English Pronunciation Exercises: Mastering the Main Sounds of English

On this page you’ll find many pronunciation exercises to help you recognize and produce every main sound in the English language. Most of these exercises contrast one sound with another (i.e. two similar sounds are present in the same exercise to aid comparison). This is an effective way to improve your English pronunciation.

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The Vowel Sounds

The English language has about 15 main vowel sounds. If you native language has fewer vowel sounds, you are likely to speak English using only the sounds that are present in your native language. Therefore, you might pronounce certain words the same way because you can’t hear the differences between them. So let’s master the vowel sounds of English!

/i/ (heat) and /I/ (hit)

/eɪ/ (late) and /ɛ/ (let)

/ɛ/ (bed) and /æ/ (bad)

/æ/ (hat) and /ɑ/ (hot)

/ɑ/ (calm) and /ɘ/ (come)

/æ/ (bat) and /ɘ (but)

/ɔ/ (want) and /oʊ/ (won’t)

/ʊ/ (full) and /u/ (fool)

/ɑ/ (lock) VS. /ɘ/ (luck) VS. /ʊ/ (look)

/ɘr/ (heard) and /ɑ/ (hard)

/ɘr/ (work) and /ɔ/ (walk)

/aɪ/ (time, nine, dry, etc.)

/aʊ/ (south, house, cow, etc.)

/ɔɪ/ (oil, choice, voice, etc.)

The Consonant Sounds

Let’s master the consonants sounds of English. When do you an exercise, it’s helpful to pay attention the mouth movements of the presenter. If you can’t do every single exercise, focus on the ones that address your pronunciation problems.

/t/ (cotton, better, etc.)

Understanding voiced and unvoiced consonants

/s/ (Sue) and /z/ (zoo)

Stop Consonants

/h/ (horse, hot, etc)

/dʒ/ (drawer, education, schedule, etc)

/dʒ/ (job) and /tʃ/ (chop)

Words Ending in –ed

/θ/ (this, think, thank, etc)

/θ/ (thin) and /s/ (sin)

/θ/ (they) and /d/ (day)

/l/ (light) and /r/ (right)

/l/ and /n/

/v/ (van) and /b/ (ban)

/b/ (bee) and /p/ (pee)

/p/ (pan) and /f/ (fan)

/v/ (verse) and /w/ (worse)

/j/ (jet) and /y/ (yet)

/j/ (budge) and /z/ (buzz)

/ʃ/ (ship) and /tʃ/ (chip)

/n/ (thin) and /ŋ/ (thing)

Consonant Clusters

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