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Please teach me Will the r sound of hungry need tongue to roll?
Feb 24, 2018 10:57 AM
Comments · 5

No! Don't use your tongue. If the tongue gets involved, it'll come out as an L sound.

The R sound is made with your top teeth behind your bottom lip. The tongue isn't involved at all.

February 24, 2018
Take some time to look at some videos on pronouncing R in English.  Granted, most will be from the USA but you'll see that the R is definitely not rolled in standard English.  In fact, if you use a typical English R (UK, US, etc) , you'll find that a lot of words suddenly become much easier to say.

As an Australian, I also pronounce my R exactly how Su.Ki. describes. Don't use your tongue.
February 24, 2018


You asked, "Do I need to roll my tongue when I say the word hungry?"

No, you do not.

If you can say:




and if you can say:


then you can say "hung gree"

February 26, 2018
I see you’ve gotten some good answers from a British English perspective, so I’ll go ahead and provide the American perspective.

First of all, there may be some confusion as to what you meant by “rolling your tongue.” A “rolled R” is synonymous with a trilled R (“roll” as in “drumroll”), that is, an R where the tongue vibrates multiple times in the mouth. As Chris says, this rolled R is only used in Scottish accents nowadays. On the other hand, it is indeed true that the tongue should be curled up a bit (but not as much as in Mandarin — especially the tip) for a standard R in English.

For an American R, you will definitely need to use your tongue, because labialization is just a co-articulation. The tongue base should be retracted (pulled back) and so should the tip (but not too much). For the R, the sides of the tongue are raised to the roof of the mouth and the air is allowed to flow freely over the middle of the tongue. For the L, it’s the opposite. 

Labialization: This is optional, but it is typical of General American as well as RP (so-called standard “British English” pronunciation). For a syllable-initial R, simply round your lips a bit (if the following vowel is rounded already, you don’t even have to do anything special). The  labiodental articulation Su.Ki. and Mr Peachey describe is a feature of proper RP, and may also be heard on the US East Coast, but would sound strange in most of the US. In any case, I agree with Peachey that when you get the R to sound more native, “you'll find that a lot of words suddenly become much easier to say.”
February 26, 2018

Generally speaking, native English speakers don't roll the "r".

The exception would be for certain dialects, such as Scottish.  Scottish speakers roll the 'r' very strongly, even in words like "girl" and "world".

February 24, 2018
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