Join Steve on Facebook!
To Learn American pronunciation is easy if you know how to pronounce each of the vowel sounds correctly. This lesson is the first part of two lessons in which I explain each sound so that you can learn American pronunciation perfectly
One thing that may surprise you is that the difference between eat vs. it is hard for almost ALL non-native speakers of English. I teach people from all over the planet and they all seem to find it difficult to pronounce the short i sound – ih – properly. Hopefully showing you in my video lesson where the tongue and lips should be positioned will help you pronounce things perfectly. Of course, a small mistake with beach vs. bitch or sheet vs. shit may get you into an embarrassing situation. Be careful!
These two vowel sounds can be difficult for some non-native English speakers. You also want to check for standard American pronunciation which can be found in any online dicitionary such as Merriam-Webster, Longman or Oxford. Some parts of the US, particularly the South, use a different pronunciation of words like bad vs. bed. So someone with a strong southern accent may be saying bad, but sounds like bed in standard American English.
The “ah” sound as in watch, bought, thought etc. is very important to pronounce correctly in American English. From my personal teaching experience, it’s quite common for non-native speakers to study at both American and British schools resulting in a mixed accent. So a word like “watch” in American English should sound like “w+ah+tch”, however, I hear a lot of non-native English speakers saying the British, “w+oh+tch”. In my lesson I give you a good idea on how to pronounce this sound by opening up your mouth and projecting the sound from the back of the through – this is a deep sound – with the tongue relaxing on the bottom of your mouth.