If English is your second language, I CHALLENGE you to get 100% in the British Pronunciation test below! Be warned, the maze of the English language is full of dead-ends and hidden traps ...
If you've spent any time in an English-speaking country that isn't your own, you know how difficult the pronunciation can be. And if you choose to speak with standard British English pronunciation, chances are you feel lost in a sea of confusing spellings ...
For instance, ‘rain’, ‘rein’ and ‘reign’ are all pronounced the same, whereas ‘though’, ‘plough’ and ‘through’ are all pronounced differently.
So we recently looked at some of the spellings which might cause confusion and asked the question:
How good is your standard British English pronunciation?
There's really only one way of finding out. Take the test below and see for yourself ...
Start The Test Here:
Phew! Whatever the result, you made it through in one piece! We hope you enjoyed our little pronunciation brain-teaser.
If you did, click one of the buttons in the quiz above to SHARE with your friends.
So what's the #1 lesson here?
DON'T TRUST ENGLISH SPELLINGS!
It's as simple as that. Apart from a few exceptions, you usually can't rely on English spellings for vowel pronunciation. So what can you do instead? How on earth can you begin making sense of this confusing language so you can communicate with clarity and ease when speaking in English?
The answer? Don't focus on spelling groups.
As we've seen in the 'ough' example above, it's just not a reliable method. So what to do instead?
Instead: Focus on sound groups!
This way you can focus on practising one vowel at a time, aiming to make all the vowel sounds rhyme with each other.
For example, all of these words rhyme with the word 'STRUT', and can be practised together:
But the question now becomes: How do you quickly find enough examples these words, and know which vowel groups they belong to? And how do you pronounce the vowel sound in the first place?
Well don't despair, we've done the hard work for you:
If you want to improve your knowledge of standard British vowel spellings, we've created a new (free) PDF guide that arranges the most common English words into their sound groups, so you can see which of these words belong together with identical, rhyming vowel sounds.
It comes with descriptions, diagrams and downloadable audio – so you can finally begin to get a handle on vowel pronunciation for the most common, everyday words.
Sound pretty useful? Well you'd be right. It's called the 'Crash Course' in British English Pronunciation, and you can download it for FREE ... right here!
So which question did you find most tricky? What other words have you become confused by in spoken British English?
Let us know in the comments below!