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Live better, pronounce better!

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Weekend is almost here and we hope is packed with lots of plans around the city! Today’s post is about one of my favourite topics: pronunciation. Many English language learners struggle with a few words in English, which do not resemble at all the way they are written. Well, let’s face it: British pronunciation is not easy and especially some words are responsible for some reluctance among non-native speakers.

 Here are my top 5 picks of common mispronounced words.


1. Dessert

Everybody enjoys a sweet treat after a meal so, if you are thinking about asking the waiter for any suggestions, make sure you say /dɪˈzɜ:t/. In the first syllable we use the vowel sound /ɪ/ and we stress the second syllable. Be careful not to get confused with ‘desert’, which we pronounce /ˈdɛzət/, with vowel sound /ɛ/ and the stress on the first syllable. I’m sure you would prefer a cheesecake, not a plate full of sand!



2. Often

This is a word that is used very frequently, and mispronounced too. Remember in English language we rarely pronounce words as they are written. The correct pronunciation for this word is /ˈɒf(ə)n/, no ‘t’ sound to be said here!



3. Honest

This is a characteristic that we appreciate in friends, and people in general. Unlike other words in English like ‘hello’, ‘horse’ or ‘hunt’, the word honest does not aspire the letter ‘h’. So the correct pronunciation is /ˈɒnɪst/, no letter h and the vowel e, pronounced as an /ɪ/.



4. Women

The plural for woman is frequently an interesting point in pronunciation. People will tend to pronounce the word as woo-men. Make no mistake, the British pronunciation for this word is /ˈwɪmɪn/.



5. Greenwich

I could not finish this post without mentioning one of my favourite parts in London. This place is where the meridian and the Royal Observatory are, and again, it is not pronounced as it is written. If you need to ask directions to get there, make sure you ask for /ˈgrɪnɪʤ/ and not green-wich.



Do you know any other words that are commonly mispronounced? Share your thoughts in the comment box!