English Pronunciation is Crazy

I’ve heard it from my students a million times. English pronunciation is crazy. English pronunciation makes no sense. English pronunciation is too random. And to those students, I say “You’re absolutely right”. There is virtually no consistency in how to pronounce a word. It takes a while to realise that the past tense of ‘read’ is not ‘read’, but ‘read’. 😜 That is, the present of ‘read’ is pronounced ‘reed’, while the past is pronounced ‘red’, even though they are both spelled exactly the same. Fun, huh? You gotta love it. Well, you don’t have to love it, but you have to learn it. Here are a few examples of English pronunciatin madness:

  1. The bandage was wound around the wound
  2. The farms produce produce
  3. The city dump had to refuse the refuse
  4. We need to polish the Polish furniture
  5. He could lead if he got the lead out
  6. The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert
  7. She wanted to present the present
  8. A bass was painted on the bass drum
  9. The dove dove away from the eagle and escaped
  10. She does not object to the object
  11. The invalid found that his insurance policy was invalid
  12. They were too close to close the door

How can you tell the pronunciation? The key to most of these is the part of speech, particularly if the word is a noun, verb, or adjective. You will find that when a word has 2 different meanings and pronunciations, they will depend on if the word is being used as a noun, verb, or adjective. In the future, I hope to write a follow up article about the rules for switching pronunciation.

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