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Coach Bee
Professional Teacher
What English Words Do You Have Trouble Pronouncing the Most? One of my students was having difficulty pronouncing the words:

thought (thawt): the past tense of think
I thought about dating him.

through (throo): past, beyond, having reached the end
I finally made it through college.

thorough (thur-oh):complete, detailed, accurate
My work review was very thorough.

though (th oh): yet, still, nevertheless
Though I do not like her very much, I will help her.

I recorded myself pronouncing these words and shared the following link:

What are some words that you struggle to pronounce correctly?
Feb 20, 2018 8:59 PM
Comments · 19
I think it's important to add that the above examples are for pronunciation with an American accent, not a British accent, for student clarification. I hope that helps !
February 21, 2018

Thanks Berengaria, for posting the link to hear people from various different English speaking countries pronouncing "squirrel."  I do hear the differences, but I don't think that they are so very dramatically different.  Not only would I easily understand someone from other countries pronouncing "squirrel" in those slightly different ways, but I also think that I myself say "squirrel" in both the one syllable and the two syllable manner.   I think I hear people in my part of the US say it both ways, so both ways seem right and very normal to me.

My dog found the link even more interesting.  I didn't know that she paid attention to the voices coming out of the computer speakers...but after she heard the word "Squirrel" a few times, she ran to the glass door and started growling.  (She has learned the word "squirrel" because we sometimes add a little excitement to her boring day by telling her when a squirrel appears in our backyard.  It gets her to take a break from her endless lazy naps to make a brief run into the backyard to chase after the always-too-fast squirrels).   Our dog was quite disappointed today to not find any squirrels in the backyard after all those voices from the computer told her that a squirrel was there    :-)   :-)

Oh, maybe I should clarify that I was clicking on the British speakers' audio clips saying, "Squirrel" and my American dog had no trouble understanding them.  So...I think that supports the point that I was making, hahaha

February 21, 2018
@ Josephine Thanks for commenting!

@CarolinaReaper There is no offense taken. It should be common sense that every speaker is going to pronounce words in their own matter where they are from. It should also be common sense that students would choose or not choose to receive instruction from ANY teacher based (in part) on the accent that they desire.

For example, I am learning Latin American Spanish. I receive many offers from people who want to do language exchange with me from various countries that speak Spanish. I turn them down. Why? Because I want my accent to sound specifically like those from Mexico.  I have made that personal choice. I want their accent...I want their slang...I want their idioms...etc. etc.

As a native-born American English speaker, whose accent would be expected or reasonable for me to speak with? The answer should also be common sense. 

I offer these types of posts (as well as group chats twice per month) for free. Don't look a gift horse in the mouth.

We don't always have to comment negatively when we disagree with a poster. It is perfectly okay to scroll by a post that does not apply to you.  That should be common sense as well. I'm not sure if you will be offended, but I'm not particularly concerned if you are -- quite simply because it isn't my intention, and I am aware that the truth offends people who are not accustomed to hearing it. I'm going to continue to help as I see fit. I'm going to continue to teach my students and others who see my contribution to this community as helpful. You are welcome to not read (or listen) to them.

Take care.
February 21, 2018

@Jarred Actually, I used synonyms (primarily) in this post, not definitions. Also, I may use "past" as in "going beyond a certain point."

For example:
We drove past Texas on our way to Louisiana. 
We drove through Texas on our way to Louisiana.

Both of these sentences are saying the same thing -- they are both correct.

Here is a link to where you can see that "past" can also be used as a definition of through:

Additionally, the synonyms that I choose (or that you choose) will most often be based on context. For this reason, I encourage my students to use a thesaurus in addition to the dictionary when trying to understand the meaning of words as they relate to the context of a given sentence/text. 

Thanks for commenting!

February 20, 2018
February 20, 2018
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Coach Bee
Language Skills
English, Spanish
Learning Language