Pronunciation

Phonetic Alphabet Symbols

Vowels

ʌ             CUP (kʌp), LUCK (lʌk), LOVE (lʌv), BLOOD (blʌd)
ɑ:             ARM (ɑːm), FATHER (‘fɑːðəʳ), START (stɑːt)
æ             CAT (kæt), BLACK (blæk), trap (træp), bad (bæd)
e / ɛ             MET (met), BED (bed), DRESS (dres), HEAD (hed), MANY (meni)
ə             AWAY (ə’weɪ), ABOUT (ə’baʊt), CINEMA (ˈsɪnəmə), STANDARD(ˈstændəd) (schwa)
ɜ:ʳ              TURN [tɜːn], LEARN [lɜːn], NURSE (nɜːs)
ɪ              SIT (sɪt), HIT (hɪt), MINUTE (ˈmɪnɪt)
i              HAPPY (ˈhæpi), FUNNY (ˈfʌni), MONEY (ˈmʌni)
i:              SHE (ʃiː), SEE (siː), HEAT (hiːt), SEA (siː), MACHINE (məˈʃiːn)
ɒ              HOT (hɒt), ROCK (rɒk), LOT (lɒt), POT (pɒt), WASH (wɒʃ)
ɔ:              CALL (kɔːl), FOUR (fɔːʳ), NORTH (nɔːθ), WAR (wɔːʳ), THOUGHT (θɔːt), LAW (lɔː),
ʊ              PUT (pʊt), COULD (kʊd), FOOT (fʊt), GOOD (gʊd)
u:              BLUE (bluː), FOOD (fuːd), TWO (tuː), GROUP (gruːp)
aɪ              EYE (aɪ), FIVE (faɪv), PRICE (praɪs), HIGH (haɪ), TRY (traɪ)
aʊ              NOW (naʊ), OUT (aʊt), MOUTH (maʊθ)
eɪ              SAY (seɪ), EIGHT (eɪt), FACE (feɪs), DAY (deɪ), BREAK (breɪk)
əʊ              GO (gəʊ), HOME (həʊm), SHOW (ʃəʊ), NO (nəʊ)
ɔɪ              BOY (bɔɪ), JOIN (ʤɔɪn), CHOICE (ʧɔɪs)
eəʳ / ɛə / ɛː       AIR (eəʳ), WHERE (weəʳ), FAIR (feəʳ)
ɪəʳ              NEAR (nɪə), HERE (hɪə)
ʊəʳ              PURE (pjʊə), TOURIST (ˈtʊərɪst), POOR (pʊə), JURY (ˈʤʊəri), CURE (kjʊə)

Consonants

b               BAD (bæd), BACK (bæk), BABY (ˈbeɪbi), JOB (ʤɒb)
d               DID (dɪd), LADY (ˈleɪdi), DAY (deɪ)
f               FIND (faɪnd), IF (ɪf), FAT (fæt), COFFEE (ˈkɒfi), ROUGH (rʌf), PHOTO (ˈfəʊtəʊ)
g               GIVE (gɪv), FLAG (flæg), GET (get), GHOST (gəʊst)
h               HOW (haʊ), HELLO (heˈləʊ), HOT (hɒt), WHOLE (həʊl)
j               YES (jes), YOU (juː), YELLOW (ˈjeləʊ), YET (jet), USE (juːz), BEAUTY (ˈbjuːti)
k               CAT (kæt), BACK (bæk), KEY (kiː), CLOCK (klɒk), SCHOOL (skuːl)
l               LEG (lɛg), LITTLE (ˈlɪtl), LIGHT (laɪt), FEEL (fiːl)
m               MAN (mæn), LEMON (ˈlemən), MORE (mɔː)
n               NO (nəʊ), KNOW (nəʊ), TEN (ten), NICE (naɪs), FUNNY (ˈfʌni), SUN (sʌn)
ŋ               SING (sɪŋ), FINGER (ˈfɪŋgə), RING (rɪŋ), ANGER (ˈæŋgə), THANKS (θæŋks), SUNG (sʌŋ)
p               PET (pet), MAP (mæp), PEN (pen), COPY (ˈkɒpi), HAPPEN (ˈhæpən)
r               RED (red), TRY (traɪ), RIGHT (raɪt), WRONG (rɒŋ), SORRY (ˈsɒri), ARRANGE (əˈreɪnʤ)

s               SUN (sʌn), MISS (mɪs), SOON (suːn), CEASE (siːs), SISTER (ˈsɪstə)
ʃ               SHE (ʃiː), CRASH (kræʃ), SHIP (ʃɪp), SURE (ʃʊə), NATIONAL (ˈnæʃənl)
t               TEA (tiː), GET (get), BUTTON (ˈbʌtn)
tʃ               CHECK (ʧek), CHURCH (ʧɜːʧ), MATCH (mæʧ), NATURE (ˈneɪʧə)
θ               THINK (θɪŋk), BOTH (bəʊθ), THING (θɪŋ), AUTHOR (ˈɔːθə), PATH (pɑːθ)
ð               THIS (ðɪs), MOTHER (ˈmʌðə), OTHER (ˈʌðə), SMOOTH (smuːð)
v               VOICE (vɔɪs), FIVE (faɪv), VIEW (vjuː), HEAVY (ˈhevi), MOVE (muːv)
w               WET (wet), WINDOW (ˈwɪndəʊ), ONE (wʌn), WHEN (wɛn), QUEEN (kwiːn)
z               ZOO (zuː), LAZY (ˈleɪzi), ZERO (ˈzɪərəʊ), MUSIC (ˈmjuːzɪk), ROSES (ˈrəʊzɪz), BUZZ (bʌz)
ʒ               PLEASURE (ˈplɛʒə), VISION (ˈvɪʒən)
dʒ               JUST (ʤʌst), LARGE (lɑːʤ), JUDGE (ˈʤʌʤ), AGE (eɪʤ), GERMAN (ˈʤɜːmən)

 

A list of some common terms with ‘weak’ (faible) pronunciation when we speak naturally (often with the sound /ə/)

Weak-forms-list

/ə/ 
I’ve got a new dress.
am  /əm/ /m/  I’m not going home, am I?
an  /ən/  That’s an apple
and  /ənd/ /ən/  We need some salt and pepper.
any  /ənɪ/  Do you have any money?
are  /ə/  They are at school just now.
as  /əz/  It was as big as an elephant.
at  /ət/  She works at night.
be  /bɪ/ /bi/  He’s going to be late.
been  /bɪn/  Have you been here long?
but  /bət/  The food is good but the service is terrible.
can  /kən/ /kn/  Can you come early?
could  /kəd/  I think he could pass the exam.
do  /də/  Do you need any help?
does  /dəz/  He doesn’t live in London, does he?
for  /fə/  It’s a present for my dad.
from  /frəm/  That book’s from Julia.
had  /həd/ /əd/ /d/  I had a car when I was at university.
has  /həz/ /əz/ /z/  He has been here for years.
have  /həv/ /əv/ /v/  I’ve had lunch already.
he  /hɪ/ /ɪ/  She thinks he’s handsome.
her  /ə/ /hə/  Tom told her that the meeting had been cancelled. 
him  /ɪm/  I’ve bought him some chocolate.
his  /ɪz/  That’s his last chance.
/ʌ/  I wish I had gone to bed earlier.
me  /mɪ/  John called me last night.
must  /məst/ /məs/  You really must take your umbrella.
of  /əv/ /v/  That’s part of the problem. 
our 
/ɑː/  She dropped her coffee on our rug. 
shall  /ʃəl/  Shall we go out for dinner? 
she  /ʃɪ/  I think she’s gone to the library. 
should  /ʃəd/  You really should get a haircut. 
some  /səm/ /sm/  They bought some bread this morning. 
than  /ðən/ /ðn/  This part of London is much busier than where I live. 
the  /ðə/  Have you seen the front door keys? 
them  /ðəm/  We dropped them off at the airport. 
there  /ðə/ /ðər/  The restaurant is over there. 
to  /tə/  Are you going to the party tonight? 
us  /əs/ /s/  Lucy gave us one of her kittens. 
was  /wəz/  It was a beautiful day. 
we  /wɪ/  I wonder when we should leave. 
were  /wə/  They were late again! 
who  /hʊ/  Do you know who that girl is? 
will  /wəl/ /əl/ /l/  He’ll arrive later. 
would  /wəd/ /d/  If I were you, I would study a bit more. 
you  /jə/ /ju/  Do you like chocolate? 
yours  /jə/ /jər/  Is that your coat? 

 

 

 

Elementary Vocabulary

Unit 1

/eɪdʒ/                 age
/ɑːnt/                  aunt
/’bɔɪfrend/                 boyfriend
/’sentə/                 centre (UK)/ center (USA)
/tʃiːp/                 cheap
/ˈkʌzn/                 cousin
/ˈjʊərəp/                 Europe
/ˈfrendli/                 friendly
/gɜːl/                 girl
/haɪ/                 Hi.      =(Salut !/Coucou!)
/ˈlæŋgwɪʤ/                language 
/laɪk/                 like
/lɪv/                 live      =(habiter/vivre)
/miːl/                 meal   =(un repas)
/miːt/                 meat   =(la viande)
/mjuˈziːəm/              museum   
/nɪə/                 near
/ˈpleɪsɪz/                 please
/ˈsɜːneɪm/                 surname   =(nom de famille)
/ðem/                 them   =(eux)
/ˈʌŋkl/                 uncle
/juːnɪˈvɜːsəti/              university   
/ˈwelkəm/                 welcome
/weə/                 where
/jɪə/                 year

 

Unit 2

əˈkaʊntənt  accountant comptable
ˈɑːkɪtekt  architect architecte
ˈbɪzi  busy occupé
klɒk  clock l’horloge
kɒst  cost coût
dɪˈzaɪn  design concevoir
ɜːn  earn gagner (pour un travail)
ɪgˈzæktli  exactly exactement
ˈfeɪməs  famous célèbre
həʊˈtel  hotel hôtel
ˈaʊə hour heure
ˈhʌri  hurry

se dépêcher (verb): “to be in a hurry”:  être pressé

ˈlɔːjə  lawyer avocat
ˈlʌki  lucky chanceux
ˈnevə  never jamais
nɜːs  nurse infirmière
ˈpaɪlət  pilot pilote
ˈsʌmtaɪmz  sometimes parfois
ˈtæksi ˈdraɪvə  taxi driver chauffeur de taxi
ˈtaɪəd  tired fatigué
ˈvɪlɪʤ  village village
wɔːk  walk marcher
wɜːk  work travail
raɪt write écrire

Some tongue twisters to practise:-
Betty Potter bought some butter, but she said “This butter’s bitter!”
ˈbɛti   ˈpɒtə     bɔːt     sʌm   ˈbʌtə     bʌt  ʃiː   sɛd     ðɪsˈ  bʌtəz ˈ  bɪtə
(Betty Potter acheté du beurre, mais elle a dit: “Ce beurre est amer!”)

The sheep on the ship slipped on the sheet of sleet.
ðə     ʃiːp     ɒn ðə   ʃɪp     slɪpt     ɒn ðə   ʃiːt    ɒv sliːt
(Les moutons du navire glissèrent sur la grêle.)

The mean king kissed the queen quickly on her green ring.
ðə     miːn   kɪŋ    kɪst    ðə    kwiːn ˈkwɪkli ɒn hɜː griːn    rɪŋ
(Le méchant roi embrassa rapidement la reine sur son anneau vert.)

How’s our brown cow now?
haʊz ˈaʊə   braʊn kaʊ naʊ
(Comment va notre vache brune maintenant?)

With a bit of luck and a good cook book you could cook a cookie or a duck.
wɪð   ə bɪt ɒv lʌk   ænd ə gʊd   kʊk   bʊk    juː   kʊd    kʊk  ə ˈkʊki   ɔːr ə dʌk.
(Avec un peu de chance et un bon livre de cuisine, vous pourriez faire cuire un biscuit ou un canard.)

Put the bad bat back in the black bag.
pʊt  ðə bæd bæt bæk ɪn ðə   blæk bæg.
(Mettez la mauvaise chauve-souris dans le sac noir.)

________________________________________________

Some mystery sentences from the courses.

Elementary level

kæn juː spiːk ˈsləʊli pliːz
Can you speak slowly, please?

aɪd laɪk ə ˈkɒfi pliːz
I’d like a coffee, please.

Other levels

From the film Cassablanca

Yvonne:
wɒt ə jʊ ˈduːɪŋ təˈnaɪt.
(What are you doing tonight ?)

Rick:
aɪ ˈnevə meɪk plænz ðət fɑːr ɪn ədˈvɑːns
(I never make plans that far in advance.) – (Je ne fais jamais de projets aussi longtemps à l’avance.)

Donald Trump:

aɪ hæv ə ˈnjuːklɪə ˈbʌtn tuː bʌt ɪts mʌʧ ˈbɪgər ənd mɔː ˈpaʊəfʊl
(I have a nuclear button too, but it’s much bigger & more powerful)

Unknown source

aɪ θɪŋk ɪts rɒŋ ðət ˈəʊnli wʌn ˈkʌmpəni meɪks məˈnɒpəli
(I think it’s wrong that only one company makes monopoly)

Charles M. Schulz (auteur de bande dessinée américain “Peanuts“)

aɪ lʌv mænˈkaɪnd    ɪts ˈpiːpl aɪ kɑːnt stænd.
(I love mankind; it’s people I can’t stand.)

Unknown source

ðər ə θriː taɪps əv ˈpiːpl, ðəʊz huː kən kaʊnt ənd ðəʊz huː kɑːnt.
(There are three types of people, those who can count and those who can’t.)

Unknown source

ˈpiːpl huː snɔːr ˈɔːlweɪz fɔːl əˈsliːp fɜːst
(People who snore always fall asleep first.)

Steven Wright – American stand-up comedian

aɪ ɪnˈtend tə lɪv fəˈrevə. səʊ fɑː səʊ gʊd
(I intend to live forever. So far, so good.) –  (jusqu’ici ça va)