand you.” But it might also sound like this, “I can understand you.” And when I said it the second way, you didn’t hear the T. And the reason that happens is speech just become as little bit more fluid, a little bit more easy to say without the T.

But you don’t need to be confused because, actually, the opposite of “can’t” is “can”. And /caen/ is a different vowel. It’s /ae/, whereas this vowel is /a/. So they would sound completely different. It would be, “I can’t understand you.” Very different to “I can’t understand you” or “I can understand you.” So when you’re listening out for that negative sometimes, know that we might say it with or without a T.

So thank you everybody for watching today. You can do a little bit of extra practice on the EngVid site for this lesson. And if you do like my lesson, please do subscribe because I make lots of different lessons, not just about pronunciation but all other things about learning English as well that I think will be very education and very useful for you in your general development as a learner of English or someone who’s just trying to improve your English. And I’m finished now, so I’m going to go. I’m going to go now, okay? I’ll see you later.. “}

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Neuro Linguistic Programming in Brighton

Classroom English: Vocabulary & Expressions for Students

Hi. Welcome again to www.engvid.com. I’m Adam. Today’s lesson comes as a request, because I know that there are actually quite a few of you who are teachers of English, and you wanted to know some classroom English. So, today, we’re going to look at classroom English. This is more for beginners, especially people who have just joined an English class, an ESL class, EFL class, etc. and you’re starting to get used to the classroom environment, and you’re not exactly sure what the teacher is saying, what you should say, etc. We’re going to start with the teachers. What do teachers say that you need to understand? Okay? [Clears throat] Excuse me. First, the teacher will take attendance, or the teacher will take roll call. Sorry, these are two separate words, “roll call”. Basically, they want to know who is here and who is not here. Okay? So, if a student is in the class, he or she is present. So, if the teacher says: -“Bill?” -“Present.” -“Mary?” -“Present.” -“Bueller? Bueller? Bueller?” Bueller is absent. He or she is not in the class.

So, “absent”, not here. “Present”, here. If the teacher has finished with attendance and starts to teach the class, and a student comes in then, that student is late. And they get a little check. Too many lates, you get into trouble. Now, you could be absent, but you can have an excused absent, means that you have a note from your parents, from your doctor, from your boss, or the teacher just knows that you’re not coming today and it’s okay; it’s excused.

Now, the teacher will give you commands. He or she will tell you to do things. Okay? So, it’s very important that you understand what to do. If a teacher says: “Put up your hand”, or: “Raise your hand to ask a question, to make a comment, to ask to go to the bathroom”, put up your hand. Raise your hand. Don’t speak out. Because if everybody speaks out, it’s just noise. Put up your hand, ask your question, get your answer. Okay? Then, the teacher will ask you: “Take out your notebooks. Take out your pens.

Take out your earphones.” Basically, get them ready, we are going to use them. Okay. “Take your seats.” Basically means sit down, sit. Okay? So, he’s trying to get organized, or she is trying to get organized. Next, they’ll say: “Take out your book. Turn to page 37.” Means open your book, page 37, let’s start reading, working, etc. Now, if the teacher wants you to do things, but not alone… For example, if you’re doing math, yeah, you do it alone no problem. If you’re doing ESL, the teacher will want you to work in pairs. It means two people together, so you can speak. “Work in groups”, means get into a few people together; three, four, five. If he wants a specific number, he will say: “Get into groups of”, or: “Work in groups of three.” So, you find your two friends, three sit together, do the exercise. Now, if the teacher… As everybody’s talking, the teacher wants everybody be quiet and listen to one student, he will say or she will say: “Please pay attention to Jack. Jack is going to speak. Everybody, please pay attention to Jack.” Or if you’re doing exercise, if the teacher wants you to be careful about one word or one grammar structure: “Pay attention to the independent clause.” Means be very focused, be aware.

Okay? So, these are the basic things you need to know what… That your teacher will say. Now, you’re the student, you have questions or you don’t understand something, what are you going to say or what are you going to ask? Let’s see. Okay, so now, you’re the student and, you know, sometimes you don’t understand everything the teacher says. So, there are things you can say or ask from the teacher, of course, to help you.

If you didn’t hear something, what will you say? You could say: “I didn’t catch the last part.” Now, if you say: “I didn’t hear”, and I’m the teacher, I have been speaking for 10 minutes, and you say: “I didn’t hear.” I’ll say: “What? Everything? 10 minutes?” I can’t say again. So, “I didn’t hear”, or: “I didn’t catch the last part.” So, I will go back and say again the last part, or: “I didn’t hear the part about what to ask.” Or: “I didn’t hear the part about independent clauses”, or whatever the lesson is about. So, be specific. Tell the teacher which part you didn’t hear. He or she will say it again. Or you can just say: “Could you repeat that please?” Repeat, say again.

If you didn’t hear: “Could you repeat that please? Could you say that again?” But again, say which part. Be specific. Or: “I didn’t hear/catch what you said after here.” So, tell the teacher you heard everything until here, and from here, you didn’t hear, you didn’t catch. “Catch” means hear or understand. Okay? And if you’re having a lot of trouble, ask a teacher: “Can you please speak more slowly?” And the teacher will slow down, and it will be much easier for you to understand. Okay, now, if you are learning something… And again, we’re learning English and you’re not familiar with what the teacher says…

It’s something new or you don’t really know what it is, first of all, make sure you know how to spell the word. If it’s a new word, ask the teacher: “How do you spell that?” And the teacher will say: “S-p-e-l-l.” Spell. Okay? “How do you spell that?” Now, if you don’t know the meaning of the word and the teacher just continues speaking, put up your hand, say: “I’m sorry. What does this word mean?” And the teacher will explain to you. Now, if you’re learning in another country, you’re learning EFL, English as a foreign language, you can say: “How do you say this word?” in your language? If you’re learning in Japan: “How do you say ‘spell’ in Japanese?”, “How do you say ‘spell’ in Spanish?”, “How do you say ‘spell'” in any language? And: “What is this word in Japanese?”, “What is ‘spell’ in Japanese?” So, these two basically mean the same thing. By the way, these marks means same as what was above, just so you know. What is the word in your language? If you’re learning outside. If you’re learning in Canada, for example, and you say: “How do you say this word in Spanish?” I don’t know.

I don’t actually speak Spanish. I wish I spoke Spanish. I will learn one day, but for now, I don’t. So, you have to be careful. Okay. Finally, if you need a bit more information, you want the teacher to explain a little bit more, maybe you understand or you heard, but you’re not really sure. So, you can always ask for more specifics. “Can you use this word in a sentence?” So, for example, you heard the word, you understand the word, but you’re not sure how it would fit in a sentence, how to use it. Ask. “Can you use…?” Like, for the teacher: “Can you please use this word in a sentence so I can see how it works?” Or: “Can you give me”, or: “Can you give us”, the class, “an example of this?” Okay? So, for example, the teacher taught you about some new technology. You understand, but you want to see in real life what this means. So, you want examples of things that use this technology, so you ask.

Now, this is everything you need to know, teachers, students entering the classroom, but the most important thing you need to remember: if you don’t understand something, ask. There’s no such thing as a bad question or a stupid question, or you’re not sure about. If you’re not sure, ask. The teacher will be happy to tell you the answer. He or she will be happy to repeat a few times until you understand. I’m sure that other… Your classmates, other people in the class, they also have questions, but they are too shy to ask.

You ask. You get the answer, you move on. Okay? Go to www.engvid.com. If you have any questions for me, write them in the comments box. I will answer them. Do the quiz, make sure you understand everything. And come back again to www.engvid.com. Bye..

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