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Are you pronouncing these words right???

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English language has thousands and thousands of words which are pronounced the same way. We use these words in our daily conversations. But often the words are mispronounced by us. Have a look at the following example – “Peter can you please call Henry? Ask him to come to my desk in 10 minutes.” This sentence is properly written but many of us read it as, “Peter can you please call Henry, ask him to come to my deks in 10 minutes.” People here pronounce deks instead of desk and this error is very common, and is considered as perfectly natural. Let’s have a look at the other such mispronounced words.

Pronunciation

10 commonly mispronounced words


1. Cache

Most of us get muddled up with words that end with “-che.” We pronounce it as “cash-ay,” but cache is actually pronounced the same way as cash and it means a group of items hidden in a secret storage place.

2. Hyperbole

Hyperbole means exaggerated statements or claims not meant to be taken literally. We pronounce it is “hyper-bowl” but in reality it should be pronounced as “hy-per-ba-lee”.

3. Picture

Picture is usually confused and mispronounced as pitcher. Pitcher means a large jug. Picture should be pronounced as "pic-shur" or "pic-tchur". Concentrate and stress the alphabet “c”.

Picture

4. Almond

Almond, a dry fruit is pronounced as Aal-mund but it has to be pronounced as Ah-mund, pronunciation of u as in sun and L is silent.

5. Dessert

Dessert is what we eat after our meal. It should be pronounced as dizz-urt pronunciation of u as in sun. Whereas, desert means a barren land.

6.  Zebra

Zebra is pronounced differently in the US English and UK English. According to the US English, the sound of the letter ‘Z’ is ‘Zee’. So the pronunciation is Zee-bra in which pronunciation of ee as in tree. Whereas in British English, it is be Zeb-ra.

7. Epitome

Epitome is pronounced as ep-i-tome (as in foam) but the correct pronunciation is as ep-i-tummy.

8. Develop

The word develop is pronounced as Day+vay+lupp, but the correct pronunciation is D+vay+lupp.

9. Pizza

All this time we were pronouncing our yummy pizza wrongly. That’s sad to know. We pronounce it as Pi-za but it should be pronounced as peet-zuh, (peet pronounced as in wheat).

10. Ethyl, methyl

Yes, the scientific term which is mainly used in chemistry should be pronounced as eethail, meethail (aail as in ice) and not as A-thil, mey-thil.

When learning English, our focus should be on getting the pronunciation right as a slip of tongue here and there can change the meaning of a sentence. The list above includes just a handful of words. There are uncountable such everyday words that we casually pronounce in the wrong manner. Therefore, a word of wisdom is to regularly listen to good speakers and note the way they say a particular word. Only by listening will you be able to improve your English speaking.

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-By Shailja Varma

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