Britlish

Unpredictability

Pronunciation | Confusables | Vocabulary | IPA Symbols

Pronunciation

No matter how good your English grammar and vocabulary may be, if your pronunciation is so bad that nobody can understand a word you say, then your English won't be much good as a means of communication. You might be good at grammar, have a broad vocabulary, and be able to explain all the aspects and tenses of English, but it's not much good if you can't be understood when you speak. I have designed these Activities to help you to improve your pronunciation, as well as other areas of your English.

Confusables

Certain words in English are so alike that they confuse even native English speakers. Words like their and there for instance are often confused. The Activities here look in detail at some of the most common confusable words and give you plenty of explanation into how to use them correctly as well as plenty of exercises to help you avoid making mistakes in the future. 

Vocabulary

Did you know that there are over 600,000 words in English? That's a lot of words, and far more than any human being could ever manage to learn. Even Shakespeare only used around 55,000 different words in all of his works. Mind you, he did actually invent quite a few of them. To get a good mastery of English, you do need to expand your vocabulary as much as possible. The more words you know, the better your English will be. The Activities here will help you to quickly develop your vocabulary.

IPA Symbols

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 Activities to help you to learn, remember, and use the British English IPA symbols efficiently whether you are a student or a teacher.

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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. 

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Unpredictability | Vocabulary and Pronunciation Activator | History of Unpredictability | The noun unpredictability was coined in the 1920s. | It is the noun form of the adjective unpredictable. | Unpredictable itself was coined in the mid-19th century from the words predict with the prefix un and the suffix able. | The word predict itself is, naturally, older still and dates from as early as the mid-16th century. | The word predict is formed from the prefix pre which means before, and dict, which means to say or tell. | Parts of Unpredictability | Just as light is made up of several colours, so too are many English words made from several different parts. | un – negation – the most commonly used negative prefix in English. | pre – before – a prefix added to many English words. | dict – say – dict is found in many English words.   | abil – able – a suffix from the French habiller added to many English verbs. | ity – state – a suffix added to many English words. | Many English multisyllable words are made up in such a way, and if you learn the most common prefixes and suffixes, you can expand your vocabulary dramatically.  | Stress Pattern | You can see that the word unpredictability has two secondary stresses as well as the main stress that is found in all English words. | /ˌʌn.prɪ.ˌdɪk.tə.ˈbɪ.lɪ.ti/ | ooooOoo | 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. | Negative Prefixes | There are several negative prefixes in English. | The most common are: de, dis, il, im, in, ir, mis, un | Let’s see some of them in action, shall we?

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