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Confusing English Pronunciation: Words that Look Similar but Sound Different

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In today’s lesson, I want you to practice with me as we learn some words that look similar but are pronounced differently.

One very frustrating thing about the English language is that the pronunciation is irregular. There aren’t strict pronunciation rules that you could memorize and always know exactly how words are pronounced – it’s just not possible.

There ARE some pronunciation patterns… but there are also exceptions to those patterns! Some letters and combinations of letters have multiple different pronunciations, and you can’t know which one to use just by reading the word; you need to hear the word. That’s why listening and repeating is so important.

You can improve your pronunciation fast inside my American English Pronunciation Course – we’ll learn and practice all the sounds of the language, helping you to make the differences between similar sounds and avoid pronunciation mistakes.

Let’s try some of these similar-but-different words.

horse / worse

dull / pull

heart / heard

break / bleak

war / far

daughter / laughter

round / wound

tomb / bomb / comb

soul / foul

shoes / goes / does

mint / pint


Learn more: wonder vs. wander

Thanks for practicing with me! And I hope you’ll join me inside my American English Pronunciation Course, because it will help you speak English more clearly and confidently.

Speak English more clearly & confidently!

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