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.. “}

As found on Youtube

Neuro Linguistic Programming in Brighton

Studying English at a Language School

{“en”:”Hello, folks. So this morning, we’ve come along to a very good language school in London because we want to have a look at what it’s like to be a student in one of these schools. Come, and let’s find out. — Hi, Lee. — Hi, Ben. — So our viewers are learning English on the Internet. What would be an advantage of coming to a language school for a time to learn some English? — I think the key difference is that when you’re at a language school, then you are part of a whole experience. If you’re learning online, it’s great, but it’s for an hour or two, and that’s it.

Whereas if you come to the school, then you have complete immersion in a whole day of English if you like. If you’re staying with a host family, you have English experience before you come to school. All day, you’re speaking English, and if you take part in our social activities in the evening, then you’re carrying on. So it’s constantly learning and taking in and processing of new information. — Sure. So if someone was studying here and staying with a host family, they might share meals with the family. — Yeah. — And I guess there are students coming from many different countries. — Exactly. And of course, then you get this interaction with loads and loads of different students from all over the world, which, again, really challenges you in different ways when you’re learning English, I think. — And do students come here for a couple of weeks? — Some do. Some students come for a couple of weeks. Some students come for a year. It depends on what that student is looking for, what they need, what their plans are. So it can be either-or.

— And I guess it’s very exciting being here in London. You know, we’ve got a lot of English culture around us. — Of course. I mean, the history, the art, the literature, the theatre scene is just really advantageous to learning English. It’s just an amazing city. So to come and study here is a really good thing, I think. — Yeah. I mean, I guess the student can learn more the more they put themselves in an English environment, the more they speak.

— Exactly. If you immerse yourself in something completely, then you’re going to get more out of it, I think. — Cool. Well, is it possible to go and have a look at a class this morning? — Yeah. Absolutely. I think Dan is waiting for you upstairs. — Great. Thank you very much. –You’re welcome. –Let’s go upstairs. So let’s go and have a quick look now at a general English class and what that looks like in a language school. Okay. Come have a look. — Hi, there, Dan. — Hi. — Hi. We’ve just come to have a look at your general English class today. — Hello. — What exactly are you going to be doing in class today? — Today, we’re looking at the difference between literal and non-literal meanings of nine elements of vocabulary.

I was just asking Nir what he thought about the difference between “enough food” and “too much food”. So, sorry. — I think it depends. — Okay. In this meaning, do you think that it’s — if there is “lots of”, is it good or bad? — Yeah. It’s good. — Good? Would you agree, guys? It’s good? — I think it’s bad. — Okay. Hands up if you think it’s good. Nir, you stand alone, my friend. I’m sorry. Hands up if you think it’s bad. — In fact, that’s what I looked like last night at about 10:30. But what other words? Fly. That’s what I’m looking for, “fly”. Read the sentences with your partner.

I want you to decide two things. No. 1, which sentence is the literal meaning? Which sentence is the non-literal meaning. No. 2, what do you think the non-literal meaning means in other languages? Okay. Good. So it’s a word. You can use it, but it doesn’t mean what you think it means here. In this case, you mean “hard”, not “hardly”. — “To question.” “Question” can be a verb? — Yes. Of course. “I question.” Yeah. Good guess. Well done. So that was a great lesson from Dan. They’re really engaging in the teaching, and the students were obviously enjoying it. We’re going to go down to the lunch hall now and grab a bit of lunch. And then, we’ve got a couple of students who we’ll be talking to. They’re from different parts of the world. So I’m hungry. Let’s go and eat. [Crowd chatter] Well, that was a delicious lunch. And we enjoyed having a look at Dan’s class. Now, we’ve got three students at the London School of English here. And firstly, folks, could you tell me what course you’re doing and how long you have learned English for? So starting with Takami.

— I’m taking a Cambridge English examination preparation course. It’s called FCE. So just this course I have studied three weeks. Yeah. I have another five weeks. — Okay. And before, when you were in Japan, how long did you learn? Like, one year, two years learning English? Or — — Honestly, no. Nothing. — Nothing at all? Okay. Wow. Very interesting. Okay. Thanks. And Veronica? — I’ve done the general course for one month, and then I’ve started three weeks ago the CAE course, which is the Cambridge Advanced Exam. And that last — — Why did you choose this course? — The CAE? — Yeah. — Because I needed to get into university, and I’ve also heard that this academy prepares very well students to pass the exams. And I’ve been — — So you’re hoping to study in a university in England? — No, not in England, in Switzerland.

— Okay. — And they are asking for a B in CAE. And yeah. They’ve told me that this academy really will help you to pass the exam successfully. — Good luck to you. — Thank you. — And Francis, tell me, how long have you been learning English, and why did you decide to come and study in England? — I started English in secondary school and some more in university. And I decided to come here because I want to improve my English a lot. But only for pleasure. And for me, the best place to learn English is in London.

— Sure. — So I come here, and I’m learning here in this school. — Cool. Veronica, had you been studying in Spain how to speak English? — I’ve studied English in Spain, but with au pairs. At school as well, but the level in my school was pretty low. So yeah. The au pairs have helped me to get this fluency. — And how do you find the teachers different in London and in a language school compared to in a school where you’re from? — Well, I think that teachers here have more experience, and they do really know which mistakes do students make. Whereas the teachers in Spain, obviously, they are experienced as well, but not as much as a language teacher would be. — So they’re more specific? — Yeah. More specific. They know the mistakes that people from different countries make, and yeah. I think that’s the main reason, I think. — So Takami, do you feel you’re improving your English in a good way? — Yeah.

Just getting better. But of course, I need to more improve. But I feel that day by day getting my English better. — Cool. And so for all of you, it’s been stimulating; it’s been an interesting time being here? You’re obviously making really good friends here. Is it something you’d recommend to people? — Absolutely. You should go. — Yeah, definitely. Yeah. I’ve already spread it all over. — You should come here. It’s a life experience. You have to do it once at least in your life. I enjoy it a lot. I improve my English a lot. I make a lot of friends from different parts of the world.

So it is amazing. I enjoy it a lot. — So guys, I’ve lived in London for six years. And I feel I know it well, but for you coming to London, is it a good place to come to? Is it easy for you to speak to people and practice English being here in London? — Yes. I met some very friendly people in the pubs or wherever you are. And yeah. It’s very easy. For me, as I said, it’s a life experience to be here. So London, for me, it’s the capital of the world. — Wow. — It’s not the United States; it’s not Washington. It’s London. Very cosmopolitan. — London’s on the map. — Yeah. Absolutely. — And are there enough things for you to do? — Definitely. — On the weekends, for example, are there opportunities to do things? — Yeah. You won’t run out of chances or different activities to do.

One weekend, you can go and see a theatre play, a musical, and then visit different areas from the city. It is a very versatile city. You can go to the north of London, and it’s completely different from the south of London. So you won’t ever — — I feel like I’m in a different country in some parts. — Yeah. It’s like a country. So you won’t ever get bored of living here. — Great. So the best way for you guys to learn English, is it from reading? Is it from listening? Is it a mixture? What’s the best way? — I think it’s a mixture because you learn the grammar basics in class. Then, afterwards, you can socialize at lunch. And then afterwards, with the social program, you’re able to talk to everyone and get to know everybody and talk about your country, their country.

You learn different cultures. You — yeah. You get to socialize. — Is it difficult for you to speak English to someone from Spain? — Well, if we — — It was easy the first day that we met each other, so it’s easy. Yeah. If you met someone and you start speaking English, it’s easy to ongoing with that. — And if both of us want to speak English, then it’s okay. Because I know other Spanish students here that they feel that they want to speak Spanish with me, for example. But don’t do that because we are all here to improve our English, and we are interested in learning English, not in speaking our native language. — It’s true. — And here, you have the possibility to speak 24 hours. — That’s why it’s the best way.

— So after school, you can go to the pub. — No sleep. — Exactly. — We are trying to speak English even with same country people. — That’s cool. — It’s important. — Well, thank you so much for coming in and speaking today. It’s been really useful. And I hope there’s been something for you to learn back home. Thank you, guys. — Thank you.. “}

As found on Youtube

Study English in London