English pronunciation practice: Difficult words with R

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Hi students! It’s Shayna, your teacher from EspressoEnglish.net and today we’re going to practice pronouncing some difficult English words that feature the letter R.

The letter R may be pronounced differently in your native language, but in English it sounds like R. Let’s warm up by practicing some simple words with the R sound:

  • or
  • are
  • were
  • red
  • rug

OK, now let’s move on to some of our more difficult words! I’m going to explain them and help you pronounce them correctly.

Before we get started, I’d like to invite you to check out my courses called American English Pronunciation and Shadowing with Shayna. These courses will help you learn to pronounce English words and sentences more clearly and naturally.

All right, are you ready?

How to pronounce “choir”


Our first word is choir, referring to a singing group – this one is tricky because the CH sounds like a K, and the O sounds more like an U. So all together it’s like “KWI-er.”

Rhymes with fire – choir.

How to pronounce “drawer”


Next we have an everyday object in the house, and that is a drawer. The initial D sounds like a J, and we have two R sounds. The “aw” in the middle actually sounds more like an “o”

So drawer rhymes with store

Try saying it really slowly: ddddrrrraaawwweeerrr

And then at a more normal speed: drawer

How to pronounce “rural”


Another word a lot of English students have trouble with is rural. Your tongue might get mixed up between the two Rs and the L. So try saying just the “rur” part and then adding “al”

rur – al

rur-al

rural

It’s not easy!

How to pronounce “rarely”


Another word with two Rs and an L is rarely. Again, let’s first say “rare” and then add “ly”:

rare – ly

rare-ly

rarely

How to pronounce “jewelry”


Next there’s the word jewelry – and what’s crazy about this word is that some people pronounce it with three syllables, like JOO-ler-y, and others say it more like JOOL-ry with two syllables.

The joo-ler-y pronunciation seems contrary to the spelling, but you will sometimes hear it. I think the JOOL-ry pronunciation is easier and makes more sense, so let’s work on that:

JOOL – ry

JOOL-ry

jewelry

How to pronounce “library”


Next we have library. Some people mistakenly pronounce this liberry, forgetting the BR in the middle. But the correct pronunciation is: LI-brer-y

LI – brer – y

LI-brer-y

library

How to pronounce “February”


The month of February looks similar, but most people actually do NOT pronounce the R after the B. Instead, we say: FEB-you-er-y

Repeat after me, once slow, once fast:

FEB – you – er – y

February

How to pronounce “regularly”


Another difficult 4-syllable word with R is regularly. To master the pronunciation, it’s best to break it up into parts:

REG – you – lar – ly

REG-you-lar-ly

regularly

Just keep practicing, and eventually your tongue will master the pattern of these Rs and Ls!

How to pronounce “temperature”


Finally we have the word temperature. Let’s start with just the first two syllables:

TEM-per

TEM-per

Easy, right?

Now the -ature part actually just sounds like “chur” in fast spoken English. So we have:

TEM – per – chur

TEM-per-chur

tem-per-chur

Do you have a difficult word that you want to know how to pronounce correctly in English? If so, tell me about it, and I’ll add it to my list for future videos!

If you want to continue learning pronunciation and practicing with me, come check out my pronunciation and shadowing courses – I think you’ll really enjoy them.

Keep on practicing and with time, you will be able to pronounce these difficult R words well. See you in the next video!

Speak English more clearly & confidently!

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