Homophones

Homophones are words that are pronounced the same but have different spellings and meanings.

The words but are easy to say but it’s important to know the spellings and meanings og the most common English homophones. Even native-speakers of English sometimes make mistakes in there their writing.

Test yourself with our interactive homophone quiz.

TRY THE QUIZ

Homophones interactive quiz

Did you find this useful? We’re always interested to get feedback or suggestions so feel free to use the comment box below and send us a message.

 


Do you need to develop your spoken and written English? Contact us to talk about doing a  course.

 

Pronunciation round-up

The schwa - the most common sound in English
The schwa – the most common sound in English

At Stratford Teachers, pronunciation is one of our favourite subjects. This is because it’s very important to have good pronunciation so people can understand you. Of course, it’s also an area of language that you can improve more quickly when you have a teacher.

Here are some of our blog posts about pronunciation from the last year.

 

The spelling of English words can be very confusing. We wrote three posts showing some common sound/spelling combinations :

Sounds and spelling  – vowels 1

Sounds and spelling  – vowels 2

Sounds and spelling – vowels 3

 

Sometimes, somebody asks you to spell your name over the phone. Here’s some help for doing that.

Spelling words with the international radio alphabet

 

What is the most common sounds in English? (Hint: look at the picture at the top of this page.) Click on this link and find out.

The most common sound in English

 

Another important part of English pronunciation but what is it?

What is word stress

Words with predictable stress

 

If you have any questions about English pronunciation, leave a comment below.

If you are interested in improving your pronunciation with Stratford Teachers, send us a message.

 

The Sounds of English – Part 2

Here is the second part of our presentation on the sounds of English pronunciation.

The presentation covers:

  • Using mouth diagrams to help you put your mouth in the right position.
  • Two ideas for practising linking words together.

Make sure you use the full-screen button and turn up the sound on your computer so you can hear Louise and Barney say the example words and sentences.

Click on the picture to go to the presentation.

Sounds of English - Part 2

Watch The Sounds of English – Part 1 and our Introduction to English Pronunciation.

By Barney and Louise

 

If you have any questions about this or suggestions, leave a comment below.

If you are interested in improving your pronunciation with Stratford Teachers, send us a message.

You can also watch our other videos on pronunciation and look at the list of our Specialist Pronunciation lessons.

 

The most common sound in English

Do you know what the most common sound is in English?

It’s a very short little vowel sound called the schwa.

The schwa - the most common sound in English
The schwa – the most common sound in English

 

So, why is the schwa so common?

To find out, watch the video. Louise and Barney explain why this little sound is so important.

 

 

Download the transcript of the video including the word list.

Barney and Louise

 

If you have any questions about this or suggestions, leave a comment below.

If you are interested in learning with Stratford Teachers, send us a message.

 

The Sounds of English – part 1

Here is our second presentation on English pronunciation.

This one focuses on the sounds of English.

The presentation covers:

  • Problem sounds that learners find difficult such as the /θ/ sound at the start of think and the /ð/ sound at the start of this.
  • Minimal pairs such as the very similar sounding ship and sheep.
  • End sounds like the -ed sound at the end of regular past simple verbs such as liked.

As before, make sure you use the fullscreen button and turn up the sound on your computer so you can hear Louise and Barney say the example words and sentences.

Click on the picture to go to the presentation.

Sounds of the English - click to go to the presentation

If you liked this, watch our Introduction to English Pronunciation.

The next presentation will be the Sounds of English – Part 2.

Barney and Louise

 

If you have any questions about this or suggestions, leave a comment below.

If you are interested in learning with Stratford Teachers, send us a message.

An Introduction to English Pronunciation

Clear pronunciation is an important part of speaking a language.

Here is our list of the key aspects of English pronunciation:

  • the sounds of English
  • word stress
  • sentence stress
  • intonation
  • accent
  • clarity

We made a presentation to introduce these aspects. It explains each aspect and tell you why it is important when you are speaking in English.

The presentation is about 15-20 minutes. Make sure you click on the ‘full-screen’ button (in the bottom-right) and turn up the sound on your computer so you can see and hear everything clearly.

Introduction to Pronunciation - presentation

We hope you enjoyed this presentation.

Our next presentation will focus in more detail on the sounds of English.

Here is the link to the chart of the sounds you saw in the presentation. You can click to hear each sound.

Barney and Louise

 

If you have any questions about this or suggestions, leave a comment below.

If you are interested in learning with Stratford Teachers, send us a message.

 

Word stress: words with predictable stress

This time, we look at a group of words where word stress is predictable.

All these words end in the letters:

  • -sion
  • -tion
  • or -cian

and the sound /ʃən/

For each of these words, the strong syllable is the one before this last syllable.

Remember the word stress for ‘station’ /ˈsteɪ.ʃən/? The first syllable is the strong one because it comes before -tion.

Now watch the video to hear and practise some other examples.

Here are the words you hear in the video. with links to the Cambridge Dictionary definition and pronunciation.

Words with 2 syllables:

 

Words with 3 syllables:

 

Words with 4 syllables:

 

Words with 5 syllables:

If you want to practise matching these words to the phonetic symbols that show their pronunciation, here is a Quizlet study set.

By Louise and Barney

 

If you have any questions about this, leave a comment below.

If you are interested in learning with Stratford Teachers, send us a message.