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Practice English Speaking&Listening with: How to say UNFORTUNATELY in American English

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In this American English pronunciation video,

youre going to learn how to pronounce the wordunfortunately.’

Unfortunately Im making this video on vacation,

so we have a weird wood background and the lightings not so good.

But fortunately were going to get to hear a lot of different people say this word.

Unfortunatelyis a five syllable word with stress on the second syllable, Un-for-tu-nate-ly.

Unfortunately, da-DA-da-da-da. Unfortunately.

So we should hear that as the loudest and longest and most obvious syllable.

The rest are less important. “Unfortunately.” “Unfortunately.”

We begin with an unstressed syllable un-, we have theUHas theBUTTERvowel

and theNconsonant, un-, un-, un-, un-, un-.

So because its unstressed you can see theres not a whole lot of mouth movement going on

because these sounds, this syllable isnt that important, un-, un-, un-, un-, un-.

To make the UH vowel everything is just really relaxed, the jaw hangs,

the tongue is not engaging, un-, un-.

Then the tip simply lifts to the roof of the mouth

where the flat part of the tongue is touching the roof of the mouth, un-, un-, un-ff.

Then we have theFconsonant.

So the bottom lip will reach up and this soft part on the inside

will touch the bottom of the top front teeth. Un-ff, un-ff, un-for.

Then we have the AW as in LAW vowel, followed by the R consonant. Notice how my voice goes UH.

That is the shape of a stressed syllable.

So make sure you have it long enough so you can get in that change of pitch. Un-for, un-for.

To make the vowel here my lips are rounding a little bit, un-for, uh, uh.

And my tongue lifts just a little bit, the whole thing, fo-,

but the tip stays forward touching behind the bottom of my front teeth. Un-for, un-for.

Next we have the lettersTandU’.

They represent the CH and schwa sound, -tu-, -tu-, -tu-, -tu-.

Again its unstressed so its going to be lower in pitch and a little flatter, -tu-, -tu-, -tu-.

You can see my mouth isnt moving too much to make this happen. Un-for-tu, un-for-tu-tu-tu-.

To make this CH sound the teeth are together, ch,

and the tongue lifts so that the tip is touching the roof of the mouth here, ch, ch.

Then I release the tongue and the teeth at the same time

directly into the Schwa, un-for-tu-tu-, un-for-tu.

We have two syllables left both unstressed, so, -nate-.

This begins with the N consonant, so the tongue has to go up to the roof of the mouth again.

Un-for-tu-nate-ly. So we have the IH vowel, the tongue comes back down.

Now things get a little tricky. We have a Stop T. Why is it a Stop T?

Because the next sound is a consonant.

So we dont need to make a True T sound, its not un-for-tu-nate-ly.

Its unfortunately. Unfortunate-ly. So we stop the air really quickly in our throat.

We can actually leave the tongue tip down, unfortunate-.

When I make that stop, my tongue, not the tip but a little further back,

does lift up and touch the roof of the mouth.

But since my jaw is more or less closed its not a big movement. Un-for-tu-nate-ly-ly.

To make the last syllable we have to begin with an L.

There are a couple different ways that you can make theL,’

you can have the tongue tip all the way up at the roof of the mouth.

But I find, I tend to put it through the teeth a little bit,

when its beginning an unstressed syllable. It looks a little bit like the TH. L-l-l.

But you can still make the L sound. Then to make the ending unstressed EE vowel the tongue tip

just comes back in the mouth and touches here behind the bottom of the front teeth.

Unfortunately. Unfortunately.

So when you make a Stop T and when you make this modified L

with the tongue tip coming a little through the teeth rather than at the roof of the mouth,

it simplifies the movement a little bit and we want that because these are unstressed syllables,

so in order to make them really quickly, we might need to simplify a little bit.

Unfortunately. Unfortunately.

Unfortunately its sort of a complicated word to pronounce.

Now we get to hear some of my friends and family say the word unfortunately.

>> Unfortunately. >> Unfortunately.

>> Unfortunately. >> Unfortunately.

>> Unfortunately. >> Unfortunately.

>> Unfortunately. >> Unfortunately.

>> Unfortunately. >> Unfortunately.

>> Unfortunately. >> Unfortunately.

I hope this video has helped you understand how to pronounce the wordunfortunately.’

If there is a word, you would like to know how to pronounce better,

put it in the comments below and dont forget toLikeandSharethis video.

Thats it and thanks so much for using Rachels English.

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