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How To Pronounce Properly These Hard-To-Pronounce Words In English

Having a grasp of proper grammar and pronunciation is extremely important when studying your first language or another you are trying to learn. Even with the best of educations, some words just seem to make our lives difficult when it comes to pronouncing the combination of consonants and vowels.

No language leads to more annoyances involving pronunciation than in English. Here are some of the hardest-to-pronounce words that are part of the English language:

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1. Anathema / uh–nath–uh–muh

The letter A is the first in the English alphabet and when learning the language, such heavy stress is placed on the letter. One would think that with such time dedicated to it, words that start with A wouldn’t be so bad.

The number of a’s, first of all, make where to stress the syllable a little confusing. The word itself means “someone or something that is intensely disliked.”

2. Anemone / uh–nem–uh–nee

The children’s favorite animated movie Finding Nemo made this word very famous. While taking sea life lessons from his dad, the title character become so tongue-tied trying to pronounce this word that he simply gave up out of frustration.

It’s understandable that a person might give up trying to say this. Master the two beginning syllables and pronunciation should be a breeze

3. Antarctic / ant–ahrk–tik

This is another word that isn’t just hard for people with dyslexia, but people without the letter jumbling disorder have just as much trouble. Even people know how to pronounce this word will say it slowly to themselves before speaking it out loud.

Remember to stress the C’s in the words when you are saying it. It’ll help in your pronunciation of other similarly written words.

4. Antidisestablishmentarianism / an – tee – dis – uh – stab – lish – muh n – tair – ee – uh – niz – uh – m

Does it not feel exhausting just looking at the word? Most of the people who’ve went to middle school heard this word spoken by a teacher at least once. The world contains 28 letters total at 13 syllables.

The word itself is just a few letters shorter than its definition: being opposed to the withdrawal of state support from an established church.

5. Asterisk / as – tuh – risk

If this word is completely alien to you, it is the button on your phone referred to as the “star key.” This is what that is actually called if you didn’t already know. It is very common for people to mispronounce this.

According to linguists, this is one of the words that goes through “metathesis”: “when people accidentally rearrange sounds or syllables in a word,” much in the way children often mispronounce the word spaghetti.

6. Brewery / broo – uh – ree

Bars are usually where people drink the beer. This is the place where they make all that delicious mind-altering “liquid courage.” The word consists of 3 syllables, but the middle is the one most people find hard to enunciate properly when they say it.

If you a fan of beer and a true lover of how it is made, telling people how to pronounce brewery has probably become a regular thing.

7. Cavalry / kav – uh l – ree

This is another one of those words that can change thanks to “metathesis.” The letters that make up the word confuse the reader as to which syllables should be stressed more than the others.

In the Bible, there is a place known as Calvary often confused for the armed horseback soldiers of the Middle Ages.

8. Comfortable / kuhm–fer–tuh–buh l

This word does not suffer from “metathesis” like others on the lips but from the lack of enunciation when saying the word. When speaking, people often skip the syllable containing the “tuh” sound, changing the pronunciation entirely and making a new word.

Enunciation is important.

9. Defibrillator / dee–fib–ruh–ley–ter

“Metathesis” is when someone mispronounce because of the changing of where letters are places. The mispronunciation of this word comes from something called Dissimilation: when similar consonants or vowels in a word become less alike. I.E. Defribrillator turns into defibyulator.

Are you familiar with any of the words on the list? Whether English is your first or second language, did you find words not on this list harder to pronounce?

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