How to speak English tips

Irregardless of the language that you are trying to learn, connecting the way words sound with how they look on paper is a difficult task. Because the pronunciation rules for English are not consistent, you may often come to points where you will have a difficult time determining how to say things correctly.

It is also important to realize that the English has accents and dialects like any other language. As a result, you may feel confused when you are told to pronounce a word in a certain way, only to hear it spoken in a different way by someone else. Nevertheless, there are still a number of methods that you can use to develop your English speaking skills.

Using a Tape Recorder

In many cases, when you are concentrating on how to form sounds, you may not be aware of how they actually turn out. A tape recorder is very useful for helping you learn the results of your efforts. As you listen, you will be able to hear the difference in what you intended to sound out, and what actually occurred. You can also compare these results to tapes of native English speakers and work on specific sound groups that are difficult to manage. A tape recorder will also help you learn how to control the pace of your speech, as well as your breathing pattern.

Listen and Repeat Numerous Dialects and Accents

Once you have mastered the basic sounds, it may be helpful to listen to these words spoken by people with different accents. As an example, you might want to try and imitate everything from Texan accents to Irish ones. In the process, you may find that some letter pronunciations fit better with your own natural speech patterns.

As you listen and repeat from tapes, it is very important to experiment and find out what will make you speech clear and understandable. You can also find numerous samples of spoken English on the internet. If you visit sites like You Tube, it is possible to download videos on just about any subject. Some video producers may even have content available that shows you the proper lip and tongue positions to form specific sounds. You can also select materials that match a hobby or other personal interest, and gain the benefit of hearing a native English speaker at the same time.

Voice Chat

At some point, you will want to gain steady practice in conversational English. If your computer is equipped with a sound card and microphone, you may be able to find internet chat rooms that also support voice chat. That said, you may not find this of much help if your internet connection is too slow.

Unfortunately, learning to verbalize in English will be very difficult if you do not actually speak out loud. If you cannot find someone to practice with, you can still use a tape recorder, or practice with videos. On the other hand, if your computer has the necessary hardware, you may find that you have unlimited opportunities to carry on conversations with native English speakers from all over the world.


English is not Phonetic

Pronunciation” refers to the way a word or a language is usually spoken, or the manner in which someone utters a word. If someone said to have “correct pronunciation,” then it refers to both within a particular dialect.

A word can be spoken in different ways by various individuals or groups, depending on many factors, such as:

1.  the area in which they grew up

2. the area in which they now live

3. if they have a speech or voice disorder

4.  their ethnic group

5.  their social class

6. their education

watch the following videos to better understand what we mean exactly by pronunciation.

Introducation to pronunciation


And now watch this video about sounds of English.


Always remember that English is not “phonetic”. That means that we do not always say a word the same way that we spell it.

Some words can have the same spelling but different pronunciation, for example:

 I like to read [ri:d]      [audio:|titles=like-read]

I have read [red] that book.     [audio:|titles=have-read]

 Some words have different spelling but the same pronunciation, for example:

  • I have read [red] that book.        [audio:|titles=have-read]
  • · My favourite colour is red [red].    [audio:|titles=colour-red]

Now we move to  discovers English sounds:

1- [intlink id=”492″ type=”post”]Consonants[/intlink]

2- [intlink id=”390″ type=”post”]Practice consonants[/intlink]

3- [intlink id=”381″ type=”post”]Vowels[/intlink]

4- [intlink id=”545″ type=”post”]Practice Vowels[/intlink]

We recommend to visit the follwoing sites to better improve your pronunciation:

  1. fonetiks

  2. Okanagan College

Practise Vowels

/a: /  Famous stars smoke cigars in cars and bars! [audio:|titles=01]

/æ/   That fat cat sat on a rat. Now it’s flat as a mat! [audio:|titles=02]

/aI/   Mike likes bikes with spikes to ride on ice. [audio:|titles=03]

/aʊ/  I doubt he’ll clout the lout who stole his trout. He’ll shout out loud! [audio:|titles=04]

/e/   The clever never ever say “Never ever!”. [audio:|titles=05]

/eI/  If there’s a delay, they pay to stay another day. [audio:|titles=06]

/eə/ They dare to stare at fair hair because it’s rare there.   [audio:|titles=07]

/I / If the stick isn’t thick, you’ll split it when you hit it.  [audio:|titles=08]

/i:/ Don’t freeze the cheese, please, Louise! [audio:|titles=09]

/Iə/  It’s clear the beer is dear here! [audio:|titles=10]

/ɒ/ Doctor Oscar often operates on opposition politicians. [audio:|titles=11]

/əʊ/ Joan won’t go home to Rome by boat alone.  [audio:|titles=12]

/ɔ:/ She caught her daughter in the water with a naughty boy. [audio:|titles=13]

/ɔI/ The noise from Roy‘s toys annoys other boys.  [audio:|titles=14]

/ʊ/ The cook shook when he took a look at the cook book. [audio:|titles=15]

/u:/ Whose two new blue shoes did Sue lose?  [audio:|titles=16]

/ʊə/ If the water on the tour isn’t pure, you can’t be sure there’ll be a cure!  [audio:|titles=17]

/3:/ Bert wasn’t hurt but got dirt on his shirt. [audio:|titles=18]

/ʌ/ If mother had another brother, I’d have another uncle.  [audio:|titles=19]

/ə/ A moment ago he announced a new address. [audio:|titles=20]

see also:

 [intlink id=”390″ type=”post”]Practice consonants[/intlink]

[intlink id=”492″ type=”post”]consonants[/intlink]

[intlink id=”381″ type=”post”]Vowels[/intlink]

Vowels and diphthongs


First, let us take up the 12 pure vowels. When pronounced, they do not change quality and that is why they are termed as ‘monophthongs’. For ease of study, they are given in the form of a table, below:

Note: Please refer this table for the symbolic representation of the vowels according to their respective serial number.

1 is the vowel found in neat, seat, sheet, each
2 occurs in words like: in, if, bid, city
3 as in set, head, net
4 occurs in bat, cat, ant
5 in ask, car, aunt
6 in words like: on, not, cot, odd
7 in caught, horse, law
8 in put, book, hook
9 in boon, two, move, group
10 in cup, come, does
11 in bird, earn, learn
12 in ago (first syllable)

The next 8 vowels are diphthongs. They glide from one quality to another within the same syllable.

13 in here, near, rear
14 in tour, poor, doer
15 in care, dare, share
16 in play,aim, name
17 in boy, boil, soil
18 in eyes, buy, ice
19 in cow, noun, crown
20 in go, boat, own

Thus, ends our description of the 12 pure vowels and 8 diphthongs which are collectively known as the 20 vowels of English. 

Now listen to some of the vowels

[audio:|titles=sounds of english vowels]

See also:

[intlink id=”545″ type=”post”]Practise Vowels[/intlink]

[intlink id=”492″ type=”post”]Consonants[/intlink]

[intlink id=”390″ type=”post”]Practise Consonants[/intlink]


/b/[audio:|titles=b sound]


/d/ [audio:|titles=d]

/t/ [audio:|titles=t]

/dʒ/ [audio:|titles=g] 

/t∫/ [audio:|titles=tsh]

/ð/ [audio:|titles=the]

/θ/  [audio:|titles=th]

/v/  [audio:|titles=v]

/f/  [audio:|titles=f] 

/g/   [audio:|titles=g] 

/k/  [audio:|titles=k]

/z/  (British) [audio:|titles=zb]

/Z/ (American) [audio:|titles=za] 

/∫/  [audio:|titles=esh]

/h/ [audio:|titles=h] 

/j/ [audio:|titles=j]

/l/ [audio:|titles=l] 

/m/  [audio:|titles=m]

/n/  [audio:|titles=n] 

/ŋ/  [audio:|titles=engma]

/r/ [audio:|titles=r] 

/w/  [audio:|titles=w]

/ʒ/ [audio:|titles=je]


see also:

[intlink id=”390″ type=”post”]Practice consonants[/intlink]

[intlink id=”381″ type=”post”]Vowels[/intlink]

[intlink id=”545″ type=”post”]Practice vowels[/intlink]

Practice consonants

Sound Examples
/b/ Barry’s barrel of beer was a better buy than Bob’s bargain bottles. [audio:|titles=21]

/p/ Pete persuaded Pam to pick up Paula’s parcel at the post office.   [audio:|titles=22]
/d/ Dad does detest dealing with dogs’ droppings in the driveway. [audio:|titles=23]
/t/ Toddlers’ toilet training takes time. [audio:|titles=24]
/dʒ/ Jolting gelignite is generally jolly dangerous!  [audio:|titles=25]
/t∫/ Charles said cherries, cheese and chocolate are cheap in China. [audio:|titles=26]
/D/ It’s the weather there that bothers them.  [audio:|titles=27]
/θ/ A thirsty thief thanked Theo for his thermos. [audio:|titles=28]
/v/ Vera values the variety of vitamins in vegetables. [audio:|titles=29]
/f/ Inefficient farmers fear future foreign food imports. [audio:|titles=30]
/g/ The giggling girls gradually got a grip on themselves.  [audio:|titles=31]
/k/ Cairo kids quickly catch colds in Canada. [audio:|titles=32]
/z/ The zippy Zaire zebra zigzagged through the Zurich zoo.  [audio:|titles=33]
/s/ Super salesmen soon succeed in selling something. [audio:|titles=34]
/ʒ/ We should treasure leisure for its immeasurable pleasure!  [audio:|titles=35]
/∫/ She showed the shy shogun a Shinto shrine.  [audio:|titles=36]
/h/ When Helen had Harry, her husband hurried her to hospital. [audio:|titles=37]
/j/ You used your yellow uniform yesterday.  [audio:|titles=38]
/l/ Larry lured lots of lovely ladies to his lair.  [audio:|titles=39]
/m/ Most managers make much more money than me. [audio:|titles=40]
/n/ I’ll naturally never know Naples like my Neapolitan neighbour.  [audio:|titles=41]
/ŋ/ Karaoke king Bing sang a long song in Hong Kong.  [audio:|titles=42]
/r/ Ronald Reagan wrecked his red Rolls Royce.  [audio:|titles=43]
/w/ We await snowy winter weather without warm winds. [audio:|titles=44]

See also:

[intlink id=”492″ type=”post”]Consonants[/intlink]

[intlink id=”381″ type=”post”]Vowels[/intlink]

[intlink id=”545″ type=”post”]Practise Vowels[/intlink]