Portuguese language backgrounds

26 common English pronunciation problems

FIX PROBLEM ENGLISH SOUND - COMMON ERROR - PRACTICE MATERIALS
Relax the mouth and keep sound short. /ɪ/ "sit" /i:/ "seat" Minimal Pairs /ɪ/ or / i: / practice

Move tongue to a lower front position. /æ/ "man" /e/ "men" Minimal Pairs /e/ or /æ/ practice

Tongue low central. Lips relaxed. /ʌ/ "cup"

Minimal Pairs /æ/ or /ʌ/ practice
Minimal Pairs /ʌ/ or /ɜ:/ practice

Keep mouth round and tongue back. /ɒ/ "not"

Minimal Pairs /ɒ/ or /ɔ:/ practice

Back of tongue high. Lips rounded but relaxed. Short. /ʊ/ "full" /u:/ "fool" Minimal Pairs /ʊ/ or / u: / practice

Weak endings: e.g. "London" "England" /ə/ "the" (schwa)

Practise the neutral vowel /ə/
using spoken dialogues


Mouth more open and tongue to low central. /ɑ:/ "part" /e/ "pet"
Tongue back a little & mouth open. /ɑ:/ "cart" /æ/ "cat" Minimal Pairs /æ/ or /ɑ:/ practice

Tongue low & back. Jaws together. Long. /ɔ:/ "nought" /ɒ/ "not" Minimal Pairs /ɒ/ or /ɔ:/ practice

Fix tongue in central position. Long. /ɜ:/ "bird"

Minimal Pairs /e/ or /ɜ:/ practice
Minimal Pairs /ʌ/ or /ɜ:/ practice
Minimal Pairs /ɔ:/ or /ɜ:/ practice

Tongue moves from front centre to front high. /eɪ/ "late" /e/ "let" Minimal Pairs /e/ or /eɪ/ practice

Tongue central. Then tightly round lips. /əʊ/ "note" /ɒ/ "not"
Tongue central. Then tightly round lips. /əʊ/ "bone" /ɔ:/ "born"
Tongue high and front. Move to centre. /ɪə/ "beer" /eə/ "bear"
Start with lips tightly rounded. Unround. /ʊə/ "tour"


Voiced. Vibration. Trap air with lips. /b/ "bet" /v/ "vet"
Voiceless. Friction. Tongue between teeth. /θ/ "thin"

Minimal Pairs /θ/ or /ð/ practice
Minimal Pairs /θ/ or /t/ practice
Minimal Pairs /θ/ or /d/ practice
Minimal Pairs /θ/ or /s/ practice

Voiced. Friction. Tongue between teeth. /ð/ "clothe" /θ/ "cloth" Minimal Pairs /θ/ or /ð/ practice

Voiced: tip of tongue behind top teeth. Friction. /z/ "rise" /s/ "rice" Minimal Pairs /s/ or /z/ practice

Quickly push air from throat out of mouth. /h/ "hot"
"ch" in "loch" Minimal Pairs /h/ or silent "h" practice

Unvoiced: Tip to alveolar. Front to palate. /ʧ/ "cherry" /ʃ/ "sherry"
Voiced: Tip to alveolar. Front to palate. /ʤ/ "age" /ʃ/ "Asia"
British "r" is weaker & usually silent unless followed by a vowel. silent "survivor" /r/ "Sir Ivor"
Back of tongue to back roof. Nasal. /ŋk/ "think" /ŋ/ "thing" Minimal Pairs /ŋ/ or /ŋk/ practice

Glide /j/(i:) the tongue quickly to next sound /j/ "yam" /ʤ/ "jam" Minimal Pairs /ʤ/ or /j/ practice

Start with lips tightly rounded. Unround & glide. /w/ "wet"

Minimal Pairs /w/ or /v/ practice


EXTERNAL LINKS: Non-native pronunciations of English: Portuguese L1
Portinglês