18 English words with disappearing syllables

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The pronunciation of many English words sounds different from the way they appear to be written. Some English words have what we can call “disappearing or dropped syllables” – reductions or eliminations of sounds in the middle of the word.

One example is the word favorite – we don’t pronounce it FAV-o-rit with three syllables. Instead, we say it more like FAV-rit – the “o” syllable disappears. In today’s lesson, you’re going to practice your pronunciation with some of the most common English words that tend to have dropped syllables.

basically (BA-sic-ly)

different (DIFF-rent)

business (BIZ-niss)

aspirin (AS-prin)

interest (IN-trist)

desperate (DES-prit)

memory (MEM-ry)

several (SEV-rul)

separate (SEP-rit) – ADJECTIVE

Note: This only applies when separate is used as an adjective (Ex. We have separate closets). When separate is used as a verb, it is pronounced with 3 syllables: SEP-a-rate. See this lesson for more information.

chocolate (CHOC-lit)

conference (CON-frins)

Wednesday (WENS-day)

miserable (MIZ-ra-bul)

temperature (TEM-pra-cher)

probably (PROB-ly)

vegetable (VEG-ta-bul)

comfortable (COMF-ter-bul)


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American English Pronunciation Course

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