Ignore the stupid letters! Focus on the sounds!

Just ignore the stupid letters!

OK, I know English pronunciation is not the easiest, but it isn’t so0o0o0o bad.

For example, “laughed” may look difficult, but it’s easy.  You can say “lift” and “left” so just change the vowel /laft/.

“Kissed” is almost always mispronounced.  But if you can say “list” “mist” or “wrist” then it’s no problem.  To say “kissed” correctly just change the fist consonant sound: /kist/.

Students often tell me that saying “walked” /wakt/ and “talked” /takt/ is “impossible” because of the combination of final consonants.  Why? People can say “fact” /fakt/, “pact” /pakt/ and “contact” /contakt/ with absolutely no problem.  Trust me, you can do it!  Good news: the same final sound exists in thousands of words:

packed, liked, faked, backed, locked…

You just have to accept the fact that you have to ignore some of the stupid letters.  For example, in past participles,  we often don’t pronounce the final “e”.  Many students feel obligated to say the “e” but it’s a big error.  With past participles, we only pronounce the final “e” when the last letter of the verb is “T” or “D”.

Examples of pronouncing final “e” in a past partiple (notice they end in “T” or “D”):  paintEd, statEd, endEd, addEd…

Examples of NOT pronouncing final “e” in a past partiple (notice they end in all the other letters): kissed /kist/, walked /walkt/, touched /toucht/, called /cald/…

Notice that when we don’t pronounce the “e” sometimes the “ed”  is pronounced /t/ and sometimes /d/.  This, we will talk about another day.  If you can just remember to stop pronouncing the “e”, you are 80% there.

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