Here we show you several basic English pronunciation rules to help you during your classes at your ESL School and in your practice time alone. Make your practice a dynamic and effective one by looking for new words these rules apply to:
1. Pronunciation of the “Y”
“Y” is pronounced as ‘ai’ or ‘i:’.
In one-syllable words, “Y” is pronounced as ‘ai’. For example: my, by, fly, shy, sky, dry, cry, fry, and try.
In two-syllable words, “Y” is pronounced as ‘i:’. As example: happy, funny, baby, bony, puppy, party, tiny, city, candy, berry, penny, and turkey.
2. Pronunciation of the “C”
“C” is pronounced as ‘s’ or ‘k’. For example: city, cider, circle, and country.
When an “E” or “Y” follow the “C”, it is pronounced as ‘s’. Good examples are: cellar, center, cent, ice, cycle, cell, cypress, and cyclone.
When an “O”, “U”, or “A” follows the “C”, it is pronounced as ‘k’. Some examples are: cold, country, computer, couple, cup, curb, cut, cap, can, and cat.
Read these sentences aloud and compare both sounds:
_ The city is cloudy.
_ The center is covered.
_ We cycle in the city but drive the car in the country.
3. Pronunciation of the “G”
When an “E”, “I”, or “Y” follows the “G”, it is pronounced as ‘ʤ’. Examples are: gym, giant, gem, gorgeous, and George.
When a “U” or “A” follows the “G”, it is pronounced as ‘’ or ‘æ’. For example: gun, gum, gas, garden, and gap.
4. Pronunciation of vowel letters
- The long “A” and the short “A”, for example: cape and gap.
-at: bat, cat, hat, fat, sat, rat
-ad: bad, had, mad, sad
-ag: tag, wag, rag, bag
-an: fan, pan, can, ran
-am: jam, ham, ram, yam
-ap: map, tap, nap
When the word ends in “E”, the “A” is pronounced as a long vowel. Examples of this are: rake, gate, face, base, cage, wave, and take.
When the word ends in “R”, the “A” sound is as in: tar, jar, car, and far.
- The long “I” and the short “I”.
-id: bid, kid, lid, did
-ig: big, rig, wig, pig, dig
-in: pin, fin, tin, win, bin
-ip: tip, lip, hip, rip, dip
-it: kit, hit, fit, sit, pit
When the word ends in “E”, the “I” is pronounced as a long vowel. For example: kite, bike, dime, ride, and vine.
- The long “O” and the short “O”.
-og: fog, hog, dog, jog, log
-op: mop, pop, hop, top
-ot: hot, pot, got, not
-ob: mob, cob, job, sob
When the word ends in “E”, the “O” is pronounced as a long vowel. As examples: rose, pole, and hope.
- The long “U” and the short “U”.
-ut: pup, cup, put, up, rut, hut, cut, nut
-ub: cub, tub
-us: bus, pus
-un: fun, sun, run, bun, gun
-ug: mug, bug, tug, hug
When the word ends in “E”, the “O” is pronounced as a long vowel. Examples: tune, cube, and cute.
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