Commonly Mispronounced Words in English


American English Pronunciation Course

Words ending in OUS

The ous at the end of these words sounds like iss. It does not sound like “house.”

Pronunciation Practice:

famous, various, serious, nervous, obvious, previous, religious, victorious

Words ending in TION

The tion sounds like shin.

Pronunciation Practice:

association, definition, population, promotion, section, solution, tradition

Words ending in ATE

In some words ending in ate (usually verbs), it sounds like the word eight. 

Pronunciation Practice:

accelerate, initiate, concentrate, simulate, fascinate, hallucinate

In other words ending in ate (usually nouns/adjectives), it sounds like et or it.

Pronunciation Practice:

private, adequate, candidate, delicate, desperate, certificate

Some words can be both:

separate (v. / n.)

associate (v. / n.)

graduate (v. / n.)

alternate  (v. / adj.)

estimate (v. / n.)

Words ending in ANCE and ENCE

We do not usually make a distinction in the pronunciation of ANCE and ENCE endings. They both sound like ENCE.

Pronunciation Practice:

absence, violence, experience, conference, evidence, influence, obedience

Pronunciation Practice:

attendance, balance, distance, entrance, resistance, performance, importance

Exceptions:

finance, advance, chance, glance, trance (one-syllable words)

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