Follow US:

Practice English Speaking&Listening with: How To Pronounce 7 Confusing Words | British Pronunciation

Difficulty: 0

I have a list of some common words which

have a few different ways of pronouncing

them and some people just find them

difficult to pronounce so I'm here to

give you the correct answers and to show

you exactly how to pronounce these

confusing words


hi everybody this is Elliot from ETJ

English thank you very much for coming

here to hang out with me today and to

practice some British pronunciation now

firstly before we begin the lesson I

just like to say thank you to everyone

who's been supporting my new podcast

journeys which is about travel

adventures and life if you're not

following it yet and you haven't

listened to the first full length

episode which is about 30 minutes you

can just click one of the links in the

description below and it will take you

to the podcast it would be a great

listening practice for you if you really

want to start working on mimicking me

and improving your pronunciation with

listening practice as I explained in my

most previous video so now I have this

list of words words which I've

accumulated over the past few weeks from

people writing comments on my youtube

videos and also from people who are my

actual students members of my

pronunciation course and they ask me

questions all the time and I have some

really great words which is slightly

complicated and I'm going to make them

easy for you the first word that I

really really need to address for you is

the word which really annoys me when

natives get it wrong and especially when

they spell it wrong as well it's not

pronounced iation okay we pronounce

something but when we're talking about

it in this way

it's pronunciation pronunciation none

pronunciation not pronunciation as a

pronunciation teacher you can imagine

that really annoys me when people get it

wrong next word controversy or

controversy now this one's actually

entirely up to you some people might

tell you that you have to say

controversy and some people might tell

you that you have to say controversy in

my opinion it's entirely up to you the

most difficult part in fact is

pronouncing all of the sounds okay

so one of them has the schwa sound

controversy can controller see and the

other one has Kon which one do you find

easier to pronounce they're both British

so it depends it's entirely up to you

what you find easier would you rather


Khanh Orkin controversy or controversy

and noticed the difference in stress the

reason why we're saying cotton in that

one is because the stress is on calm but

when the stress is taken away from this

syllable what happens is we use the

schwa to actually relax the syllable and

this happens a lot with the schwa sound

words like police about because the

stressed syllable is stressed we're

actually going to relax the syllable

which is not stressed and replace it

with a schwa sound

so controversy could be controversy in

this situation if it were me speaking I

tend to usually say controversy that's

just how I say it

but it's up to you because both are

British economic or economic again kind

of similar situation but this time it's

either an A or an E economic economic I

hear students say both of these and to

be honest it doesn't really matter too

much again

economic economic if it were me I would

probably say economic okay so if I'm

going to a economics class I would say

that instead of economics class so I

would say it's probably more common

nowadays to hear economics rather than

economics let's just get the difference

between those two vowels e tongue high

in the mouth and a big smile e Kannamma


or a just like in Elliott okay we

slightly spread the lips not as much as

E but we do slightly spread the lips and

the tongue will sit near the front in

the middle of the mouth Elliott's

economics so economics or economics it's

up to you now another word which

confuses people is the word especially

if you look at the way that it's

pronounced in its true form

it's especially so for example I really

love dogs

especially my dog I really love dogs

especially my dog but when a native

speaker talks really fast it might


really love dogs especially my dog

especially my dog so what's happening

there well you might have noticed that

the is disappearing in fact that whole

vowel is disappearing and it's now

turned into especially now this is not

grammatically correct and we need we

can't think of the word especially as a

word in this context all that's

happening is we're being lazy and we're

actually removing the vowel sound at the

beginning of the word because we're

talking fast

remember native speakers are very lazy

so I do get lots of students ask me

Elliot why did my friend say the word

specially the other day when it was

completely out of context the truth is

they weren't saying that word they were

just reducing the word especially

because it's annoying and we want to

relax it now you could also relax it

with the schwa sound and it could become

especially especially that's something

which natives do as well but I would say

it's extremely common for people just to

say especially I mentioned in a video

before about how people get confused

with the words generally and genuinely

that's another reason why because people

kind of want to be lazy and they end up

relaxing one of the sounds and that's

what happens a word actually in fact a

sound which I get asked about so much is

the diphthong oh oh now I want you to

think about the word sure that's how I

say it sure and lots of students are

quite shocked when they hear me say it

like this but in fact this is how most

natives in the whole country pronounce

it sure we don't say sure now people do

okay I can't just say we don't because

I'm not talking on behalf of the whole

country but here's a quick reality check

for a lot of you who are learning RP RP

is only spoken now I'm talking about

real RP that RP that people you know

really associate the UK with it's only

spoken by two percent of the British

population I even read something

recently that it's declining even more

it's possibly becoming around 1.5 1%

most people in fact in the south would

talk with a more similar accent to mine

which is what we'd call a modified

standard English RP accent ok this is

the type of accent I teach so if you

like my accent this is the accent which

kind of generally now would be

associated with the UK we don't use the

or sound really at all in this type of

accent in old-fashioned RP English we

would so words like sha would be

pronounced as sure and the Queen would

do it in the Queen's English accent okay

now that spoken by like noir point 5

percent of the population so don't

really worry about that unless you want

to sound like the Queen or if you want

to sound like you from the 1800s some

people do if you want a modern

pronunciation whenever you think about

this or sound most of the time now it's

pronounced as or which is very common

vowel sound in words like walk talk okay

so it's much easier we are evolving to

words I saw recently in a comment on

YouTube military and secretary firstly I

want to talk about the word

military if you know me you know that I

always recommend Cambridge dictionary to

look at the pronunciation of words now

sometimes in Cambridge dictionary you'll

see a tiny small little schwa sound

floating around in a word and students

ask me do I pronounce this

do I not pronounce this my best advice

is that I put it in brackets and as I'm

just kind of there to say you can if you

want so this would military if we were

to pronounce that little schwa that's

floating around there we would say

military military Tory now that's

actually really really uncommon and this

is usually the case with these little

schwarz which appear usually we just

don't pronounce them it's more common to

not use it so there's a good tip for you

if you're ever looking up words in the

dictionary and you see that small schwa

try it without it first see how it feels

if you prefer it with that suave then of

course you can do it so I would say


now the next word is secretary but again

in Cambridge dictionary we could say

secretary secretary now I actually hear

a balance

some people say secretary some people

say secretary again it's much easier

just to say secretary and if something

is easier then that means it's more

likely to be in the modern British

accent but some of you I know are

extreme fans of Oxford Dictionary I

personally don't use this for my

pronunciation lessons but I did check

oxford dictionary just to see if they

had any difference with this word

secretary or secretary and they did now

they would say that you pronounce it set

crit tree so instead of being a schwa

sound secre tree they're saying it

should be secretary secretary secretary

crook or Creek secretary or secretary

it's not to you as I said I find that

Cambridge dictionary tends to be more

relatable to modern British English and

that's why I use them for my lessons now

I have a challenge for you do you have

any of these words which you've heard

natives pronounce in two different ways

we have this famous one in the UK which

we all argue over whether we say scone

or scone if you don't know what that is

just google it it's a British kind of

baked thing and we sometimes have it

with jam and cream some people the Pasha

people would say scone but other people

would say scone so we have lots of these

situations where we have kind of two

different ways of pronouncing or words

so please do write in the comments below

and tell me if any other words confuse

you and maybe in a future video if you

enjoyed this lesson I'll make another

lesson about common confusing words

don't forget if you need some listening

practice you can go to my podcast in the

description below also if you really

really are serious about improving your

accent and you want me as your personal

teacher you can join my course at etj

English comm which has the perfect

combination of recorded lesson

downloadable practice files quizzes and

direct voice messaging with me whenever

you want Skype lessons are a complete

waste of time that's why I've stopped

doing them now just so you know they

really don't help with pronunciation

grammar vocabulary yes they're not

pronunciation I don't want to waste your

money so thank you very much for

watching this lesson it's been a

pleasure as always and I'll see you guys


cheers guys take care bye


The Description of How To Pronounce 7 Confusing Words | British Pronunciation