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Pronouncing Fractions

There comes a time when we all need to pronounce a fraction or two in our lives! We speak of fractions when we are measuring for new kitchen blinds, cooking, ordering a picture frame and even when we are telling time.

Fractions requires multiple higher level pronunciation skills. Who knew, right? For some people, pronouncing consonant sounds at the ends of words is much different than what they are used to.

1. With fractions, we pronounce multiple consonant sounds at the ends of the fraction.  We add the plural /s/ for plural numbers (those are numbers when the top number is greater than one) For example 2/17 is “two seventeenths” /n/ + “th” + /s/.   WHEW!

2. Then, there is the article “a” that is used in place of the number one- for singular fractions beginning with a consonant sound. (hint: almost all of them) For example:  1/2, 1/3, 1/4.  “a half, a third, a fourth”

3. And pronouncing the singular article “an” for the number one that is used for singular fractions beginning with a vowel sound.  (hint: the number EIGHT).  For example:  1/8, 1/18, 1/80   “an eighth”, “an eighteenth” and “an eightieth”

Listen to Pam’s informational podcast and if you would like the complete transcript and a handy guide for pronouncing and spelling fractions  Email Pam  HERE –  and please write “FRACTIONS” in the subject line.

Comments or Questions? You can find the comment section right under the title of this blog. I’d love to hear from you!

TOP 5 STEPS FOR SPEAKING YOUR BEST

Call it whatever you want Accent Modification, Speaking Fluent English, Speaking English Clearly, or just plain ole Learning to talk better. Follow these 5 steps to become a better communicator, others will learn from you, remember you, and enjoying talking to you.

TOP 5 IMPORTANT STEPS FOR SPEAKING YOUR BEST

 

“It’s about  MELODY more than perfect pronunciation.”  -Pam

 

1. Finish the word! 

Pronouncing the final sounds of each word is tricky for a few reasons. First you don’t want to over-pronounce the last sound in a word. This sounds like I am contradicting myself. Say the sound but don’t push it out too much. Second, you may be able to say a word perfectly, but once you start talking faster your mouth and lips may not be able to keep up. And third, some of your sounds may be too weak-so you think you are saying the final sound- but a human ear will not hear it.  

What you think you are saying,      “I‘ll see you at five o’clock

What others hear,    “I_  see you  a_-fai_-o’claw_”

What is the big deal?  We link words together when we talk. If your last sounds are not pronounced, the important linking skill does not work.  And you will not sound smooth.

 

 2. Count the beats of the word. 

For example  a typical mistake for the word   Colorado is  “co-ra-do”  (3 beats). The correct pronunciation is 4 beats  “co-ler-ra-do”

The word particularly is 5 beats “par-ti-cu-lar-ly”, but a typical mistake is saying it with only 4 beats “par-ti-cu-ly”.

The word business is 2 beats “biz-nis”, but many times the mistake is saying it with 3 beats “biz-i-nis.”

What is the big deal? If you reduce the amount of syllables (or say too many) of a word, the listener is left to fill-in-the-blanks and will need a second or two to catch up with you. There will be problems with sounding choppy and a lack of understanding.

 

    3.       words              stand above       rest

         Some   ^            should               ^              the     ^    

If we said every word with the same voice we would put our listeners to sleep. That’s the definition of being monotone. One tone.

When we TALK like THIS, we would be HEARD, and have PERSONALITY in our CONVERSATION.

What is the big deal?  When every word sounds the same, you will sound boring and lack spark in your conversation. Put some effort into your important words. Listeners are waiting for you to emphasize the important words.

 

4.  Parts of a word are bigger than Other parts.

It’s my goal in life to teach everyone how to pronounce the word “develop.” If you continue to pronounce it without  the American English stress, it will sound like “devil up.”

The stress should be in the middle syllable. (VEL).  “di-VEL-lip”  Then the other syllables become smaller.

What is the big deal?  Even if you are pronouncing each sound correctly, the word will not sound like itself. While you are on the next sentence, the listener is still  wondering why they heard the word “devil.”

 

5.  Say some words L-O-N-G-E-R. 

Do you know that the only difference between saying “ice” and “eyes” is one sound. But the listener doesn’t care about that, as much as, the length of the word.

“ice”  ends in a /s/. This sounds like a short word with an “s” on the end.

“eyes” ends in a /z/.  This word is pronounced  L-O-N-G-E-R than the other one. It’s the length of the word (the vowel) that we are listening for. Not the  “z” pronunciation.

What is the big deal? Not all words are created equal. Listener confusion.

You’ve Got This!

So there you have it- we need to stretch some words longer, higher, and give our voice personality. We need to pronounce the correct amount of sounds and syllables and link them together in a cohesive way.  Once you can do these 5 steps you will sound fluent, more natural, and develop a confident, speaking style.

It’s all about the English melody 

for you to become a good conversationalist

and an awesome public (or private) speaker.

 

The hardest part is to know which skills you are doing correctly and which skills could use some help.

I have quick and easy directions so that you can show improvements within one hour. Of course, this will take some practice so that you can make it a new habit. But these are achievable goals.

If you would like a free 30-minute consultation, contact me, let’s talk- and I will advise you.

Or let’s get right to it. Let me customize our classes together and I will teach only what you need to learn.

Virtual lessons -Private or in Small group Packages. Contact me to discuss the details. No obligation to purchase.

Pam@ProAccentCoaching.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pronouncing WO – Two Ways!

Wow! This week was International Women’s Day.  Let’s celebrate all of the women in our lives and their achievements. Now is the time to raise awareness against bias and make an effort to take action for equality.
In honor of all women in the world, please enjoy this lesson about pronouncing the words ‘woman’ and ‘women’.

Pronouncing the W in English requires the lips to be fully rounded and pushed forward a bit. Many of my students are able to form their lips correctly, but attaching the next vowel sound is the difficult part. In this lesson you will practice W +  (two different) vowels:

  • W + /ʊ​​​​/ the sound in the word “put”​​​ (listen to me on the recording) as in the word WOMAN
  • W + /ɪ/ the sound in the word “it” (listen to me on the recording) as in the word WOMEN.

And finally pay attention to the last syllable in both of the words:

  • woMAN and woMEN are pronounced the same even though they are spelled differently! Pronounce this reduced syllable as if you are saying “MIN”

My Personal Picks

Time Flies When You’re Having Fun!

A New Year means New Beginnings. But for some reason I wanted to reflect back and review some of my favorite recordings, and tell you about the most popularly viewed recordings. I can’t believe it but the recording called, Ring, Ring Hello! currently has over 1,000 listeners. It’s been played in over 50 Countries. You never know what is going to become popular. Unless it’s stuck on constant replay-it must be a favorite somewhere!

Listen to My Personal Picks and you will hear my favorite lessons for you

If you’d like to see my playlists (and listen to all 98 lessons) LOOK HERE 

We have a whole new year to keep learning from each other.

Are you ready?

Oh No! Pronouncing O

Pronunciation Roadblocks For Saying “O”        Can Vary

While many people are good at saying the first part of the sound, MOST do not say the crucial second part.  Everyone will wonder how you did it,  HERE IS THE KEY TO SOUNDING GREAT

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Ordering At Starbucks-Varieties of Coffee and L Sounds!

Practice the American English pronunciation when learning how to order sizes, flavors and menu choices from Starbucks. Let’s listen to some of the L pronunciations. I guarantee you will learn a new pronunciation in this lesson! Listen to this recording and review the words listed below.

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Pittsburgh: The Regional Accent of Champions…”ChampeeYINZ”

"Pittsburgh- Regional Accent Champions"

Regional Accent? Foreign Accent…We all have one!

Speaking clear, fluent American English takes practice~ while understanding what others are saying in their regional accent can feel impossible!  If English isn’t your first language, then your brain has been working hard to learn a new set of sounds. Maybe you’re still struggling with these new sounds.

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