The British English Nasal Consonant Sounds / m n ŋ /
Pronunciation Activation Pack – 34
/ m n ŋ /
In this Pronunciation Activation Pack we will be looking at the nasal consonant sounds / m n ŋ /.
We will look at the letter combinations that give the / m n ŋ / sounds.
We will look at lots of words which have the / m n ŋ / sounds in them.
Finally, we will activate your ability to hear and produce the / m n ŋ / sounds correctly.
The / m n ŋ / sounds are nasals which means that they resonate sound through the nose when speaking. These sounds are hard to make when your nose is blocked.
The / m n ŋ / each use a different way of obstructing the airflow.
The / m / sound uses both lips.
The / n / sound pushes the tip of the tongue against the hard palate.
The / ŋ / sound bunches the tongue up against the soft palate.
The / m n ŋ / sounds on the chart are shown in green, which means that they are all voiced.
Letter Combinations for / m /
This voiced bilabial nasal can have these letter combinations:
M, and MM.
Letter Combinations for / n /
This voiced alveolar nasal can have these letter combinations:
N, and NN.
In a few words, the letter N is not sounded and is known as the Silent N.
The Silent N is usually found in the letter combination MN at the end of words.
Where the M and N are in different syllables, we do say the / n / sound.
Letter Combinations for / ŋ /
This voiced velar nasal is often heard when the letter N is followed by a / k / or / g / sound.
A mantis has no nose nor fingers.
/ ə ˈmæn.tɪs həz nəʊ nəʊz nɔː ˈfɪŋ.ɡəz /
I enjoy sunny summer not solemn autumn.
/ ˈaɪ ɪn.ˈdʒɔɪ ˈsʌ.ni ˈsʌ.mə nɒt ˈsɒ.ləm ˈɔː.təm /
My uncle was penning an English hymn.
/ maɪ ˈʌŋk.l̩ wəz ˈpen.ɪŋ ən ˈɪŋ.ɡlɪʃ hɪm /
I know Norman signs a distinct signature.
/ ˈaɪ nəʊ ˈnɔː.mən saɪnz ə dɪ.ˈstɪŋkt ˈsɪɡ.nə.tʃə /
Your tongue will anxiously feel for plum stones.
/ jə tʌŋ wl̩ ˈæŋk.ʃə.sli fiːl fə plʌm stəʊnz /
Problems for Students
The biggest problem concerning the nasals / m n ŋ / is the contrast between the alveolar nasal consonant / n / and the velar nasal consonant / ŋ /, particular for speakers of languages which do not have this distinction.
In this Pronunciation Activation Pack we will be looking at minimal pairs differing only in the / n / and / ŋ / sounds.
Resources and Activators
As with all of my English Activation Packs, this Activation Pack has valuable resources to help you activate the language in this lesson.
Download the resources from the link at the top left.
You will also find the Activators at the end of the Pack.
These will give you plenty of exercises to help you make the language in this lesson part of your active vocabulary.
Interactive British English IPA Chart
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