Learn and practice these 5 tiny pronunciation differences

Pronunciation and shadowing courses

Hello students! We have a saying in English that “the devil is in the details” – this means that you need to be careful, because the small parts of a situation/task can cause major problems or difficulties.

Sometimes this is the case for learning pronunciation – a tiny difference in a sound can change the word completely. In today’s lesson, I’m going to help you practice 10 words that students often mispronounce, resulting in a totally different word.

nosy / noisy

Nosy has the same “o” sound as in go, slow, and those. Noisy has the same “oi” sound as in boy, toy, and coin. Saying someone is nosy means they are annoyingly curious about other people’s personal matters. Saying someone/something is noisy simply means they make a lot of noise.

quite / quiet

Quite is one syllable. It rhymes with right, white, and fight. The word quiet has two syllables, with the stress on the first one: QUI-et.

still / steal

Still rhymes with fill, will, and kill. The word steal rhymes with feel, deal, and meal.

three / tree

The TH sound and the TR sound are definitely challenging for English learners – but it’s important to differentiate them! Three has a “soft TH” like in the words think and thirsty, and the “soft TH” is followed by an R sound – same as in throw, thread, and thrift. In the word tree, the T has more of a CH sound, so it should be almost like TCHREE. This TR combination is the same as in true, transfer, and trip.

ankle / uncle

The “an” in ankle should be like in the words bank and thanks. The “un” in uncle should be like in the words fun and under.

care / car

Care rhymes with air, square, and wear, and car rhymes with far, star, and bar.

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