13 Difficult Words to Pronounce in English. English pronunciation is one of the biggest handicaps when you are faced with learning a language, we know it. Today, you are going to discover a selection of words that are difficult to pronounce in English. You’re sure to have found yourself having to be careful about pronouncing some words, don’t worry, it’s natural. There are many ways to improve pronunciation and one of the most efficient is by listening to podcasts and chats in English. Putting listening and speaking into practice is essential in order to learn to communicate in another language. In this post, we have prepared the 13 most difficult words to pronounce in English. Read and remember so you’ll have thirteen fewer worries.
We start this top of difficult-to-pronounce English words with one that poses quite a headache for Spanish speakers. The ‘b’ and ‘v’ have different sounds in the English language, but not in Spanish.
In fact, ‘v’ is pronounced as if it were an ‘f’, which let’s face it, complicates the task. When these two letters are together, the complexity increases. In this case, the word is pronounced like this:
- Obviously: [ˈɒbviəsli]
In this second example, we are going to contrast two words that some people believe are homophones in English, but they’re not. There are people with an advanced level of English who keep coming across them. To help you, you should only pronounce the one that has the most vowels together with the pronunciation that articulates the most vowels in a row.
- Quiet: /kwaɪət/
- Quite: /kwaɪt/
We continue with the 13 most difficult words to pronounce in English with this pair that tends to create a lot of misunderstandings. Pay attention, because the difference between these two is basically the combination of the two phonemes at the same time [ɛ] y [ə]. The two together make the difference between the two when pronounced together.
- Were: [ˈwəʳ]
- Where: [ˈhwɛəʳ]
This adjective may be one of the strangest. It’s funny how, being a long word, its pronunciation is so concise. It all comes down to two phonemes, as you can see below.
- Awesome: [ˈɔːsəm]
We continue with this list of difficult words to pronounce with a term that makes reference to a type of food. You’ve probably resorted to this option when you don’t feel like cooking. It’s easier to pronounce than you think.
- Wrap: [ˈræp]
It may be one of the words people get stuck with the most when talking. Do you know what the problem is? Most Spanish speakers pronounce -able as if it were table (mesa), and the correct phonetics is /ˈteɪbəl/.
None of the words with that ending are actually pronounced like this. The ‘a’ has a sound between the ‘a’ and ‘e’. Phonetically it’s represented as /ə/. Also, the ending -ble sounds more like /bel/ but with an ‘o’.
- Vegetable: /ˈvedʒtəbəl/
It’s one of the most used adverbs in English and it raises when serious doubts when it comes to be pronounced. The fact that the letters ‘gh’ are pronounced like an ‘f’ in Spanish is a real enigma and it’s difficult to adapt to this phonetics.
- Enough: [ɪˈnʌf]
It’s without doubt one of the most difficult words to pronounce in English. You read it and immediately short-circuit. How it is written and its phonetics have nothing to do with each other and this is confusing. In addition, its pronunciation varies greatly depending on whether the interlocutor is British or American.
- Schedule: /ˈʃedjuːl/
We return to another pair of words that tend to raise doubts about their pronunciation. The key is in the time you pronounce the vowel. You must remember to use long vowels, when necessary, lengthen it and you will see how your English improves with this trick.
- Beach: [ˈbiːtʃ]
- Bitch: [ˈbɪtʃ]
We hope that you’re not one of those people who hate having their birthday. In any case, pronouncing this word is not an easy task. If there is an ‘r’ in the middle of the word, Spanish speakers have a serious desire to pronounce it, but no, we shouldn’t. You are going to have to uproot yourself from this letter, because in English, the phonetics are different.
- Birthday: [ˈb3ːrθdeɪ]
We continue this top 13 most difficult words to pronounce in English with this complex and gloomy term. Don’t be afraid of it, once you know its phonetics, you will have no problem with its pronunciation. To say it correctly, you must forget how it’s written in Spanish and do not add a ‘n’ to it. Also, you should note that the last ‘e’ is pronounced as an ‘a’.
- Cemetery: [ˈsɛmɪtri]
This is probably one of the first words you learnt in English, or even included it in your Spanish speech to refer to something that is stylish and impressive. Either way, if you pronounce it, do it right. It seems simple, but many people say it wrong.
- Girl: [ˈg3ːrl]
We finish this list of difficult to pronounce words in English, with a frequently used adjective. We are not going to fool you; it is difficult to say all the vowels it contains. It is so syllabic that it is difficult for us to pronounce it properly. The combination of the vowels ([ɛ] y [ə]) is something that provides a good pronunciation many times.
- Interesting: [ˈɪntərɛstɪŋ]
What do you think about this selection of words that are difficult to pronounce in English? This is just the beginning, a language is not reduced to this but it is important to clear up any doubts, right? We recommend that you take a look at this post on 5 basic rules of phonetics in English to continue delving into this subject.