Pronunciation and phonetics

A rainy day

Don't save this for a rainy day! Were you going to a dinner tonight? Take a rain check instead and finish the pronunciation exercises.

English is not easy to pronounce (or to spell for that matter!) which makes it more interesting to learn, don't you think?

On the next few pages you'll be reminded of some difficulties when it comes to pronunciation (and spelling). You'll have to check that you remember the most important points and know how to read the phonetic text in a dictionary.

Print these pdf-documents, vowels and consonants, with the phonetic signs if you don't have them in your grammar. (Much better in a book!)
From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.

Check yourself - do you remember some of the difficulties?
A word can be spelled in two different ways but pronounced in the same way, for example:




1. stirra, fördjupa sig i
2. por

or two words can be spelled in the same way but pronounced differently:

???? ?




mycket liten

The spelling is sometimes complicated or even confusing, how are you for instance supposed to pronounce these words:



facetious skämtsam

1.frossa, malaria
2. frossbrytningar



If you don't know you have to look it up. Guessing is possible but not always a good idea. But in order to look up the pronunciation you need to have a basic idea about how the phonetic system works, of course. Look up the???? ? above words and see if you can figure it out.

Don't despair if it seems impossible! Just go on reading and ask questions! We'll talk about this when we meet!

Some people find the phonetic alphabet extremely confusing, but once you have learnt it, it's very useful. Especially when it comes to the stress (betoning). The stress is indicated by an apostrophe:

The apostrophe is placed before the stressed syllable. (Apostrofen sätts omedelbart före den betonade stavelsen!)

This sometimes changes the meaning of a word! Look at these examples:

He was content with the result. con'tent = nöjd, tillfreds

The content of the book. 'content = innehåll

 Check yourself

Use a piece of paper and write the following words:
absolutely, cinema, creativity.

Then test yourself, where would you place the apostrophe to indicate the s???? ?tress?