The International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) is an alphabetic system of phonetic notation that was devised in the 19th century as a standardised way of representing the sounds of speech in written form. The British English IPA chart consists of 44 symbols representing the pure vowels (monophthongs), the gliding vowels (diphthongs), and the consonant sounds of spoken British English. The Britlish Library contains a wealth of lessons to help you to learn, remember, and use the British English IPA symbols efficiently whether you are a student or a teacher.
The poem, If-, by Rudyard Kipling was written around 1895, shortly after the birth of Kipling’s son, John. The poem is an example of Victorian stoicism and takes the form of the author’s paternal advice to his son. John Kipling was reported as wounded and missing in 1915 while serving as a Lieutenant during World War I, a post his father had secured him thanks to his social connections and despite his son’s severe myopia. His grave was not identified until 1992. You can read this poem in Latin script and in IPA script as well as listen to me read it for you.
In this look at the meat industry, I make extensive use of the passive voice. In this lesson you will be looking at the vocabulary of meat production and livestock such as, baa, beef, bull, butcher, cluck, cow, ewe, hog, lamb, lanolin, leather, milking, moo, mutton, pig, pluck, pork, queen, ram, shear, skin, slaughter, squeal, swine, tan, tom, wool, and woollen. Whenever we learn something new, there is always room for improvement. Here is the Room for Improvement that you have been looking for in your British English studies.
Whenever we learn something new, there is always room for improvement. Let’s enter the Room for Improvement, shall we, and see how it can help us improve our English. In this lesson we will improve our knowledge of birds and some of the more common words we use to talk about birds. We’ll learn about hens, roosters, ducks, drakes, geese, ganders, pigeons, sparrows, and owls. You will also be able to practice reading IPA phonetic symbols.
Many students see the letter O and feel that it should be pronounced like the O in on /ɒn/ or clock /ˈklɒk/. This lesson will show you that many common words are not pronounced as you might think. The words in this lesson include: clock, funny, god, honey, London, money, monkey, moth, son, sun, waffle, wag, wallet, wand, wander, want, warrant, warrior, wash, wasp, watch, wax, won, and wonder.
Many English multisyllable words are made up of many parts including prefixes and suffixes, and if you learn the most common prefixes and suffixes, you can expand your vocabulary dramatically. The word unpredictability has two secondary stresses as well as the main stress that is found in all English words. It’s unusual for a word to have more than one secondary stress, but this is the result of unpredictability being composed of so many parts. There are several negative prefixes in English. The most common are: de, dis, il, im, in, ir, mis, and un. This lesson will introduce you to some of them as well as helping you to pronounce them. I also look at prominence for effect.
Say the words soft and drinks in isolation and we hear the /t/ at the end of soft. We rarely hear the two words in isolation, however, and when we bring them together as soft drinks, we no longer hear the /t/ sound. This is an example of elision, or deletion of sounds at word boundaries. This lesson will help you to use this elision to sound more natural when you speak English. By understanding elision, your listening skills will improve as well as your general pronunciation.
There is a set of words in English which end in the letters age and which cause pronunciation problems for students. Students see the letter combination age and try to pronounced the ends of these words as the word age. Few of these words do end with age and most end in / ɪdʒ /. This lesson will help you to make sure you always pronounce the words correctly.
In normal fast-spoken speech some words are not prominent, and we only hear the strong form of these words in certain circumstances. The words that we normally only hear the weak form of include was, as well as the other forms of the verb to be: is, am, are, and were. The children’s rhyme, Fuzzy Wuzzy Was a Bear, shows how these weak forms are necessary for the correct pronunciation and rhythm of English.
An introduction to linking consonants in British English. Linking consonants occur when a consonant at the end of a word is followed by a vowel sound during the unbroken sound stream within a speech segment. This lesson explains how linking consonants work, gives examples of sentences containing linking consonants and examines why each linking consonant happens, and then moves on to activate your ability to hear the linking consonants in sentences. By understanding how linking consonants work, you will improve your listening skills, too.
A Sounds Rude lesson for 18+ students that will teach you how to avoid a common pronunciation mistake. If you are easily offended by language that Sounds Rude, go no further. If you would like to learn the vocabulary which every native-born Englishman, or woman for that matter, is very familiar with, then I urge you to read on. Vocabulary is vocabulary and it all makes up the English language. The vocabulary in this lesson is not normally found in textbooks or discussed in the English classroom, yet it is an integral part of the language, and very likely to be regularly encountered in an English speaking country.
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