One language, over a billion native speakers, and countless dialects. The world’s universal language has a variety of accents depending on the country and even region. So, the big question is, how many different types of English accents are there?

An accent, according to the Oxford Lexico dictionary, is “a distinctive way of pronouncing a language, especially one associated with a particular country, area, or social class.” Now, let’s get back to the question. Unfortunately, we cannot know for certain, but there are over 40 English accents and dialects in the United Kingdom alone. Huge, right?

Let’s have a look at some of the most prominent English accents and the regions associated with them:

British English accent

The UK is incredibly rich in accents. It has a wide number of accents with variations from region to region.

Received Pronunciation

This is the “standard” English accent in the United Kingdom, also known as the Queen’s English. It is often associated with the middle to upper classes and is the type of accent you might hear on BBC News or in period drama series like Downtown Abbey or Bridgerton.

The ‘r’ at the end of words is not pronounced in the Received Pronunciation accent, so “mother” sounds like “muh-thuh.” Furthermore, words like “chance,” “bath,” and “dance” are pronounced with the same long-sounding A as “father.”

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This English accent is probably the most well-known and easily recognized of all. Cockney originated as the working-class dialect of London’s East End.

The letter ‘t’ is pronounced with less intensity or is almost completely ignored in the Cockney accent. In phonetics, this is known as a glottal stop. As a result, words like “better” sound more like “beh-uh.”

Some letters at the beginning of words can also be dropped, such as the ‘h’ in front of “head” to make it sound more like “ed.” Some vowel sounds are also shifted, making words like “day” sound more like “die,” and “buy” sound more like “boy.”


Yorkshire dialect is spoken in Yorkshire, the largest county in the United Kingdom. Because Yorkshire is home to Leeds, York, and Sheffield, you can imagine that the Yorkshire accent varies greatly.

This English dialect is difficult to define, but it is distinguished by a flat but friendly-sounding accent. Furthermore, words that normally end in an ‘ee’ sound are pronounced ‘eh.’ For example, “happy” becomes “hap-peh.”

Northern Irish

The Northern Irish accent is one of the best accents from the British Isles. There are many distinct words and phrases that distinguish Northern Irish dialect, such as “wee” meaning “small” (as in Scottish), and “lassie” meaning “young girl.”

The Northern Irish accent is distinguished by rising intonation at the end of sentences, even when there is no question and an exaggerated ‘r’ sound at the end of sentences that sounds like ‘arrr.’

North American English accents

Now let’s move towards some prominent North American English accents and understand how they differ from the rest of the accents.

New York City

To sound like a New Yorker, elongate your vowels, especially a’s, and o’s, into an ‘awww’ sound. For example, “coffee” is pronounced “caw-fee” and “talk” is pronounced, “tawk.”

Another difference is that New Yorkers pronounce words beginning with ‘re’ with a soft ‘ra’. For example, “regardless” is pronounced “ra-gardless,” and “return” is pronounced, “ra-turn.”


The speed with which a Southern accent is spoken is the first thing that stands out. Southern accents are slower and more relaxed, as evidenced by their drawn-out vowel sounds known as the Southern drawl.

Words like “gonna” (going to) and “lemme” (let me) are frequently used together. Some words with two syllables are pronounced with one, such as “tyre,” which is pronounced like “taar.”

General American

This is “standard” American English, with no distinct regional, ethnic, or socioeconomic characteristics. Americans with a high level of education, or those from the Midwest and West, are the most likely to be perceived as having “General American” accents.

Words pronounced differently in the UK and the US

Some words are pronounced very differently in the UK than they are in the US. Here are ten words to practice aloud to get you started:

WordUK pronunciationUS pronunciation

Remember, different English dialects have different pronunciations so you have to be clear about your learning preferences. Be clear about the pronunciation you prefer and start learning with all the resources available.

Strategies to master English accents

Actively listening to people

Watching TV programs is a great way to develop desired English accents. Examine how their presenters use their mouths and tongue, as well as how their lips move. There are also local programs, so you might pick up a northern, southern, or Geordie accent in the process.

You should not only pay attention to the sounds that come out of their mouth, but you should also try to figure out how these sounds come out. Which parts of their mouth do they use to produce them? Try to mimic how they speak. You could also record yourself saying the same sentences and compare your version to the original version.

Watch video tutorials

Watching videos is a quick and easy way to learn the ins and outs of any accent and get the best English accent practice. Many professional voice coaches have written detailed tutorials that provide excellent pronunciation tips and examples.  With these tutorials, you will be making the appropriate sounds in no time.

Use slang words           

When practicing speaking with an English accent, use slang words. Remember using slang words such as British English slang will help you sound more native. However, keep in mind that British and American slang is very different. Be cautious because some terms can have vastly different meanings depending on which side of the Atlantic you are on.

Practice your British English accent with native speakers

The best way to improve your English accent is to practice it with native speakers. For example, you could use language exchange to find an English partner, or you could look for a pub or cultural organization in your area. There are numerous English accents to choose from, so find one that suits you.

You can also follow us on our social media channels for the most up-to-date English language learning advice and tips: YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and VK.

Learn English accent with italki

Learning English has now become very easy with italki. Most of the English teachers at italki are native speakers. So, you can easily find a partner to practice and develop your desired English accent.

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If you search how many people speak English, you will get a huge number. The English language is one of the most widely spoken languages. Developing an English accent can bring endless growth opportunities to you.

Watch English TV shows, podcasts, and documentaries. Observe how natives speak. Try to follow them. Get enrolled with italki. We wish you happy learning!

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