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How to Improve your Pronunciation

Do you find it difficult to pronounce words in English? Do people sometimes say that you’re hard to understand? Here are three tips to help you improve your pronunciation.

Pay attention to your mouth and tongue

The next time you're watching an English video or movie, pay close attention to the actors' mouths. Replay the video in slow motion. Try to copy the faces and sounds the actors are making.

If you can't figure out how to pronounce something, ask your teacher or a native speaker how they position their mouth when they say it.

Practice intonation and stress

When you listen to someone speaking, you'll notice that their voice goes up or down with each word. This is called intonation and it can change depending on the speaker’s emotions or accent.

Simple statements like, "I want to go to the store" usually have little or no intonation; while yes-or-no questions like, "Do you want to go to the store?" have a rising intonation. Other questions like, "Where do you want to go?" have a falling intonation.

Each word also has its own stress. For example, the word "present" is pronounced differently depending on the meaning. If you say, "PRE-sent," the word is a noun meaning either "now" or "a gift." But if you say, "pre-SENT," it's a verb meaning, "to give or show."

Record yourself

Choose a few phrases from a movie and practice saying them over and over. Then, use a camera to record yourself. Check to make sure your mouth and tongue are in the right place, and that you're placing stress on the right part of each word.

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