I thought we could have some fun this time practising some English pronunciation with a surprising twist!

I have recorded a couple of Limericks and put them in this blog for you to listen to and repeat. Now you know me, there is a purpose to this. This English pronunciation with a surprising twist is for you to practise the following:

  • stressing the main meaning words in the sentences – this is one of the elements in  a stress timed language like English. For more detail on stress timed versus syllable timed click here
  • getting an idea of the rhythm– for flowing fluid English
  • practising linking   -for example in the sentence ” A wonderful bird is the Pelican”  the words bird and is are linked- bir dis , so it becomes ” A wonderful bir dis the Pelican.”

By the way a Limerick is a kind of humorous verse of five lines, in which the first, second, and fifth lines rhyme with each other, and the third and fourth lines, which are shorter, form a rhymed couplet.

English Pronunciation with a Twist

I have included a recording of 2 limericks below and I have written the text under the recording. I have underlined the words in the sentences that need to be stressed and which are the main meaning words. English listeners listen for the stressed main meaning words to help them understand what is being said. If you stress all words equally you sound ‘choppy’ or ‘staccato’ and not smooth and flowing, and English listeners find it harder to understand you.


Limerick 1

wonderful  bird is  the pelican

His bill can hold more  than his beli-can (belly can)

He can take in his beak 

Food  enough for a week

But I’m damned  if I see how the heli-can. ( hell he can)

Limerick 2

There was  an old man  of Peru

Who watched his wife makingstew

But once, by mistake,

In a stove she did bake

That unfortunate man of Peru.

Have fun practising your English pronunciation with a surprising twist! Please let me know in the comments below if you like them.

Best wishes,


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