Following on from my post about quick grammar wins, I wanted to share with you some ways that you can quickly improve your pronunciation to make a big overall impact.
Pronunciation is a huge area of English, and it’s also an area where people feel most anxious.
But first of all – remember that having a foreign accent isn’t normally a problem. It doesn’t matter if you sound like an Italian, a German or a Mandarin speaker. You can, of course, minimise the features that make your accent sound “strong” – more on this in a future post.
If you’re worried about your accent, make sure that you reduce pronunciation mistakes that could cause misunderstanding. When you do this, you can feel more confident about how you speak.
Two Ways To Improve Your Pronunciation
You can use the 1% Coaching Method on your pronunciation to easily eliminate pronunciation mistakes.
There are two areas to focus on. The first area includes pronunciation features which don’t depend on your first language. These features include word and sentence stress, linking and intonation.
The second area to focus on is individual sounds. Very often, problems with individual sounds are caused by your first language. So this could be r / l problems for Mandarin speakers (and also speakers of Japanese and other oriental languages); or problems with p/b for Arabic speakers, for example.
But some sounds cause problems for speakers of nearly all languages – and one of these sounds is the “ed” ending of regular past participles.
Ed Endings – Easy Solutions
There are three possible ways to pronounce the “ed” ending:
With a “t” sound.
Examples: worked, liked, missed
With a “d” sound.
Examples: opened, delayed
With an “id” sound.
Examples: started, ended
A common error is to use the “id” sound when you don’t need it (typically with verbs ending in “n”.)
Solution: you only need the “id” ending when a verb ends in either “t” or “d”. For all other verbs, your mouth will naturally find the “t” or “d” sound.
Here’s a list of ten common verbs with the “d” ending. Make sure you aren’t saying the “id” ending:
You can hear the pronunciation here:
If you’d like more ideas on how you can improve your English through quick wins, get a free (no-obligation) 20-minute coaching call with me. Click the link below: