I’ve had several students ask me how to pronounce English words with the common ending ‘ous’, so I thought I would make an audio lesson for you to practise with.

Don’t forget that most words that have ‘ous’ at the end are words of more than one syllable, and the audio lesson also gives you an opportunity to practise your English pronunciation of multisyllabic words and correct stress patterns.

The ‘ous’ ending is a de-stressed syllable and is pronounced as /əs /. The ‘ou’ says the schwa sound.

While you practise with me, be conscious of the following important things in your English pronunciation:

  • Pay attention to which syllables are stressed. In the stressed syllable the vowel is said clearly. In the unstressed syllables the vowel is actively de- stressed and made to sound like a schwa sound. Like a shortened ‘u’ sound.
  • When I say the word in a sentence, pay attention to which words are the stressed words. The words that are said slightly more loudly and with a slightly higher pitch. The words that are emphasised. Copy the English pronunciation exactly, and practise listening for which words are the stressed ones in the sentences. These convey the main meaning of what you are saying.
  • Listen for English intonation and rhythm as well. Copy me when I make a slight pause, or when I go up in pitch slightly, or if I make a vowel slightly longer than normal for emphasis.


English Pronunciation of words with ‘ous’ at the end:

Conscious, continuous, delicious, malicious, serious, enormous, anxious, obvious, anonymous, prosperous, prestigious, spontaneous.



He was consciously and continuously paying attention to the road as he drove.

The enormous burger was delicious.

It was obvious she was trying to be serious about the problem.

The anonymous texter was malicious.

When he won the prestigious prize he became prosperous as well.

She was anxious that they might pay her a spontaneous visit.


To learn about English pronunciation of long words that end in the common ending ‘tion’, click here

Best wishes, Esther

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