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Lesson Transcript

Introduction
Gina: I’m your host Gina.
Gabriella: And I’m Gabriella.
Gina: Consonants in British English.
Gabriella: In this series, we will teach you about British English pronunciation.
Gina: British English has many different accents and dialects, but the basic pronunciation is the same. We will discuss those differences in more detail in a later lesson though.
Gabriella: In this lesson specifically, we will tell you how to pronounce consonants.

Lesson focus

Gina: So, the English alphabet is based on the Roman, or Latin alphabet, right?
Gabriella: That’s right. It’s used for many different languages across the world, so even non-native English speakers could be familiar with it.
Gina: It has 26 letters – of these, five are vowels and twenty one are consonants.
Gabriella: Yes, and it’s those 21 consonants that will be the stars of this lesson.
Gina: If there are 21 consonants, does that mean that there are 21 sounds?
Gabriella: No, it’s not as straightforward as that.
Gina: I didn’t think it would be!
Gabriella: We will be looking at 24 consonant sounds in this lesson.
Gina: There is also the issue that not every consonant in a word is voiced.
Gabriella: That’s right. Some words have double consonants such as “account”, which is spelt A-C-C-O-U-N-T, and others have completely silent consonants.
Gina: Like “knee”, which is a part of your leg. That’s spelt K-N-E-E but the “k” is completely silent.
Gabriella: That’s right. We call consonants closed sounds because when we speak them, we stop the flow of air in some way.
Gina: Okay. That’s a lot of background on consonants. Let’s move on and talk about the pronunciation of them.
Gabriella: What’s first?
Gina: There’s the “p” sound in words such as “pull”
Gabriella: And “push”. Then the “f” in words such as “food”.
Gina: And “four”. Next, the “t” in “tree” and “talk”.
Gabriella: The “s” in “stop”.
Gina: And “start”. Then, the “k” sound in “cup” and “kick”.
Gabriella: Even though “cup” is spelt with a “c”, it still sounds more like a harsh “k” sound.
Gina: Next up, the “b” in “ball” and “boy”.
Gabriella: This next one can be tricky sometimes – the “v” in “vote” and “voice”.
Gina: The “d” sound that begins “daughter” and “door”.
Gabriella: The “j” in “joke” and “join”.
Gina: The “z” in “zoo” and “noise”.
Gabriella: Again, “noise” is spelt with an “s”, but “s” is often pronounced with more of a “zee” sound.
Gina: That’s right.
Gabriella: Then, the “szh” sound in “pleasure” and “casual”.
Gina: The harsh “g” that begins “girl” and “garden”.
Gabriella: The “h” that begins “head” and “heart”.
Gina: The “m” in “money” and “meat”.
Gabriella: The “n” in “night” and “nurse”.
Gina: The “ng” in “English” and “sing”
Gabriella: The “r” in “rule” and “road”.
Gina: The “l” in “love” and “letter”.
Gabriella: Don’t mix the “r” and “l” sounds up!
Gina: The “w” in “want” and “where”.
Gabriella: The “y” in “year” and “yellow”.
Gina: The soft “th” in “thigh” and “thought”.
Gabriella: Which is completely different to the harsher “th” in “there” and “they”, even though they are both spelt T-H.
Gina: The “ch” that begins “chair” and “child”.
Gabriella: And finally, the “sh” that begins “shoe” and “shot”.
Gina: Finished! That was a long list!
Gabriella: Yeah, it was! We picked out a few important points as went along, but I hope our listeners were able to pick up some of the similar sounds.
Gina: Yeah, the “s” and “z” sounds are similar – “start” and “zoo”.
Gabriella: The main difference when pronouncing the two is in the vocal chords – you use them for “z”, but not for “s”.
Gina: Yes, the tongue positioning and everything is the same, so they can be tricky for non-natives to separate.
Gabriella: It’s the same with the “d” and “t” sounds. “D” is voiced like “z”, so the vocal chords come into play whereas “t”, like “s”, isn’t voiced.
Gina: Can you give us an example of the “d” and “t” sounds?
Gabriella: How about “duck” and “took”? Although they’re spelt differently, they sound very similar other than for that opening sound.
Gina: The “d” sound is harsher and louder than the “t” sound is. That’s the difference the vocal chords make, isn’t it?
Gabriella: That’s right. So when speaking English, we have to think about mouth shape, tongue position, and our vocal chords. It sounds like a lot, but it soon becomes second nature.

Outro

Gina: Okay, that’s all for consonants, and for this lesson.
Gabriella: Thanks for listening, and see you next time.
Gina: See you!

12 Comments

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EnglishClass101.com Verified
Saturday at 06:30 PM
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Hello Listeners! Which consonant  you find most difficult to pronounce?

EnglishClass101.com Verified
Tuesday at 06:39 AM
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Hi Student,


Thank you for your great question. Our My Feed feature enables you to download our podcasts to your iTunes.


After opening My Feed from the top menu, you have to select which series and lessons you want to download in steps 1 and 2, and then, in step 3, you just have to choose a name for your custom feed that you are about to download.


Once done, click on the link that will appear below and that should load iTunes and initiate the downloading process. Once downloaded, you will see all the lessons in your podcast.


Hope this helps. Sincerely,

Levente

Team EnglishClass101.com

Student
Sunday at 04:11 PM
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How to use My feed? I'm premium.

EnglishClass101.com Verified
Wednesday at 03:44 PM
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Hello Osman,


Thank you for your question.


I think you mean 'let us.' 'Let us' is the first person plural imperative, which we only use in very formal situations. 'Let’s' is the short form - in this case you can use it in the following ways:


"Let's go!"

"Let us rejoice!"

"Let's not bother with that."


I hope this is helpful to you!


Cheers,

Eva

Team EnglishClass101.com

Osman Gadood
Wednesday at 10:37 PM
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How is pronounced the word "littuce"?

EnglishClass101.com
Thursday at 11:01 AM
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Hello Анастасия,


Thankyou for your post. 😄


The sound 'th' is quite difficult for alot of non-native English speakers so don't worry you are not alone. Practice makes perfect. 👍


Please ask us any questions you have throughout your studies.


Cheers,

Eva

Team EnglishClass101.com

Анастасия Соломенникова
Saturday at 03:13 AM
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The sound th is difficult for me


EnglishClass101.com Verified
Friday at 11:46 AM
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Hello Nilda,


Thank you for posting.😁


Let us know if you have any questions.


Cheers,


Patricia

Team EnglishClass101.com

Nilda
Thursday at 07:25 AM
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ok

Hanna
Monday at 09:59 PM
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:smile: OK

EnglishClass101.comc
Monday at 10:17 AM
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Hi Hanna,


Keep practicing and it will get easier!


Kellie

Team EnglishClass101.com