4 Basic English Pronunciation Rules


#1

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.

If you liked this article, tell all your friends about it. They’ll thank you for it. If you have a blog or website, you can link to it or even post it to your own site (don’t forget to mention our ESL blog as the original source).

Rachel Clarkson


#2

I have been searching for such rules. These rules will be handy for me. Thank you for posting them, Rachel.


#3

Thanks ,really i need them.


#4

thank you very much thankx


#5

Dear,
sir thanks for prounciation rule…
actually I have so tensed because my prounciation is so bed …
i cannt differntiate between “s” & " sh",“z”
&s and other…
so i feel hesitate in front of anyone … i can speak english but due to prounciation i cannt speak
plz help me what should i do for removing it …
plz…
I m egarly waiting for ur reply


#6

Hi Gunjan. I have a friend who had the same problem with pronuncing words. He improved his pronunciation with the help of TONGUE TWISTERS. I think it’s the best way to better your pronunciation. You can google for tongue twisters. But you need to practise hard to get the desired result soon.


#7

Dear Sawan ,
Thank u for this information…
can i improve my prounciation problem…
I can speak in front of anyone without hesitation …
Really i m so happy …


#8

HI , SIR THIS IS MALIKA . IT’S REALLY GREAT TO LEARN ENGLISH ON LINE. THIS IS REALLY VERY GOOD AND INTERESTING.


#9

Yes, it’s really great as you can discuss anything with people all over the world and get excellent solutions for your queries.


#10
  1. 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.


#11

It’s crazy to think learning these ‘rules’ will help you improve your spoken English. When you want to pronounce a word you don’t have time to think of all these rules especially since there are so many exceptions to them. For example, when you follow Termpaper’s rule number 3, you will pronounce the words ‘gig’, ‘giggle’ or ‘get’ incorrectly and nobody will understand you.[YSaerTTEW443543]

TOEIC listening, question-response: What’s the matter with the air conditioning?[YSaerTTEW443543]