Putting the “Uh” in “Unstressed Syllable”

By Ilana Shydlo / March 1, 2016

Anyone who is familiar with the English language will not be surprised to hear that English words are not always pronounced exactly the way that they are spelled. There are many reasons why a spelling may differ from its pronunciation – perhaps the word was borrowed from a foreign language ...

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A Stress-Free Introduction to Word Stress

By Ilana Shydlo / February 1, 2016

One important aspect of pronunciation which is often overlooked is stress. Stress is the emphasis given to a part of a word, or to a whole word within a sentence. In this post, we’ll discuss stress within individual words, specifically stress patterns of 2 syllable nouns and verbs. A word can be ...

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Words with more than one correct pronunciation

By Ilana Shydlo / January 1, 2016

In my work as an accent instructor, people often ask me which of two pronunciations of a certain word is correct. This confusion is very understandable. You may have encountered more than one pronunciation of a certain word – perhaps you looked it up in the dictionary and two alternate pron...

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Common Words Pronounced Differently in British versus American English

By Ilana Shydlo / November 1, 2015

This post is the fourth in a series on the subject of differences between American and British English. For more information on this topic, please see the first three parts of the series: British Versus American “A” News About American “oo” and British “you” That You Never Knew The “oo” Sound: Am...

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Sound System of American English

By Ilana Shydlo / October 1, 2015

This is the third blog post in a three-part series on the relationships between the pronunciation of English words and their spellings. Follow the links for part one of the series on Silent Letters and part two on Homophones. As mentioned in the previous blog posts, it frequently happens that the...

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Homophones: Words that Sound the Same, but are Spelled Differently

By Ilana Shydlo / September 1, 2015

This is the second blog post in a three-part series on the relationships between the pronunciation of English words and their spellings. Follow the links for part one of the series on Silent Letters and part three on the Sound System of American English. As mentioned in the previous blog post, it...

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Silent letters

By Ilana Shydlo / August 1, 2015

This is the first blog post in a three-part series on the relationships between the pronunciation of English words and their spellings. Follow the links for part two of the series on Homophones and part three on the Sound System of American English. The English language is notable for having a la...

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Why non-native speakers seem to “lose their accent” when singing English songs

By Ilana Shydlo / July 15, 2015

As you may have noticed, people often sound like they have less of an accent (or sometimes none at all) when they sing in a foreign language. This holds true even if they have a noticeable accent when they speak in that languages, or even if they don’t know the foreign language at all. Why ...

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How do you say “the”? Thuh vs. Thee

By Ilana Shydlo / July 1, 2015

In this video blog post, we discuss how to say the word “the”. When do you pronounce it “thuh” and when do you pronounce it “thee”? Here is how to pronounce “the” in American English: pronounce it “thuh” when the next word begins with a consonant sound, and pronounce it “thee” when the next word ...

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The “oo” sound: American versus British pronunciation

By Ilana Shydlo / June 1, 2015

This is the third blog post in a series on differences between British and American English. Also, see parts 1, 2, and 4 of this series: 1. British versus American “a” 2. News About American “oo” and British “you” That You Never Knew 4. Words Pronounced Differently in British vs. American English...

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