I have had some requests from students to help them pronounce certain difficult English words, and I thought I would share them with you as well.

It’s important to attune your ear to hear which syllables in longer English words are said as the weak form or de- stressed and which syllables are said as the strong form or stressed. As I have said before, English listeners listen for the stressed syllables in words to help them make meaning of what is said, and so they can understand what is being said clearly. This is also really important to sound flowing and natural when you speak English.

You need to actively de- stress the vowel in the unstressed syllables in difficult English words, and put a schwa vowel /ə/ in.

Audio lesson (Australian and British word stress- make sure you are using your British vowels as well)

Audio lesson ( U.S. pronunciation)


Difficult English Words

1) immensly

Australian  ɪˈmɛnsli      U.S.  ɪˈmɛnsli

2) opportunity

   Australian ˌɒpəˈtjuːnɪti   U.S.  ˌɑpərˈtunəti

3) average

Australian    ˈævərɪʤ        U.S.  ˈævərɪʤ

4) requirement

Australian   rɪˈkwaɪəmənt     U.S. rɪˈkwaɪrmənt

5) departure

Australian   dɪˈpɑːʧə      U.S. dɪˈpɑrʧər

6) entitlement

Australian   ɪnˈtaɪtlmənt     U.S.  ɛnˈtaɪtəlmənt

7)  condition

Australian  kənˈdɪʃən          U.S.  kənˈdɪʃən

8) usual

Australian    ˈjuːʒʊəl             U.S. ˈjuʒəwəl

9) surprisingly

Australian    səˈpraɪzɪŋli        U.S.  sərˈpraɪzɪŋli

10) certificate 

Australian     səˈtɪfɪkɪt          U.S. sərˈtɪfɪkət


Best wishes, Esther

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