Most Difficult Pronunciation Practice

May 27, 2019 • written by

I found this pronunciation practice exercise.

Just read through it so you can understand how common words are said.


Dearest creature in creation Studying English pronunciation, I will teach you in my verse Sounds like corpse, corps, horse and worse I will keep you, Susy, busy, Make your head with heat grow dizzy. Tear in eye your dress you’ll tear, So shall I! Oh, hear my prayer, Pray, console your loving poet, Make my coat look new, dear, sew it! Just compare heart, beard and heard, Dies and diet, lord and word, Sword and sward, retain and Britain. (Mind the latter, how it’s written). Made has not the sound of bade, Say said, pay-paid, laid, but plaid. Now I surely will not plague you With such words as vague and ague, But be careful how you speak, Say break, steak, but bleak and streak. Previous, precious, fuchsia, via, Pipe, snipe, recipe and choir, Cloven, oven, how and low, Script, receipt, shoe, poem, toe. Hear me say, devoid of trickery: Daughter, laughter and Terpsichore, Typhoid, measles, topsails, aisles. Exiles, similes, reviles. Wholly, holly, signal, signing. Thames, examining, combining Scholar, vicar, and cigar, Solar, mica, war, and far. From “desire”: desirable–admirable from “admire.” Lumber, plumber, bier, but brier. Chatham, brougham, renown, but known. Knowledge, done, but gone and tone, One, anemone. Balmoral. Kitchen, lichen, laundry, laurel, Gertrude, German, wind, and mind. Scene, Melpomene, mankind, Tortoise, turquoise, chamois-leather, Reading, reading, heathen, heather. This phonetic labyrinth Gives moss, gross, brook, brooch, ninth, plinth. Billet does not end like ballet; Bouquet, wallet, mallet, chalet; Blood and flood are not like food, Nor is mold like should and would. Banquet is not nearly parquet, Which is said to rime with “darky.” Viscous, Viscount, load, and broad. Toward, to forward, to reward. And your pronunciation’s O.K., When you say correctly: croquet. Rounded, wounded, grieve, and sieve, Friend and fiend, alive, and live, Liberty, library, heave, and heaven, Rachel, ache, mustache, eleven, We say hallowed, but allowed, People, leopard, towed but vowed. Mark the difference, moreover, Between mover, plover, Dover, Leeches, breeches, wise, precise, Chalice, but police, and lice. Camel, constable, unstable, Principle, disciple, label, Petal, penal, and canal, Wait, surmise, plait, promise, pal. Suit, suite, ruin, circuit, conduit, Rime with “shirk it” and “beyond it.” But it is not hard to tell, Why it’s pall, mall, but Pall Mall. Muscle, muscular, gaol, iron, Timber, climber, bullion, lion, Worm and storm, chaise, chaos, and chair, Senator, spectator, mayor, Ivy, privy, famous, clamor And enamor rime with hammer. Pussy, hussy, and possess, Desert, but dessert, address. Golf, wolf, countenance, lieutenants. Hoist, in lieu of flags, left pennants. River, rival, tomb, bomb, comb, Doll and roll and some and home. Stranger does not rime with anger. Neither does devour with clangor. Soul, but foul and gaunt but aunt. Font, front, wont, want, grand, and grant. Shoes, goes, does. Now first say: finger. And then: singer, ginger, linger, Real, zeal, mauve, gauze, and gauge, Marriage, foliage, mirage, age. Query does not rime with very, Nor does fury sound like bury. Dost, lost, post; and doth, cloth, loth; Job, Job; blossom, bosom, oath. Though the difference seems little, We say actual, but victual. Seat, sweat; chaste, caste.; Leigh, eight, height; Put, nut; granite, and unite. Reefer does not rime with deafer, Feoffer does, and zephyr, heifer. Dull, bull, Geoffrey, George, ate, late, Hint, pint, senate, but sedate. Scenic, Arabic, Pacific, Science, conscience, scientific, Tour, but our and succour, four, Gas, alas, and Arkansas. Sea, idea, guinea, area, Psalm, Maria, but malaria, Youth, south, southern, cleanse and clean, Doctrine, turpentine, marine. Compare alien with Italian, Dandelion with battalion. Sally with ally, yea, ye, Eye, I, ay, aye, whey, key, quay. Say aver, but ever, fever. Neither, leisure, skein, receiver. Never guess–it is not safe: We say calves, valves, half, but Ralph. Heron, granary, canary, Crevice and device, and eyrie, Face but preface, but efface, Phlegm, phlegmatic, ass, glass, bass. Large, but target, gin, give, verging, Ought, out, joust, and scour, but scourging, Ear but earn, and wear and bear Do not rime with here, but ere. Seven is right, but so is even, Hyphen, roughen, nephew, Stephen, Monkey, donkey, clerk, and jerk, Asp, grasp, wasp, and cork and work. Pronunciation–think of psyche–! Is a paling, stout and spikey, Won’t it make you lose your wits, Writing “groats” and saying “grits”? It’s a dark abyss or tunnel, Strewn with stones, like rowlock, gunwale, Islington and Isle of Wight, Housewife, verdict, and indict! Don’t you think so, reader, rather, Saying lather, bather, father? Finally: which rimes with “enough” Though, through, plough, cough, hough, or tough? Hiccough has the sound of “cup.” My advice is–give it up!

The Chaos by G. Nolst Trenite’ a.k.a. “Charivarius” 1870 - 1946

Kevin’s Notes:

This is harder than it sounds.

Practice this.

Read this out loud.

Record yourself reading this.

This is your ultimate test.

If you can overcome this challenge, you will never have any problem with any pronunciation test.

This is the hardest.

If you win this, everything else pronunciation related in a call center application including Versant or Berlitz or any test will be easy.

Thank you for reading this far and thanks for your attention.

I am praying for your success. God bless!

If you made it this far, you should introduce yourself.












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