Every language has its own accent and ways of making sounds. It is
important to pronounce English words correctly if you want to
sound like a native English speaker.
Click Here for Step-by-Step Rules, Stories and Exercises to Practice All English Tenses
Before we begin, it is important to note that there are many different
forms of the English language. American
English and British English
are two of the most popular forms
Although American and British English have many similarities, there are
important differences in the
way individual words are pronounced. It is also important to remember
that there are many different dialects and accents in both American
and British English.
Six tips to improve your English
pronunciation and accent
1. Learn individual sounds in the English language
The English language may have only 26 letters in its alphabet, but
those letters make over 40
. If you want to improve your English
pronunciation and accent, then you need to learn how to say each of
these unique sounds.
the study of the basic sounds and speech patterns in
a language. You
can read more about the phonology of the English language here:
, or IPA, will also help you learn how to
pronounce each English
You can learn more about the International Phonetic Alphabet here:
Or you can study individual sounds with these lessons from Really Learn
List of Lessons
Lesson 01: International
Phonetic Alphabet (IPA)
Lesson 02: Word
Stress and Syllables
Lesson 03: Long E
Lesson 04: Short I
Lesson 05: UH Sound
OO Sound (moon,
Lesson 07: Short E
sound (pen, bed)
Lesson 08: Schwa
Sound (the, about)
Lesson 09: UR Sound (turn, learn)
Lesson 10: OH Sound (four, store)
Lesson 11: Short A
Sound (cat, fat)
Lesson 12: UH Sound (but, luck)
Lesson 13: Soft A
Sound (arm, father)
Lesson 14: Long O
Lesson 15: Long A
Sound (say, pain, make)
Lesson 16: Short O
Sound (not, off, socks)
Lesson 17: Diphthong
(a combination of two vowel sounds)
Lesson 18: P Sound
(cup, punch, pull) and B sound (cub, bunch, bull)
Lesson 19: The Nasal
Sounds (M, N, NG)
Lesson 20: F Sound (four, lift, graph, tough) and V Sound (love, knives, grave, vine)
Lesson 21: W Sound (wow, quit, where)
Lesson 22: R Sound (red, sorry, write)
Lesson 23: H Sound (he, behind, who)
Lesson 24: T Sound (top, it, later) and D Sound (do, had, made)
Lesson 25: S Sound (sit, box, cats) and Z Sound (zip, buzz, boys)
Lesson 26: K Sound (kid, talk, black) and G Sound (go, big, dog)
Lesson 27: L Sound:
Light L & Dark L (tall,
Lesson 28: Y
Consonant Sound (yes,
Lesson 29: CH Sound (China, century, watch) and J Sound (Germany, educate , judge)
Lesson 30: TH
Consonant Sounds – voiced TH sound (the,
father, them) and voiceless
(unvoiced) TH sound (think,
Lesson 31: SH
(shop, chef, special) and ZH (usual, massage, Asia)
Lesson 32: T and TT Sounds (true T sound, D sound, stop sound, silent T)
Learn English Video
stress and syllables
2. Learn word stress and syllables
are the next important thing to learn if
want to improve your English pronunciation. Your accent will sound more
natural if you can stress the correct syllable in a word.
is a part of a word that contains a single vowel sound.
Every word has one syllable or more. When a word has more than one
syllable, one syllable will be the stressed, or accented, syllable. A
is pronounced with greater force than other
in the word.
You can use a dictionary to learn word stress of new words. In some
the stressed syllable will be in bold print.
- English => [ing
is in bold print,
we know that it is the stressed syllable in this word.
In other dictionaries, there will be a stress mark (an apostrophe)
before or directly after the stressed syllable.
- English => ['ing – glish]
- English => [ing' – glish]
Both of these examples show that "ing"
is the stressed syllable.
In the first example, the stress mark is directly before the
In the second example, the stress mark is directly after the
3. Learn new words correctly
When you learn new words in English,
be sure to learn how to pronounce them correctly!
dictionary to learn how to pronounce words.
It is easier to learn a
word correctly the first time than try to fix a mistake later on. If
you get used to pronouncing a word incorrectly, you will find it is
difficult to change the way you say it.
A dictionary will show you how to pronounce each word and which
you should stress. Some Internet dictionaries even have an audio
pronunciation of English words. Look for a speaker symbol beside the
word. Listen to the audio pronunciation and
try to imitate the sounds you hear.
4. Record your own voice to listen for mistakes
It is important for you to hear what you sound like when you speak English.
If possible, record yourself reading out of a book or speaking new words and listen for mistakes.
You can use your computer, a cell phone or a digital recorder.
You can also use this online high quality voice recorder
on any device for free.
Compare your recording to an audio recording by a native English speaker.
- Listen to a sentence from an audio
book or audio recording.
- Record yourself saying the same sentence or words.
- Compare the two recordings.
- Keep trying until you get it right!
By listening to yourself, you should be able to pick out your own
strengths and weaknesses. Then, you will know what you need to focus on
as you continue to learn.
5. Ask friends and teachers for help
If you have good friends who are native English speakers, ask them for
help. Ask them to correct you when they hear something wrong.
Many people will not correct you unless you ask them because they do
not want to
hurt your feelings by pointing out your mistakes. Tell your friends that you
want to improve your English accent and would like their help!
You can also ask a teacher to evaluate your English pronunciation.
teacher can tell you what you are doing right and help you focus on
what you are doing wrong. Your teacher may also give you specific
exercises to help improve your weak areas in English pronunciation.
6. Practice and be patient!
Learning a new language takes time. The best advice we can give you is
to practice every day and be patient! Take time to learn the language
to English and speak English every day. Do not overwhelm yourself by
trying to learn everything at one time. Focus on one sound or skill at
a time and practice it until you master it.
Practicing will also help you feel more comfortable speaking English!
Read more about it here:
How to Speak English Fluently
If you take your time and
practice every day, you will hear an
improvement in your English pronunciation!
These were tips to help improve your English pronunciation and accent.
them, it is
time to practice your accent! Get
our ESL Books