Britlish
Responsive image

Free Account Level Test Dictionary

Britlish Library - Sounds British Lessons

In order to achieve a genuine British English accent, you need to understand exactly how British English pronunciation works. You need to be able to distinguish the forty-four sounds of English as shown on the British English IPA chart. The first forty-four Pronunciation Activation Packs in this series introduce the forty-four sounds and symbols of the British English IPA chart. Once you have mastered the forty-four sounds of the British English IPA chart, you then need to go onto understand the fundamentals of pronunciation, such as the rhythm of English, function and content words, stress patterns, and linking features. All of these fundamentals are covered in this comprehensive British English pronunciation course.

64 Sounds British Lessons

Alphabetical Categories

Responsive image

In this lesson: We will look at how to distinguish between teen and ty numbers. We will look at the stress patterns in words. We will look at stress shifts in English words. We will look at making syllables prominent for effect. Whether it's thirty or thirteen, forty or fourteen, fifty or fifteen, or anywhere up to nine...

Responsive image

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 spea...

Responsive image

Words that begin with plum* have some radically different pronunciations which confuses a lot of students. This lesson came from a request by Spyridon, a student of mine in Australia, who was perplexed by the pronunciation. I created this lesson to make sure that nobody need ever be confused by these words again. The lesson contains the most common plum* words including, p...

Responsive image

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.

Responsive image

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 f...

Responsive image

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 yo...

Responsive image

Prepositions are difficult for students of English and when they are used with two very similar expressions they can be especially difficult. This lesson will show you how we use the two expressions attracted to and attracted by and will give you practice using both. I have selected real examples of the expressions from the British National Corpus, and have included several ac...

Responsive image

The two words fur and fir are homophones in English and cause a lot of pronunciation confusion for students. I mean, how can two words that are radically different have exactly the same sound? There are many homophones in English and this lesson is designed to help you master these two. Not only does it deal with the words fir and fur, but it also deals with words like fur...

Responsive image

-ism is a suffix appended to the end of many English words. It means taking sides with or imitation of. Pronunciation-wise, -ism has a syllabic consonant /m/ at the end. In this lesson, we’ll look at how we pronounce some common isms. The -isms include, ageism, asceticism, atheism, Buddhism, capitalism, communism, Cubism, Druidism, dualism,...

Responsive image

The word library is one of the words that students try very hard to pronounce properly, yet still get wrong. Other words like family, vegetable, chocolate, natural, favourite, medicine, general, and many more are also syncopated when we speak at a normal, fast-spoken rate. Many students initially refuse to believe that a word they h...

Responsive image

This lesson will tell you what a glottal stop is and then tell you how to use it. A glottal stop is also known as the voiceless glottal plosive and it’s used in many languages besides English. In fact, you probably use it without being aware of it. The glottal stop is called the glottal stop because the sound is made when the vocal cords close and stop the flow of air. The gap between the...

Responsive image

There are only two English words which end with the -cuit letter combination and both cause pronunciation problems for students. This lesson will look at both words, circuit and biscuit, and show you how to correctly pronounce them. It will also look at some sentences and expressions which use these words and will look at the speech features in those sentences. Features like the linking R, syll...

Responsive image

A syllabic consonant is a consonant that is pronounced as a syllable. The two main syllabic consonants in English are /l/ or /n/ sounds. The /n/ in the final syllable of words occurs in words like listen, while the /l/ syllabic consonant occurs at the end of word such as bottle. Syllabic consonants occur mainly in the final syllable of words but can also occur at the beginning or within words, too...

Responsive image

A syllabic consonant is a consonant that is pronounced as a syllable. The two main syllabic consonants in English are /l/ or /n/ sounds. The /l/ syllabic consonant occurs at the end of the word bottle, while the /n/ occurs in words like listen. Syllabic consonants occur mainly in the final syllable of words. In this lesson, we will look at the 11 possible letter combinations that can result in ...

Responsive image

A vocabulary and pronunciation activator which will help you with the following words: try, entry, gantry, pantry, poetry, pastry, paltry, sultry, wintry, country, poultry, ancestry, industry, forestry, toiletry, dentistry, chemistry, carpentry, circuitry, and psychiatry. Not only will you learn how to use each of the words, but you will also learn how to pronounce sentences using them. I have ...

Responsive image

In this lesson, we will look at two of my video English lessons, one showing you how homonyms can be the basis for English jokes, and the other looking at the two words minute and minute. If you don’t know why these two words are different, then this lesson is certainly for you. The first video takes just one minute and 216 words to teach you all about the words minute and minute. The other video ...

Responsive image

When do we use the /s/ sound and when do we use the /z/ sound, and what’s the difference? Let’s find out… The two sounds /s/ and /z/ are very close and cause endless confusion for students. There are some rules and the rules are normally to do with the voiced and unvoiced sounds. A voiced sound is that made when we use our vocal cords. /z/ is the voiced form of the sound /s/,...

Responsive image

A look at how and why speech is broken up into parts, or segments, and how this segmentation affects pronunciation. This lesson will help you to hear the breaks in speech that we get at speech segment boundaries but not within the segments themselves. This look at this important feature of pronunciation also looks at content and function words and shows how these words are hear prominently or l...

Responsive image

A quick look at how not all English from Britain sounds the same and how it can be quite confusing for students. There are 100s of regional accents and many distinct dialects in Britain. Many English people have difficulty understanding some of the more unusual varieties of English found in the British Isles, so it's no surprise that students of English are completely confounded when they first...

Responsive image

Lost or dropped syllables are an important feature of British English pronunciation. Every word has at least one syllable, and many have more. Some words lose a syllable when speaking in order to make it easier to keep the underlying rhythm of English. This lesson explains in detail what syllables are and shows you which words lose syllables when speaking. The exercises in the interactive quiz ...

Responsive image

Whether you are English, Chinese, Polynesian, Russian, or any other nationality, you share the same anatomy as me. This anatomy, in terms of our vocal tract, limits the sounds that we can easily say in a sentence. Of the two types of sounds in English, consonants and vowels, we cannot easily say two vowel sounds one after the other. Linking sounds bridge the gap between such difficult-to-say co...

Responsive image

Ellipsis is the missing out of words or sounds. When writing, it is shown by the ellipsis sign of three dots … When speaking, we just don’t hear certain words in a sentence. It’s not that the words are not present, just that they are obvious and need not be spoken. Ellipsis can cause considerable problems for students of English who are used to saying every word in a sentence...

Responsive image

Normally, pronouns are used after we have mentioned something. Pronouns stand in for the nouns, compound nouns, and proper nouns in a sentence, so that we don’t have to repeat ourselves. Generally, pronouns need something to refer back to. The pronoun, it, however, is a different kettle of fish. The pronoun, it, can be used for what is sometimes called the empty pron...

Responsive image

Practice hearing the changes in fast spoken speech. When we speak quickly, sounds that we expect to hear may be missing. It’s not only sounds that go missing in fast spoken English. Whole words may disappear, too. Sounds also change in fast spoken English and some words will not sound the same as they do when spoken slowly, or the way they are shown in dictionaries. In these exercises, I ...

Responsive image

An explanation of function and content words in English. The difference between function and content words is one of the key factors in English sentence stress and the rhythm of English. This lesson help you to better understand them. I’ve used the terms function and content words several times in this course up to now. I thought it was a good time to tell you what they are. Function word...

Responsive image

Learn about pronunciation in connected speech and how it can lead to missed or added sounds. When students begin to learn English, they learn words in isolation. Teachers drill their students to pronounce individual words as though these words will always sound the same. Yet, words are seldom heard in isolation, and are usually produced in a stream of sound. In the stream of sound, words join t...

Responsive image

Learn about and practice syllables and word stress. In this Pronunciation Activation Pack, we are going to practice hearing the correct stress in English words. First, we will practice counting the syllables in words. Then, we will practice hearing where the main stress is in words. Finally, we will look at a comedy sketch which shows what happens when you mispronounce English words. Sounds Bri...

Responsive image

Activate the consonant semivowel sounds / w / in Wasp and / j / in Yellow. In this Pronunciation Activation Pack we will be looking at the consonant sounds / w / and / j /. We will look at the letter combinations that give the / w / and / j / sounds. We will look at lots of words which have the / w / and / j / sounds in them. Finally, we will activate your ability to hear and produce the / w / ...

Responsive image

Activate the consonant approximant sounds / l / in Lamb and / r / in Ram. In this Pronunciation Activation Pack we will be looking at the consonant sounds / l / and / r /. We will look at the letter combinations that give the / l / and / r / sounds. We will look at lots of words which have the / l / and / r / sounds in them. Finally, we will activate your ability to hear and produce the / l / a...

Responsive image

Activate the consonant sound / h / in Hat. In this Pronunciation Activation Pack we will be looking at the unvoiced glottal fricative consonant sound / h /. We will look at the letter combinations that give the / h / sound. We will look at lots of words which have the / h / sound in them. Finally, we will activate your ability to hear and produce the / h / sound correctly. The / h / sound is a ...

Responsive image

Activate the nasal consonant sounds / 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 / soun...

Responsive image

Activate the consonant sounds / ʃ / and / ʒ /. In this Pronunciation Activation Pack we will be looking at the consonant sounds / ʃ / and / ʒ /. We will look at the letter combinations that give the / ʃ / and / ʒ / sounds. We will look at lots of words which have the / ʃ / and / ʒ / sounds in them. Finally, we will activate your ability to hear and produce the / ʃ / and / ʒ / sounds correctly. ...

Responsive image

Activate the consonant sounds / s / and / z /. In this Pronunciation Activation Pack we will be looking at the consonant sounds / s / and / z /. We will look at the letter combinations that give the / s / and / z / sounds. We will look at lots of words which have the / s / and / z / sounds in them. Finally, we will activate your ability to hear and produce the / s / and / z / sounds correctly. ...

Responsive image

Activate the consonant sounds / θ / and / ð /. In this Pronunciation Activation Pack we will be looking at the consonant sounds / θ / and / ð /. We will look at the letter combinations that give the / θ / and / ð / sounds. We will look at lots of words which have the / θ / and / ð / sounds in them. Finally, we will activate your ability to hear and produc...

Responsive image

Activate the consonant sounds / f / and / v /. In this Pronunciation Activation Pack we will be looking at the consonant sounds / f / and / v /. We will look at the letter combinations that give the / f / and / v / sounds. We will look at lots of words which have the / f / and / v / sounds in them. Finally, we will activate your ability to hear and produce the / f / and / v / sounds correctly. ...

Responsive image

Activate the consonant sound / g / in Gun. In this Pronunciation Activation Pack we will be looking at the consonant sound / g /. We will look at the letter combinations that give the / g / sound. We will look at lots of words which have the / g / sound in them. Finally, we will activate your ability to hear and produce the / g / sound correctly. The / g / sound is a voiced velar plosive made b...

Responsive image

Activate the consonant sound / k / in Key. In this Pronunciation Activation Pack we will be looking at the consonant sound / k /. We will look at the letter combinations that give the / k / sound. We will look at lots of words which have the / k / sound in them. Finally, we will activate your ability to hear and produce the / k / sound correctly. The / k / sound is an unvoiced velar plosive mad...

Responsive image

Activate the consonant sound / dʒ / in Jam. In this Pronunciation Activation Pack we will be looking at the consonant sound / dʒ /. We will look at the letter combinations that give the / dʒ / sound. We will look at lots of words which have the / dʒ / sound in them. Finally, we will activate your ability to hear and produce the / dʒ / sound correctly. The / dʒ / sound is a voiced postalveolar a...

Responsive image

Activate the consonant sound / tʃ / in Chin. In this Pronunciation Activation Pack we will be looking at the consonant sound / tʃ /. We will look at the letter combinations that give the / tʃ / sound. We will look at lots of words which have the / tʃ / sound in them. Finally, we will activate your ability to hear and produce the / tʃ / sound correctly. The / tʃ / sound is an unvoiced postalveol...

Responsive image

Activate the Vowel in Toy / ɔɪ / with this English Pronunciation Activation Pack. In this Pronunciation Activation Pack we will be looking at the fifth of the gliding vowels / ɔɪ /. We will look at the letter combinations that give the / ɔɪ / sound. We will look at lots of words which have the / ɔɪ / sound in them. Finally, we will activate your ability to hear and produce the / ɔɪ / sound corr...

Responsive image

Activate the consonant sound / d / in Duck. In this Pronunciation Activation Pack we will be looking at the consonant sound / d /. We will look at the letter combinations that give the / d / sound. We will look at lots of words which have the / d / sound in them. Finally, we will activate your ability to hear and produce the / d / sound correctly. The / d / sound is a voiced alveolar plosive ma...

Responsive image

Activate the consonant sound / t / in Tattoo. In this Pronunciation Activation Pack we will be looking at the consonant sound / t /. We will look at the letter combinations that give the / t / sound. We will look at lots of words which have the / t / sound in them. Finally, we will activate your ability to hear and produce the / t / sound correctly. The / t / sound is an unvoiced alveolar plosi...

Responsive image

Activate the consonant sound / b / in Bubble. In this Pronunciation Activation Pack we will be looking at the consonant sound / b /. We will look at the letter combinations that give the / b / sound. We will look at lots of words which have the / b / sound in them. Finally, we will activate your ability to hear and produce the / b / sound correctly. The / b / sound is a voiced bilabial plosive ...

Responsive image

Activate the consonant sound / p / in Pepper. In this Pronunciation Activation Pack we will be looking at the first of the consonant sounds / p /. We will look at the letter combinations that give the / p / sound. We will look at lots of words which have the / p / sound in them. Finally, we will activate your ability to hear and produce the / p / sound correctly. The / p / sound is a plosive ma...

Responsive image

An introduction to Britlish English Consonants (I have hayfever so had to use AI voices for this pack). There are 24 consonant sounds in British English. The consonant sounds are shown in the blue box at the bottom of the British English IPA chart, under the vowels. A consonant is a basic speech sound in which the breath is at least partially obstructed and which can be combined with a vowel to...

Responsive image

Activate the Vowel in Owl / aʊ / with this Pronunciation Activation Pack. In this Pronunciation Activation Pack we will be looking at the eighth and last of the gliding vowels / aʊ /. This is also the last of the 20 British English vowels on our IPA chart. We will look at the letter combinations that give the / aʊ / sound. We will look at lots of words which have the / aʊ / sound in them. Final...

Responsive image

Activate the Vowel in Boat / əʊ / with this Pronunciation Activation Pack. In this Pronunciation Activation Pack we will be looking at the seventh gliding vowel / əʊ /. We will look at the letter combinations that give the / əʊ / sound. We will look at lots of words which have the / əʊ / sound in them. Finally, we will activate your ability to hear and produce the / əʊ / sound correctly. Letter...

Responsive image

Activate the Vowel in Eye / aɪ / with this English Pronunciation Activation Pack. In this Pronunciation Activation Pack we will be looking at the sixth of the gliding vowels / aɪ /. We will look at the letter combinations that give the / aɪ / sound. We will look at lots of words which have the / aɪ / sound in them. Finally, we will activate your ability to hear and produce the / aɪ / sound corr...

Responsive image

Activate the The Vowel in Horse / ɔː / with this Pronunciation Activation Pack. In this Pronunciation Activation Pack we will be looking at the eighth of the pure vowels / ɔː /. We will look at the letter combinations that give the / ɔː / sound. We will look at lots of words which have the / ɔː / sound in them. Finally, we will activate your ability to hear and produce the / ɔː / sound correctl...

Responsive image

Activate the The Vowel in Bird / ɜː / with this English Pronunciation Activation Pack. In this Pronunciation Activation Pack we will be looking at the seventh of the pure vowels / ɜː /. We will look at the letter combinations that give the / ɜː / sound. We will look at lots of words which have the / ɜː / sound in them. Finally, we will activate your ability to hear and produce the / ɜː / sound ...

Responsive image

Activate your use of the Schwa, the most common English sound, with this Pronunciation Activation Pack. In this Pronunciation Activation Pack we will be looking at the sixth of the pure vowels the schwa / ə /. The schwa is the most commonly heard vowel sound in English. The schwa / ə / is a neutral central vowel which occurs as the peak of unstressed syllables. The exact sound and quality of th...

Responsive image

Activate the Vowel in Train / eɪ / with this English Pronunciation Activation Pack. In this Pronunciation Activation Pack we will be looking at the fourth of the gliding vowels / eɪ /. We will look at the letter combinations that give the / eɪ / soun...

Responsive image

Activate the Vowel in Bear / eə / with this English Pronunciation Activation Pack. In this Pronunciation Activation Pack we will be looking at the third of the gliding vowels / eə /. We will look at the letter combinations that give the / eə / sound. We will look at lots of words which have the / eə / sound in them. Finally, we will activate your ability to hear and produce the / eə / sound cor...

Responsive image

Activate the Vowel in Pure / ʊə / with this English Pronunciation Activation Pack. In this Pronunciation Activation Pack we will be looking at the one sound on the British IPA chart that is in danger of disappearing in many words. The sound is the / ʊə / sound which used to be heard in words like pure and poor. I say used to be heard, because since the middle of the 20th Century, the / ʊə / sou...

Responsive image

Activate the Vowel in Egg / e / with this English Pronunciation Activation Pack. In this Pronunciation Activation Pack we will be looking at the fifth of the pure vowels / e /. We will look at the letter combinations that give the / e / sound. We will look at lots of words which have the / e / sound in them. Finally, we will activate your ability to hear and produce the / e / sound correctly. T...

Responsive image

Activate the Vowel in Food / uː / with this English Pronunciation Activation Pack. In this Pronunciation Activation Pack we will be looking at the fourth of the pure vowels / uː /. We will look at the letter combinations that give the / uː / sound. We will look at lots of words which have the / uː / sound in them. Finally, we will activate your ability to hear and produce the / uː / sound corre...

Responsive image

Activate the Vowel in Woman / ʊ / with this English Pronunciation Activation Pack. The pure vowel sound / ʊ / can be formed by these letter combinations: U, OO, O, OU, OR, and OE. The pronunciation Activator will give you 10 randomly selected questions designed to activate your pronunciation and listening skills regarding the vowel sound in woman. Pronunciation Activation Pack 3 - Vowel in Woma...

Responsive image

Learn to distinguish and produce the vowel in Insect / I / with this Pronunciation Activation Pack. The biggest problem for students is hearing and producing the difference between the vowel / ɪ / and the schwa / ə /. These two sounds are next to each other on the IPA chart and are thus very similar. Both vowels are common in unstressed syllables and even native speakers have trouble ...

Responsive image

Master the Vowel in Tree / iː / with this English Pronunciation Activation Pack. The biggest problem for students is hearing and producing the difference between the long vowel / iː / and the short vowel / ɪ /. These two sounds are next to each other on the IPA chart and are thus very similar. The difference is one of length, and the Pronunciation Activator will give you lots of practice with m...

Responsive image

Activate the Vowel in Ear / ɪə / with this English Pronunciation Activation Pack. In this Pronunciation Activation Pack we will be looking at the first of the gliding vowels / ɪə /. We will look at the letter combinations that give the / ɪə / sound. We will look at lots of words which have the / ɪə / sound in them. Finally, we will activate your ability to hear and produce the / ɪə / sound corr...

Responsive image

Activate the Vowel in Clock / ɒ / with this English Pronunciation Activation Pack. In this Pronunciation Activation Pack we will be looking at the last of the pure vowels / ɒ /. We will look at the letter combinations that give the / ɒ / sound. We will look at lots of words which have the / ɒ / sound in them. Finally, we will activate your ability to hear and produce the / ɒ / sound correctly. ...

Responsive image

Activate the Vowel in Art / ɑː / with this English Pronunciation Activation Pack. In this Pronunciation Activation Pack we will be looking at the eleventh of the pure vowels / ɑː /. We will look at the letter combinations that give the / ɑː / sound. We will look at lots of words which have the / ɑː / sound in them. Finally, we will activate your ability to hear and produce the / ɑː / sound corr...

Responsive image

Activate The Vowel in Sun / ʌ / with this English Pronunciation Activation Pack. In this Pronunciation Activation Pack we will be looking at the tenth of the pure vowels / ʌ /. We will look at the letter combinations that give the / ʌ / sound. We will look at lots of words which have the / ʌ / sound in them. Finally, we will activate your ability to hear and produce the / ʌ / sound correctly. T...

Responsive image

Activate the Vowel in Ant / æ / with this English Pronunciation Activation Pack. In this Pronunciation Activation Pack we will be looking at the ninth of the pure vowels / æ /. We will look at the letter combinations that give the / æ / sound. We will look at lots of words which have the / æ / sound in them. Finally, we will activate your ability to hear and produce the ...