Turkish language backgrounds

33 common English pronunciation problems

FIX PROBLEM ENGLISH SOUND - COMMON ERROR - PRACTICE MATERIALS
Move front of tongue a little higher. /e/ "set" /æ/ "sat" Minimal Pairs /e/ or /æ/ practice

Tongue low central. Lips relaxed. /ʌ/ "bud" /ɜ:/ "bird" Minimal Pairs /ʌ/ or /ɜ:/ practice

Tongue more central. Lips relaxed. /ʌ/ "cup" /æ/ "cap" Minimal Pairs /æ/ or /ʌ/ practice

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

Practise the neutral vowel /ə/
using spoken dialogues


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

Tongue low, back & fixed. Jaws together. /ɔ:/ "bought" /əʊ/ "boat"
Mouth more open. Make sound longer. /ɑ:/ "cart" /ʌ/ "cut"
Back of tongue high. Keep lips tightly rounded. /u:/ "tool" /ʊə/ "tour"
Start with tongue low front. /aɪ/ "buy"

Minimal Pairs /eɪ/ or /aɪ / practice

Start with tongue low & back. /ɔɪ/ "boy"


Tongue central. Then tightly round lips. /əʊ/ "note" /ɒ/ "not" Minimal Pairs /əʊ/ or /ɒ/ practice

Tongue central. Then tightly round lips. /əʊ/ "bone" /ɔ:/ "born"
Tongue from centre front. Draw back to centre. /eə/ "bear" /eɪ/ "bay"
Voiced. Vibration. Trap air with lips. /b/ "rib" /p/ "rip"
Tip of tongue behind top teeth. /d/ "made" /t/ "mate" Minimal Pairs /t/ or /d/ practice

Voiced. Friction with top teeth & bottom lip. /v/ "vet" /w/ "wet" Minimal Pairs /w/ or /v/ practice

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. Friction. Tongue between teeth. /ð/ "they" /d/ "day" Minimal Pairs /ð/ or /d/ practice

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

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

Unvoiced: Tip to alveolar. Front to palate. /ʧ/ "watch" /ʃ/ "wash"
Quickly push air from throat out of mouth. /h/ "hot"
"ch" in "loch" Minimal Pairs /h/ or silent "h" practice

British /r/ is weaker & sometimes silent. /r/ "sir"
"sirrrr"
Contact. Brief "schwa" after release. /ɫ/ "tall" (dark l)


Lips tightly together. Nasal. /m/ "home"


Tongue touches alveolar ridge. Nasal. /n/ "sun"


Back of tongue to back roof. Nasal. /ŋk/ "think" /ŋ/ "thing" Minimal Pairs /ŋ/ or /ŋk/ practice

Voiced stop: back of tongue to back roof. /ŋ/ "thing" /ŋk/ "think" Minimal Pairs /ŋ/ or /ŋk/ practice

Start with lips tightly rounded. Unround & glide. /w/ "west" /v/ "vest" Minimal Pairs /w/ or /v/ practice

Many thanks to Oliver Fortune for feedback used to amend this table.


EXTERNAL LINK: Non-native pronunciations of English: Turkish L1