10 English words with alternative pronunciation

 

Pronunciation Course

The English language has a lot of regional variations and different accents – and there are some words that have two different (but correct) ways to pronounce them! Here are some of the most common ones. So, which way should you say these words? You can choose whichever way you think sounds best – or whichever way other English speakers around you tend to say them.

AUNT

Definition: the sister of your mother or father

Can be pronounced ant rhyming with “pants,” or ahnt rhyming with “want”

VASE

Definition: a decorative container for flowers

Can be pronounced vays rhyming with “face” or vahz with the “ah” sound in “father”

ENVELOPE

Definition: a paper container for a letter, that you use to mail it

The first “en” can be pronounced en as in “pen” or on as in “pond”

TOMATO

Definition: a red fruit

The “a” can be pronounced like the “a” in “hate” or like the “a” in “father”

ROUTE

Definition: a way leading to a destination

Can be pronounced root rhyming with “fruit,” or rowt rhyming with “out”

CARAMEL

Definition: a smooth, brown, chewy candy made from sugar, butter, and milk

Can be pronounced KAR-a-mel with the “kar” rhyming with “bear”, or KAHR-mul with the “kahr” rhyming with “far”

TOURNAMENT

Definition: a type of competition in which competitors are eliminated until there is one winner

The “tour” part can be pronounced tor to rhyme with “four” or ter to rhyme with “her”

PAJAMAS

Definition: clothes used for sleeping

The “ja” part can be pronounced like in the word “jog,” or like the word “jam”

NICHE

Definition: a small extra space inside a wall, or a special area of activity/skill/demand

Can be pronounced nitch to rhyme with “which” or neesh with the “ee” sound in “need” and SH sound at the end.

PECAN

Definition: a type of nut

Can be pronounced 3 ways!

  • pi-CAHN (with the “ah” as in father)
  • pi-CAN (with the “a” as in fan)
  • PEE-can (stress on first syllable, “ee” as in “see”)

Speak English more clearly & confidently!

Learn more and join these courses