How to improve your English pronunciation

by Jakub Marian

Tip: See my guide to the Most Common Pronunciation Errors in English. It will teach you about commonly mispronounced words, pro­nunci­ation patterns, and the basics of English phonology.

If you pronounce “bear” (the animal) the same as “beer”, it can lead to a serious misunderstanding; however, it doesn’t really matter whether the “r” is the proper English R or a rolled one as in many other languages. It matters to get your pronunciation approximately right, so that others are able to understand you without having to pay special attention. For example, these are some of the words that commonly cause problems:

mic /maɪk/ (Mike) is a shorter version of “microphone”, and the “mic” part is pronounced the same in both words.
glove /glʌv/ (g-love) is not pronounced “g-low-v”, as one could have expected.
psycho /ˈsaɪkəʊ/ (saai-koh) – the letter group “ps” at the beginning of a word is always pronounced just as “s”.
furnace /ˈfɜː(r)nɪs/ (fur-nis) – the “nace” at the end looks like as though it should be pronounced “ney’s”, but it isn’t.
Arkansas /ˈɑrkənsɔː/ (ark-ən-saw) – irregularities in proper names are quite common, and this one is especially commonly mispronounced.

I have written a book called Improve your English pronunciation and learn over 500 commonly mispronounced words concerned with words like these. This book is based on some of the articles I have written prior to it, but it contains several times more information. Even if you don’t want to read the book, I hope that you will find the articles useful; here they are:

This article was based on my guide to English pronunciation mistakes, which explains many similar topics. Why don’t you check it out?

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