Notes on English pronunciation

General Tips

#Ending Voiced vs. Unvoiced Consonants — American Accent

#Unvoiced vs. Voiced: American English Pronunciation

#voiced and unvoiced consonants

#2 voiced and voiceless consonants

#Don’t over-pronounce unstressed vowels, let them becomes /ə/ sounds.

#Quickly blend all vowels and consonants together, avoid any delays or prolongation. Most of the sound let the vibration placed in the front of your mouth, not backwards.

#When saying the word, imagine in your head that you are pronouncing every sound in the word consecutively. A consonant is easier to pronounce if you insert an extremely short /ə/ sound behind them, e.g. ‘exhausted’: /ɪɡˈzɔːstɪd/-> /ẹ ɡơˈzós thẹd/ or /ẹ ˈgzós thẹd/. Example /ɪɡˈzæmpl/->/eˈgzæmpl/ or /eˈgə zæmpl/. Example: ‘I like this’-> /aɪ ‘laɪ ɪs/ or /aɪ ‘laɪkə ðɪs/. Example: sixteen->/ˌsɪ kə səˈtiːn/.

#Consonant clusters: for instance, in the TR consonant cluster, at the same time, the tongue tip is in position of the T sound, while the lips is in position for the R sound, and therefore the two sounds are pronounced together at the same time, not one-by-one after the another. For the cluster wherein there is an R sound, when pronouncing, don’t rush, take a short break to prepare for the cluster.

#Vowel clusters: Try to pronounce clearly each vowel in the cluster. For example, for the word SAY, it’s not /sây/, but /se i/, and make sure to prolong the /i/ sound.  Another example is the word ‘boulder’, its correct pronunciation is /’boʊldər/, not /’bôdər/.

#To make neutral vowels, just say their corresponding parent vowel quickly. For example, for the word ANOTHER/əˈnʌðər/, just say /ờ ná đờ//əˈna: ðər/ with the /a:/ sound said really quick. Also, pay attention to pronounce the /ð/ sound correctly. Sometimes use dot-below ̣accent to achieve the best effect, e.g. shit/shệt/, itch/ệt ch/, best/bẹs t/, etc.

#The Flap T should be used only when saying very fast, otherwise you should use the true T.


#N1 vowel=oo=/ʊ/ vowel: should be pronounced like /ua/ in Vietnamese.

Its Parent Vowel: #1=OO=/u:/.

#N2 vowel=ih=/ɪ/ vowel: should be pronounced like /ê/(/e//ia/) in Vietnamese, I really don’t know why, but it makes ELSA give higher score, e.g. permitted /per mét ted/, experience /ek spér re en s/, swim /s wem/, etc. Maybe that’s why the word ‘permitted’ is written ‘permitted’, not ‘permittid’. more jaw drop because there are an H sound following after the Vietnamese I sound.

It’s the /e/ sound but with the mouth dropping down only half as much.

Follow the instruction in the ‘Master Spoken English’ video. 

Its Parent Vowel: y=EE=/i:/. 

#N3 vowel=eh=/e/ vowel. Its Parent Vowel: +y=A=/eɪ/, and #6=A=/æ/. The mouth position of the /e/ is on the way going to the position of the /æ/, but not fully get there. If you don’t open your mouth widely as when saying the /æ/ sound, the ELSA app will not recognize your /e/ sound.

#N4 vowel=uh= /ʌ/ vowel. Its Parent Vowel: #5=AH=/a:/.

#R-vowels: to achieve the desired result, your mouth need to open wide enough, which is exactly round and big as position #3 of the sound AW, but not too wide to become a AH sound. Next, pronounce the sound /ɜː/, then shrink your mouth a bit to say the sound /r/, also make sure that the equal shares of time are spent to pronounce each sound /ɜː/ and /r/. Imagine that you are quickly pronouncing the sound /-ɜːrə-/. Example of words that have this sound are: dart, earth, girl, third, work, shirt, curly, etc.

#/eɪ/ sound: Pronounce respectively the /e/ sound and the /ɪ/ sound. Spend more time for the than for the sound, but not so much that a short /ɪ/ sound becomes a long /i/ sound. Minimal facial expression.


#QU-consonant =/khoa/, e.g. quarter.

#TW-consonant =/thoa/=/t wờ/, with an exception is the number ‘two’.

#NG-consonant: Don’t let the tongue tip touch the gum while it’s moving backwards, otherwise it’ll become the N sound. RUNG /rʌŋ/.

#N-consonant: When making this sound, the tongue tip does touch the gum ridge. RUN /rʌn/.

#V sound at the end of a word: Lower the upper teeth and let them touch the lower lip in the most comfortable way, which for me is the backwards of the lip. Have, DiveDove.

#K-consonant: can be identified as the KH consonant of Vietnamese but with a click-like crispy sound like at the beginning.

#ST /s t/, SC/SK /s c/: the T and C/K sound in these cases are pronounced just like the T and C sounds in Vietnamese. There are no crispy sounds at the beginnings and no /h/ sounds at the ends of them. STILL /s til/, not /s Thill/. SKILL, /s kil/, not /s Khil/.

#CL /kh lɪa/, CR /kh r/. Clear: /kh lɪa… r/, /54322/, prolong the /ɪ/ sound a bit longer before the turn of the /r/. 

#The S sound: it’s not like I always believed. The gap between the gum ridge and the tongue tip doesn’t need to be too small, and the airflow doesn’t need to be too strong, so don’t press the gum so hard against the tongue or blow air through the gap too fast, this will  only make you feel tired more quickly. Therefore, just relax and do it in the most comfortable way.

The L sound:

just let the tip of your tongue touch the tip of the upper teeth or the gum ridge. In that position but say the sound /ồ/. ‘Illness’ is pronounced like /i əʊ nəs/ or /i lə nəs/.

UL-prefix: /ao/

world, girl: /quớ rột d/. /gớ rồ/.

The TH sound:

Many students will place the tip of the tongue between the teeth, but the rest of the tongue is actually lifted in the mouth, which blocks the air from flowing easily past the tongue and teeth. If you do this, you will end up with that D or T consonant. With a low relaxed tongue, There/Đe/. With a lifted tongue blocking the airflow, There/Te/. Keep that tongue low in the mouth. Don’t forget to keep the rest of the tongue low and relaxed when the TH consonant comes in the middle or at the ends of words as well. This thing /đis Ting/.

#soothe [suːð]/su thờ/ or /su th|/ (stop TH sound); soothes /su đờ zờ/; soothed /su đờ đờ/

#smooth [smuːð] /smu thờ/ or /smu th|/ (stop TH sound); smooths /smu đờ zờ/; smoothed /smu đờ đờ/.

The sound of  the word’Smooth’

2 ways to pronounce ‘the’

How Native English Speakers ACTUALLY Pronounce the TH Sound!

English Phrases with THE — Shortcuts for the TH Sounds

How to Link the TH Sound: American English Pronunciation

English: How to Pronounce TH Consonants [θ] + [ð]: Ameircan Accent

SH, ZH, CH, DG, DR, and TR consonants

#The SH=/ʃ/ sound.

#The ZH=/ʒ/ sound:

#The CH sound = T + SH: feel the air concentrating at area between the gum ridge and the teeth.

#The DG sound = D + ZH: In the end of the words, if you don’t know exactly how to pronounce the sound, just replace it with the Southern Vietnamese CH sound. ‘JAPAN’: /chờ pán/ or /dzhờ pán/ is both okay. The ZH component in DG sound is very weak to the point that sounds unvoiced like SH, but gives a feeling that the lower lip and the jaws moving downwards, whereas the SH component in CH sound gives a feeling everything only moving forwards.

#church /tʃɜːrtʃ/ /chớ rợ ch/; judge /dʒʌdʒ/ /chơ chờ /. The word ‘church’ has an /ɜː/, an/r/, and a very powerful CH sound, whereas the word ‘judge’ is completely different with an /ʌ/, no /r/, and a weak CH sound.

English: How to Pronounce CH [ʧ] and JJ [ʤ] Sounds

[dʒ] “dg” and [z] vs. [ʒ] “zh” | English Pronunciation Lesson

#The GR sound =/gùa r/, Green:/gùa ri:n/. Great:/gùa ré ịt/, Group /gớ rú:p.

#DR/dr/=JR/dʒr/ sound=/đùa r/, Dream:/đùa rim/. Dry:/đùa rá i/.

#The TR/tr/=ChR/tʃr/ sound: The American way to pronounce it is ChR: /tʃr/. The international way to pronounce it is /tr/. We begin by putting the tongue at T position then at the same time lower the tongue and protrude the lip to R position. Note that the air need to be bursted out to make a powerful T sound. /thờ rờ/

#The STR/str/=SChR/tʃr/=SDR/sdr/ sound:. Just imagine that you’re saying /sr/, the /t/ sound will automatically appear.

How to Pronounce the tr Sound

How to Pronounce the TR Consonant Cluster – American English

American Accent Training: TR as “CHR”

TR souding like CHR, DR like JR, and STR like SDR: American English Pronunciation

How to Pronounce the SHR Consonant Cluster: American English

T and D Sounds Pronunciation

#T-consonant: can be identified as the TH consonant of Vietnamese but with a explosion-like crispy sound like at the beginning. After lowering the tongue tip, close the teeth, this applies for T sound, not D sound.

#D-consonant: it’s not Vietnamese D sound that is too soft and has no air explosion. The English D is made by letting the tongue tip touches the gum ridge, compressing the air behind them, and then lowering the tongue tip to make the air burst. Touch your throat with your hand to make sure there is vibration there.

Practice the voiced D sound by saying these words. Hold a piece of paper or your hand in front of your mouth to make sure you are voicing the consonant and not using a puff of air. The paper should not move much when you make a voiced sound.

Use a piece of paper to practice the voiceless T sound. When you say this sound, you should release a puff of air from your mouth that moves the paper. Your vocal cords should not vibrate.

#Rules for pronouncing the T sound:

Examples: how to pronounce T: American English Pronunciation

How to Pronounce Stop Consonants: American English

#Flap/Tap T/D, the T/D between vowels:

Despite the different instruction of Rachel and everybody else, the ELSA app only recognizes my flap T when I stick the inner half of my tongue onto the hard palate.

It’s like the Vietnamese T sound, not D. The examples are: Sort of: /só rờ tợ f/; Little: /li dl/ (fast), /li tl/ (slowly), see Rachel’s video clip; butter/bá đờr/; better/bé tờr/; Water /ˈwɔːtər//ˈwɑːtər/.

Flap T: Really a D Sound? American English Pronunciation

The Flap T! American English Pronunciation

How to Practice the Flap T — American English Pronunciation

English Pronunciation: T after R like in PARTY – American English

How to Pronounce T and D between Consonants — American English

How to Pronounce LITTLE – American English

#Did /t di td/,Deep /t di:p/,Dip,Die,etc.: The first D sounds like like Vietnamese T sound; the second D sounds like like Vietnamese D sound. I don’t know why but doing this way yields the higher ELSA score.

#Dad /dæd//dád d/: Both of the D.s are true D.s. The tongue tip touches the gum ridge to stop the air flow and build up the pressure in the throat, use your hand to touch your throat to make sure that there is vibration there when releasing the to complete the D sound.

The final D is extremely short and weak, just touch the teeth and blow the air.

#Daddy: The D between vowels is the flap/tap T/D. It doesn’t have a stop component.

#NT Cluster

Inter /ɪnər/. Wanted /ˈwɑːnɪd//ˈwʌnɪd//ˈwɑː ɪd/. Center/ˈsenər/.


Stop/s ta:p t/, not /sta:p pt/.

Words Pronunciation

How to Practice Multi-Syllable Words – American English Pronunciation

#The word ‘girl’: a circle that the tip of your tongue will move along to pronounce this word. First, your mouth is in position #3 to make the sound /ɜː/, the tip of your tongue is in the normal relaxed position. Next, to make the /r/ sound, your mouth needs to shrink a little bit, and at the same time the tip of your tongue moves backwards and curls upwards. Finally, to make the /l/ sound, continue to shrink your mouth and move the tip of the tongue forwards to touch the gum ridge of the mouth. /gơ rô/.

# Essential /ờ sen ʃl/. To get a higher ELSA score, de-stress the E and TIAL syllable, namely read them quicker and quieter, also reduce the /e/ to /ə/ sound.

# Ancient /ˈe ɪn ʃən t/: Say the two first syllables slowly, but quickly get through the remaining one. The lesson is: Stress only the required syllable, while de-stress the other. 

#Decided: Say loudly and in high pitch the CI syllable but quickly, quietly and in low pitch the other syllables.

#Widely /’wai id li/, Idling /’ai de ling/.

#Restless /’res tless/; worldly /ˈwɜːrl dli/. Endless /’en dles/. Boldly /ˈboʊl dli/. Correctly/kəˈrek tli/. Exactly /ɪɡˈzæk tli/. perfectly /ˈpɜːr fɪk tli/.

#Test: it is/tes t/ /thẹs t/, not /te st/.

#Deepest: /’Ti:p st/. #Biggest: /’Beg st/.

#Contact(n/v): /khon thác k t/

#Flower /ˈflaʊər/: /ˈfláo ờ/. Quickly get through the /ʊ/ sound, and no/w/ sound.

#Flowers /ˈflaʊər z/. A very quick and weak Z sound, much like S sound but at the core is pronounced /z/.

#English Idiom: Bite the Bullet – Meaning and Pronunciation

#function /ˈfʌŋk ʃn/.

#twelve/t ‘wel v/.

#best/bẹs t/.

#French bread is best.

#each/iːtʃ/; itch/ɪtʃ/.

#sound /sáo n d/.

#screw /s kruː/. #straw /s trɔː/. The /r/ sounds in these cases are pronounced very fast, if you can’t make the lips and tongue in the right position at the same time, the /r/ becomes the /w/ or /u/ sound, so, to minimize the risk, you can curl up the tongue, but shouldn’t flare the lips.

#progress: /ˈprɑːɡrəs//ˈprəʊɡres/. Don’t rush, take a stop to prepare for the GR cluster. #Crab: Again, don’t rush, take time to complete the R sound.

#street: /s tʃ riːt/. Strong: /s tʃ rɔːŋ/. Straw /s tʃ rɔː/.

#Crisp /krɪsp//k rí sịp/.

#was/wəz/;  strong form: BrE /wɒz/ NAmE  /wʌz/.

#as /əz//æz/.

#sixteen /ˌsɪksˈtiːn/. For the K sound, just try to get into its stop position, then quickly get through the S sound. 

#burglar. Instead of saying /ˈbɜːrɡlər/, saying /ˈbrɡ lər/.

#Beige: the first half of the GE is ZH, the second half is SH. As moving from the first to the second half, the volume decreases.

#little. Instead of saying /ˈbɜːrɡlər/, saying /ˈbrɡ lər/. Entire word is comprised of short sounds, so you should say the word quickly. The /ɪ/ sound is pronounced very quickly and sounds like Vietnamese /ia/ sound, and it blends with its adjacent consonants: /lɪd/. Be sure there is an obvious contrast between the stressed first syllable and the unstressed second one by making the first one louder and slower than the other.

#painter. /’peiner/ is okay, too.

#Oxford /ˈɑːksfərd/.

#Cambridge /ˈkeɪmbrɪdʒ/

#Havard /ˈhɑr vərd/

#Tasks NAmE/tæsks/ BrE/tɑːsks/: /Tạs ks/.

one of the first tasks in language learning

You’ll be required to do several routine tasks in the office.

#Alternative /ɔːlˈtɜːrnətɪv/: The /l/ sound in this word is a dark L sound, and be sure to let the tongue tip touches the gum ridge, otherwise it sounds weird and slow when you’re saying /O ờ ˈtɜːrnətɪv/.

#chilly(lạnh),chili,chilli(Ớt đỏ) /ˈtʃɪli/. It’s /chiếu lì/, not /chí lì/.

#administer/ədˈmɪnɪstər/, /əd//ợ ẹt/.



#schedule: BrE /ˈskedʒuːl/; NAmE /ˈskedʒuːl/; BrE also /ˈʃedʒuːl/, also /ˈʃedjuːl/: A correct E sound can only be made when u open your mouth as wide as in /æ/ sound. Also, as usual, make contrast between the stressed and unstressed syllables.

#No time. It’s /noʊ/, not /no/. /ta ɪm/. Accentuate  the /ɪ/ sound.

#realize. It’s /ˈriː ə  laɪz/, not /’ rju: laɪz/

#to the

#croissant: Bánh sừng bò còn được gọi là bánh con cua hay bánh croa-xăng. BrE /ˈkrwæsɒ̃/; NAmE /krwɑːˈsɑ̃ː/, /krəˈsɑːnt/ (from French): a small sweet roll with a curved shape, eaten especially at breakfast

#towel/ˈtaʊ ə l/

#considerate: /cờn sé đờ rẹt/.

#example /ịc zám pồ/

#guitar /kì ta:r/

#idiot /ˈɪdiət/ the first I is short, the second I is a true I. 

#lowest /’loʊ əst/

#addres /əˈdres/. Flare the lips for the R sound.

#couldn’t’ve/’kə dn təv/

#seat. The vibration is at the gum ridge.

#trunk/thờ răng k/

#I like to walk to the office when the weather is good.

Be careful when pronouncing the K ending of the words ‘like’ and ‘walk’. Blend the K into the words.

#Interesting/ˈɪn trɪs tɪŋ/, vegetable/ˈvedʒtəbl/, comfortable/ˈkʌmftəbl/, camera/ˈkæmrə/

#Temperature/ˈtem prə tʃər//ˈtem prə tʃʊr

#military /ˈmɪ l tri/ BrE /ˈmɪle tri/; NAmE /ˈmɪ lə te ri/.

#literature BrE /ˈlɪtrətʃə(r)/; NAmE /ˈlɪ trə tʃər/, also /ˈlɪ trə tʃʊr/

#restaurant/ˈrestra:nt//ˈres təra:nt/./ˈres ra:n/

#restraint/rɪˈs tə reɪnt/ Flare your lips a little bit for the /ɪ/ sound. The /ɪ/ sound sounds more like Vietnamese /ê/ sound.

#question/ˈk we s tʃən/. Don’t care too much about the s sound, it’ll automatically appear between the e and the ch sound.

#retrieve/rɪˈtriːv/. The English /ɪ/ and /i:/ sounds is like Vietnamese /ê/ and /i/ sounds in Vietnamese, respectively. In addition, the /ɪ/ sound starts and ends very quickly, while the /i:/ sound should be sustains for about one second.

#he/hi:/=hi;/hɪ/=hia. him=/hiam/.

#sometimes/ˈsʌm taɪ mz/

#burglar/ˈbɜː . rə ɡə lər


#children/ˈtʃɪ  l drən/


#souvenir. Just open your mouth just wide enough for the U sound, not too wide.

#Golden: When saying quickly the word in a sentence, feel the resonance of vibration moved from the front of the mouth to the deep inside  of your throat when getting from the O to the L sound.

#Bolster: /bốt stờr/ Dark L with the tongue touching the gum.

#Brazil: /brơ ‘zel/

#Tetrahedron/,tet|.rə.’hi:d.rn/. Strongly stress the syllable HED.


#’Platform: ‘plat|. fo. rm.

#Aqueduct:/ắc wờ đặc t/. It’s /Ắc/or /Ặc/, not /Ác/. Take all the time your need to accurately pronounce the vowel A.

#Accidental/Ắc sơ đén tl/

#Test/test|/ if the next sound after the word  ‘test’ is a consonant. #achieved /a ‘chi:fd|/.

# /i:/ is the normal Vietnamese I sound.

#Achievement: spend a second to prolong the /i:/ sound, then /f/.

#Ambulance /Ám bìu ờ lần s/.

#Accurately: /Ắc kìu ờ rợt lì/

#Architecture. EC /ek/ like in EGG/eg/.

#Attraction: /əˈtʃrắc ʃn/.

#failed /feo d/ #failure /feo jờ/.

#normality: no rờm máo lờ tì.

#you’ve got: Voiced V.

#exactly: ẹc zắc tly.

#and:  strong form /án d/ weak form /ần//n/.

#The contraction ‘there’re’:

#interval: ín tơ v(o) ồ.

#really: RÍA lì. #theory: thia rì. #realize: ria làiz

#real: ria ồ

#insult: in sớ ột. #result re zớ ột

#Na·ˈpo·le·on ˈˈBo·na·parte /nəˈpoʊ li ən ˈˈboʊ nəˌpɑrt/. Napoleonic /nəˌpoʊ liˈɒn ɪk/.

#Hercules /ˈhɜr kyəˌli:z/

#world/wɜ.rl.d/. /ɜ/: Drop your your jaw more until your ear hears a /ơ/ sound. /rl/=/rồ/: After that, the jaw goes back up, at the same time your  tongue contracts into the mouth, the tongue tip points upwards but does not touch the mouth roof, and the tongue surface curls down like a spoon. nói WƠ, không cần chu môi, mở nhỏ nhất có thể để nói wơ. Rổi đưa lưỡi lên nướu trên để làm âm L, ko chu môi. Rồi cuối cùng âm d. Từ đầu tới cuối KHÔNG CHU MÔI, vì sẽ làm biến dạng âm Ơ và âm L thành âm Ô.

#explain /ɪks.’pleɪn/ Take it slowly at the EI sound.

#massage /məˈsɑːʒ/.#message /ˈmesɪdʒ/.

#narrate/na rấy t/#Narrative/ˈnærətɪv/

#development/đờ ve lớp mần t/.

#fantastic: prolong the second A sound to make the NT and S sounds able to be clearly heard.

#interrogation: in rô gây shần.

#mature: mờ chúa r.

#exactly: ịc zắc tlì. Close your eyes. Feel the back part of your tongue touches the soft palate before moving on to the z sound.

#carnivorous: can né vờ rợs

#mother: móa đờr. ‘m^. đờ r. Brother: ‘br^. đờ r.

#world: nói quơ rồi cong lưỡi ra sau nói rld.

#HAUL: /hɔːl/ phát âm từ từ thôi, làm sao miệng răng môi lưỡi của từng âm h, o, và l đúng hoàn hảo trước khi chuyển sang âm kế. Nếu không người nghe sẽ hiểu nhầm là whole, hole. home, whore, v.v. Tương với chứ world.

#endure. ìn đua r

#roommate: rúm mầy t.

#library: lái brè rì.

#said: sé đ.

#computer: cầm píu tờ.

#Moreover: mo rấu vờ.

#divide: đờ vai đ.

#among: ờ mâng.

#nevertheless: ne vơ đơ lés


British sounds

#wind, want, wand, went, won’t, wound.

#want và wand của british nghe như won’t nhưng khác không giống. a nghiêng về a còn o nghiêng về ơu.

#Wand, chữ a nghe dài hơn. ngược lại want nghe ngắn hơn. Tương tự chữ u: trong lose (dài hơn) và loose (ngắn hơn).

#wound: wao nd cột 2 và cột 3 của wind (v).

#love(a: ngắn), loaf (ou)

#leave (dài nhất và tách biệt với v nhất), leaf (ngắn thứ nhì, hơi dài), live (ngắn nhất)

#google nhận ra tree theo cách chr nhiều hơn là tr (thường lộn qua (three).

#doll, dull.

#shoe, sue. sew (sou), show. sure. shower. chữ u: cần chu mỏ ra. Sh cho cảm giác chu miệng. S cho cảm giác sắc bén, xì hơi.

#should (dài hơn), shoot (ngắn hơn): ????

#fraught, fraud. fried, fright.

#steel (i rất dài), still (i ngắn, lai chút với e), stale (có e trong đó, e hơi nặng), tell,

#rate, raid

#corn (o:, british nghe nhu ô, Ame nghe nhu o), con (a: british nghe nhu o, Ame nghe như a).

#lawyer: lói ờ

Những từ kết thúc bằng âm rung, ngân âm trước đó hai nhịp, dài hơn.


Diagrams and Summaries

Denotions for English vowels.
Notions for English vowels.
Neutral Vowels and their-Parent Vowels.
Neutral Vowels and their Parent Vowels.


Consonants Clusters

Source: Master Spoken English.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *