70 Most Commonly Mispronounced Words

70 Most Commonly Mispronounced Words

Image Source scooppick.com

Even though India has the second highest number of English speaking population in the world – according to 2011 data. Yet most of the average English speakers commonly mispronounced below listed 70 words.

A lot of errors find its way into everyday vocabulary. While it’s not fair to expect the average English-speaking Indian to speak like an Englishman, we can’t help but overlook the glaring mistakes. This article contains 70 most commonly mispronounced words. Read on to know if you are getting it right in the first place.

1.     Hyperbole:  /haɪˈpɜːbəli/ :-

it is often mispronounced as “hai-per-bole” .  the correct pronunciation is  [HY] + [PUR] + [BUH] + [LEE]. the stress is on the second syllable.

2.     Mischievous:   /ˈmɪstʃɪvəs/:-

this word is often mispronounced as “mischi-vious”  Learner often puts stress on second syllable “chi” However the stress goes on the first syllable & is pronounced [MIS] + [CHI] + [VUHS]

3.     Asthma:   /ˈæsmə/:-

This “medical condition of the chest that makes breathing difficult” is mispronounced even by Advanced speakers. In this word, stress is on the first syllable & there is no “th” Sound hence the correct pronunciation is “æ” (as in Apple) æ –sma or [ASM] + [UH] Remember to accentuate the first syllable and you will get the pronunciation right.

4.     Suite:   /swiːt/

SUITE is pronounced exactly the same as SWEET.

5.     Colonel:   /ˈkɜːnl/

This word is often mispronounced. Even advanced speakers find it difficult to get the right pronunciation. Learners end up pronouncing it as “ko+lo+nl” However, the correct pronunciation is [KUR] + [NUHL] Prolong the second sound. There is no “o” sound. It has “ɜː” sound the sound that is in the Bird, Curt.

6.     Almond:   /ˈɑːmənd/

This word is commonly mispronounced. Though there is a letter “L” in the spelling of the word yet “L” sound is not produced while pronouncing the word. And that’s the key to get the pronunciation right. Remember to accentuate the very first sound of the word.

7.     Bury:   /ˈberi/

This is one of the commonly mispronounced words. It gets confusing for the learners because it has a letter “U” in it, however, while pronouncing the word instead of making U sound e sound is made. As in “berry”. [BERR] + [EE]  the pronunciation of both the words is the same.

8.     Epitome:   /ɪˈpɪtəmi/

This word is often pronounced as epi+tome. However, the correct pronunciation is I+pi+təmi. The stress goes on the second syllable “PI” & remember there is no “O”  sound.

9.     Salon:   /ˈsælɒn/

yup, it’s not se+lun. The correct pronunciation is [SAL] + [ON]. The stress goes on the first syllable.

10.     Chaos:   /ˈkeɪɒs/

[KAY] + [OS] say it out loud and exaggerate the sounds until you can consistently produce them.

11.     Genre:   /ˈʒɒ̃rə/

The word genre comes from French along with its lovely and confusing spelling. It is one of the commonly mispronounced words. It’s not pronounced as Jen-ner rather it is pronounced as zhon-ruh.

12.     Monk:   /mʌŋk/

It should be pronounced munk (rhyme with drunk).

13.     Coupon:    /ˈkuːpɒn/

It should be pronounced koo-pawn (rhyme with upon) & not koo-pun

14.    Plumber:    /ˈplʌmə(r)/

It should be pronounced Pla-muh (rhyme with summer, drummer) & not plum-ber

15.    Niche:   /niːʃ/

this word is one of the commonly mispronounced words. It is often mispronounced even by advanced speakers. it should be pronounced ni+sh.

16.    Monarchy:    /ˈmɒnəki/

[MON] + [UH] + [KEE] – say it out loud and exaggerate the sounds until you can consistently produce them. The stress is on the first syllable” MO” put stress on “o”

17.    Democracy:    /dɪˈmɒkrəsi/

this is often mispronounced as “De+mo+cra+see” whereas the correct pronunciation is [DI] + [MOK] + [RUH] + [SEE]. Second syllable is accentuated.

18.    Geography:     /dʒiˈɒɡrəfi/

It should be pronounced [JIO] + [GR] + [FEE]. The stress goes on the second syllable. It should not be pronounced “GO+GR+FEE”

19.    Photography:  /fəˈtɒɡrəfi/

This is quite commonly mispronounced in India & particularly by non-native speakers. let’s break photography down into sounds [FUH] + [TOG] + [RUH] + [FEE] remember  to stress the second syllable “TOG”

20.   Photographer: /fəˈtɒɡrəfə(r)/

Like the previous word let’s break this down into the sounds [FUH] + [TOG] + [RUH] + [FUH]. The stress is again on the second syllable.

21.   photographic:  /ˌfəʊtəˈɡræfɪk/

In this word, the secondary stress is on the first syllable & the primary stress goes on the third syllable. Let me break it into the sounds  [FOH] + [TUH] + [GRAF] + [IK]

22.   Tyranny:  /ˈtɪrəni/

this is again very commonly mispronounced. It’s not “TAI+RA+NEE” The correct pronunciation is  [TIRR] + [UH] + [NEE]  The letter “Y” is pronounced as “I” and it is accentuated as well.

23.   Executive:   /ɪɡˈzekjətɪv/

In India, this is mispronounced by all the executives. This is one word that is defiantly mispronounced by an average speaker. The correct pronunciation is  [IG] + [ZEK] + [YUH] + [TIV] Second syllable is accentuated.

24.   Extempore:  /ekˈstempəri/

this is very tricky. It is often mispronounced as EKS+TEM+PORE  However, the correct pronunciation is [EK] + [STEM] + [PUH] + [REE] the stress is on the second syllable.

25.   Divorce:  /dɪˈvɔːs/

it is often mispronounced as “Dai+vos” whereas the correct pronunciation is  [DUH] + [VAWS] the stress goes on the last syllable.

26.   Marijuana:  /ˌmærəˈwɑːnə/

it is often mispronounced as “Mary-joo-anna” the correct pronunciation is [MARR] + [I] + [WAA] + [NUH]  the primary stress is on the third syllable.

27.   Receipt:  /rɪˈsiːt/

Did you try to ever get it right? This is one word that is mispronounced very commonly. Despite having a letter “P” while pronouncing “P” sound is not made. So the right pronunciation is [RI] + [SEET]

28.   Tomb:  /tuːm/

This is often mispronounced as either “tuumb” or “ toomb” however the right pronunciation is [TOOM]. They key is that /b/ is silent like in the word comb.

29.   Determine:  /dɪˈtɜːmɪn/

it’s not pronounced “deter-mine” rather the correct pronunciation is [DI] + [TUR] + [MUHN] Second syllable of the word is accentuated. Rhyme with ermine.

30.   Cache:  /kæʃ/

it should be pronounced as [KASH] & not “cash-ay” the pronunciation of this word is the same as the “Cash”

31.   Chauvinism:   /ˈʃəʊvɪnɪzəm/

it should be pronounced [SHOH] + [VUH] + [NI] + [ZUHM] the stress is on the first syllable. “ch” is pronounced as “sh”

32.   Probably:   /ˈprɒbəbli/

this is one of the commonly mispronounced words. it should be pronounced as [PROB] + [UHB] + [LEE] the first syllable is accentuated.

33.   Probability: /ˌprɒbəˈbɪləti/

it should be pronounced [PROB] + [UH] + [BIL] + [UH] + [TEE] remember it’s not “pro+baye+bi+litee” Primary stress is on the third syllable.

34.   Police:  /pəˈliːs/

it is often mispronounced as “poo-leece” whereas the correct pronunciation is [PUH] + [LEES] accentuate “lees”

35.   Sour:  /ˈsaʊə(r)

the correct pronunciation is [SOW] + [UH]

36.   Pizza:  /ˈpiːtsə/

we all love pizza but this is quite commonly mispronounced. It should be pronounced  [PEET] + [SUH] the word doesn’t have a letter “T” in it. however, while pronouncing there is a “T” sound.

37.   Dengue:  /ˈdeŋɡi/

many learners pronounce it as “den+guu” However, it should be pronounced [DEN] + [GHEE] the stress is on the first syllable.

38.   Dessert:  /dɪˈzɜːt/

it should be pronounced [DI] + [ZURT]. The stress goes on the second syllable.

39.   Schedule:  /ˈʃedjuːl/

Now, this is really tricky. The right pronunciation of this word is [SHEJ] + [OOL] in British English. The very first sound is prolonged.

40.   Bowl:  /bəʊl/

it is pronounced [BOHL] the key is to get the diphthong right in order to enunciate the word correctly.

41.   Truth:   /truːθ/

This basic word is often overlooked. The correct pronunciation is [TROOTH]  remember to  stretch “u”

42.   Develop:   /dɪˈveləp/

it should be pronounced as [DI] + [VEL] + [UHP] put stress on second syllable.

43. quote:   /kwəʊt/

this is one of the commonly mispronounced words. the right pronunciation is [KWOHT]. In order to enunciate the word correctly, the learner has to get the diphthong right.

44.   Heart:  /hɑːt/

it should be pronounced [HAAT] remember to accentuate “a:” sound

45.   Rendezvous:   /ˈrɒndɪvuː/

it should be pronounced [RON] + [DI] + [VOOZ]  the stress goes on the first syllable.

46.   Colleague:  /ˈkɒliːɡ/

it should be pronounced  [KOL] + [EEG] the stress goes on the first syllable.

47.   Comment:   /ˈkɒment/

it should be pronounced  [KOM] + [ENT] the stress goes on the first syllable.

48.   Athlete:    /ˈæθliːt/

it should be pronounced  [ATH] + [LEET] the stress goes on the first syllable.

49.   Gauge:  /ɡeɪdʒ/

this instrument for measuring the amount or level of something is often mispronounced. The correct pronunciation is [GAYJ]. The key is to be able to make “ei” sound right.

50.   Gnaw:  /nɔː/

it should be pronounced [NAW]

51.   Luxury:  /ˈlʌkʃəri/

this could be tricky for the learners. The correct pronunciation is [LUK] + [SHUH] + [REE] yeah that’s right there is “sh” sound in pronunciation. And the stress goes on the first syllable.

52.   Meme:  /miːm/

it should be pronounced  [MEEM]

53.   February:  /ˈfebruəri/

It is quite often mispronounced. The correct pronunciation is  [FEB] + [YUH] + [REE]

54.   Pronunciation:  /prəˌnʌnsiˈeɪʃn/

the word “pronunciation” itself is mispronounced quite often. The correct way of pronouncing is [PRUH] + [NUN] + [SEE] + [AY] + [SHUHN] the stress is on the last syllable.

55.   Video:  /ˈvɪdiəʊ/

it should be pronounced  [VID] + [EE] + [OH]  the stress goes on the first syllable.

56.   Zebra:  /ˈzebrə/

it should be pronounced [ZEB] + [RUH]  the stress goes on the first syllable.

57.   Specifically:  /spəˈsɪfɪkli/

The correct pronunciation is [SPUH] + [SIF] + [IK] + [LEE]  the stress goes on the second syllable.

58.   Realistically: /ˌriːəˈlɪstɪkli/

The correct pronunciation is  [REE] + [UH] + [LIST] + [IK] + [LEE]  the stress is on the third syllable.

59.   Strategically:/strəˈtiːdʒɪkli/

The correct pronunciation is  [STRUH] + [TEE] + [JIK] + [LEE] the stress is on the second syllable.

60.   Economically :  /ˌiːkəˈnɒmɪkli/

it should be pronounced  [EE] + [KUH] + [NOM] + [IK] + [LEE] the primary stress is on the third syllable.

61.   Continue:     /kənˈtɪnjuː/

it is often mispronounced. The correct pronunciation is   [KUHN] + [TIN] + [YOO] second syllable is accentuated.

62.   Technology:    /tekˈnɒlədʒi/

this is quite often mispronounced. The correct pronunciation is  [TEK] + [NOL] + [UH] + [JEE] the stress goes on the second syllable.

63.   Psychology:  /saɪˈkɒlədʒi/

the correct pronunciation is [SY] + [KOL] + [UH] + [JEE] like the previous word stress is on the second syllable.

64.   Opposite:  /ˈɒpəzɪt/

this word is quite often mispronounced. The correct pronunciation is [OP] + [UH] + [ZIT]  the stress is on the first syllable.

65.   Priority:   /praɪˈɒrəti/

the correct pronunciation is  [PRY] + [ORR] + [UH] + [TEE]  the stress is on the second syllable.

66.   Miscellaneous:  /ˌmɪsəˈleɪniəs/

the pronunciation of this word is [MIS] + [UH] + [LAY] + [NEE] + [UHS] the primary stress goes on the third syllable.

67.   Competitive:   /kəmˈpetətɪv/

This is quite commonly mispronounced. the correct pronunciation is [KUHM] + [PET] + [UH] + [TIV]  remember to put  stress on the second syllable.

68.   Volatility:   /ˌvɒləˈtɪləti/

getting your stress right can help you pronounce this word correctly. [VOL] + [UH] + [TIL] + [UH] + [TEE] the primary stress goes on the third syllable.

69.   Regime:   /reɪˈʒiːm/

it should be pronounced [RAY] + [ZHEEM]  the stress is on the last syllable.
70.   conch:    /kɒntʃ/

it should be pronounced  [KONCH]

Here are 4 tips that should help you perfect your pronunciation:-

  •  Break down into sounds: say it out loud and exaggerate the sounds until you can consistently produce them.
  •  Record yourself saying the target word in full sentences, then watch yourself and listen. You’ll be able to mark your mistakes quite easily.
  •   Look up tutorials on Youtube on how to pronounce target word
  •  Focus on one accent: mixing multiple accents can get really confusing especially for beginners, so pick one accent (US or UK) and stick to it.

“Thanks for reading. If you liked this post, make sure to share & subscribe for more!”

More Pronunciation Articles At Be Invincible

WORD, SENTENCE AND SYLLABLE STRESS

You can also check this article 25 English words we commonly mispronounced words.

Should you wish to contact Keshav to engage him as a motivational speaker or to get help to acquire globally accepted standard English pronunciation or business English and creative writing, feel free to call /WhatsApp at 9718743558 or you can write him at [email protected]://jhakeshav.com.