Pronunciation of ‘photograph’, ‘photographer’, and ‘photographic’ in English

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.

Photograph, pronounced /ˈfəʊtəgrɑːf/ (fəu-tə-graaf) (UK), /ˈfoʊtəgræf/ (foh-tə-græf) (US), is synonymous to a photo, not the person who takes the photo as in many other languages.

The person who takes photos is a photographer, pronounced /fəˈtɒgrəfə/ (fə-togg-rə-fə) (UK), /fəˈtɑːgrəfɚ/ (fə-taag-rə-fr) (US); notice that the stress is now on the second syllable, whereas it was on the first syllable in “photograph”.

To make the confusion complete, the stress in the word photographic, pronounced /ˌfəʊtəˈgræfɪk/ (fəu-tə-græf-ik) (UK), /ˌfoʊtəˈgræfɪk/ (foh-tə-græf-ik) (US), is on the third syllable.

Notice that not only does the stress change, but with a stress change (in general) usually comes a change in vowel type, and these three words are a great example of this process.

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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