Pronunciation · Uncategorized

Pronunciation Rules Part 2 – When English Words Can Make You Crazy

pronunciation shiite

Remember the Pronunciation Rules from last time? Fascinating stuff, isn’t it?

So now we’ll continue to:

Pronunciation Rule 3

Magic E

Also named bossy E or sneaky E. Same thing.

The rule of Magic E means that whenever your CVC word gets an e added at the end, the vowel in that word will sound like the name of that letter.

So the a in lake sounds like the letter A.

The u in fuse sounds like the letter U.

The i in bike sounds like the letter I.

The o in rose sounds like the letter O.

The e in Zeke sounds like the letter E. (Zeke is a boy’s name.)

pronuncation_alif_01.03.16Try reading these basic Magic E words:

pate

late

abate

fate

pale

male

made

hose

bode

rode

wove

pose

rope

dope

stone

mice

dice

hive

hike

strive

pine

wine

nine

five

knife

wipe

fuse

muse

tune

fume

dune

mute

flute

prune

puke

duke

tube

prude

Pete (name)

gene

(With e there aren’t too many examples, because the Magic E in words with e appears in more complex words.)

Harder Words with Magic E

Now try some harder words. Whilst you’re looking at the words, try to figure out where the Magic E applies:

complete

The Magic E is here: complete, so this e in complete sounds like the letter E.

turbine

The Magic E is here: turbine, so this i in turbine sounds like the letter I.

debate

The Magic E is here: debate, so this a in debate sounds like the letter A.

devote

The Magic E is here: devote, so this o in devote sounds like the letter O.

dispute

The Magic E is here: dispute, so this u in dispute sounds like the letter U.

Now try to say these words:

berate

delude

delete

erode

divine

bovine

athlete

appreciate (the rule applies to the e and the second a)

dispute

bemuse

irritate (the rule applies to the a)

advise & advice

excite

Magic E Words and their Variants

The same magic E sound for the vowels continues in words that are derived from the magic E words (= they have the same root).

I’ll give you an example to show what I mean: complete.

We said that complete has a magic E. So the first e in that word is said like the letter E in the alphabet. That same e sound is kept in the word completion. The e in completion sounds like the letter E.

Another example: erode.

We said that the o in erode sounds like the letter O, because of the magic E. So erosion will have that same O-sound.

Another example: delude.

The letter U-sound will also be heard in the words deluding and delusion.

Yes, I can hear you thinking, that’s very nice, but that means I’ll have to know all the words and their derivatives (their word families). Well, yes, that can help. But you will develop a knack (= a feeling) for this anyhow once your English gets better and better.

So nothing to worry about.

Now practise saying the following words:

These words are all somehow related to a magic E word, so you’ll know how to pronounce the bold vowels.

mode & modular

size & sizable

race & racial

mate & mating

lumen & luminous, luminary, luminescence (I’m looking in the dictionary here!).

immune & immunization & immunity

ice & icicle & icing

whole & holism

haste & hasty

tone & tonal & tonality

behave & behaviour & behaviouristic

base & basic & basically

swine & swinish

Swede & Swedish

skate & skating (you’d be amazed how many people say the word skating with an a like in cat).

delete & deletion & deleted & deleting

enthuse & enthusiastic

pole & polar

promote & promotion & promoted

phone & phonic & phoney

muse & music & musical & musicality

decide & decisive & decided & deciding (but decision is said with an i like in tip).

deplete & depletion & depleted & depleting

create (pronounce kri-ate) & creation & creative & creator & created & creatively

So now we’ve talked about the basic rules for pronunciation. There are more rules.

We’ll get back to them some day…

3 thoughts on “Pronunciation Rules Part 2 – When English Words Can Make You Crazy

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