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English pronunciation examples


Recently I wrote about English pronunciation and then an email appeared in my inbox. I am unable to acknowledge the source and you may have seen it, but it bears out my premise…that English has more exceptions than rules when it comes to pronunciation.

By the way – if you don’t know how to pronounce English words, then these won’t make any sense to you!

And something which amazes me is that I can read each example correctly without having to repeat it. In other words I know how each of the highlighted words should sound within the context of the sentence the first time I read it.

Here’s a group of words with the same spelling but each of the highlighted words are pronounced differently.

Under each of the sentences I have given an alternative meaning so that if you can’t speak English then you’ll understand the difference in the words

1. The bandage was wound around the wound.
1a. The bandage winds(turns)around the sore/cut.

2. The farm was used to produce produce.
2a. The farm grew vegetables.

3. The dump was so full that it had to refuse more refuse.
3a. The dump was so full they had to say no to more rubbish.

4. We must polish the Polish furniture.
4a. We must shine the furniture from Poland.

5. He could lead if he would get the lead out.
5a. He could be at the front if he would speed up.

6. The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert.
6a. The soldier decided to leave his sweets in the driest place.

7. Since there is no time like the present, he thought it was time to present the present.
7a Since there is no time like now he thought it was time to give the gift.

8. When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes.
8a When shot at the bird, dived into the bushes.

9. I did not object to the object.
9a I did not say no to the thing.

10. The insurance was invalid for the invalid.
10a The insurance wasn’t claimable for the person with the disability.

11. There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row.
11a. There was an argument among the oarsmen about how they should paddle.

12. They were too close to the door to close it.
12a. They were too near to the door to shut it.

13. The buck does funny things when the does are present.
13a The buck acts strangely when the female deers are present.

14. Upon seeing the tear in the painting I shed a tear.
14a Upon seeing the rip in the painting I cried.

15. I had to subject the subject to a series of tests.
15a I had to give the person a series of tests.

16. How can I intimate this to my most intimate friend?
16a How can I explain this to my best friend.


Let's face it - English is a crazy language. … Sometimes I think all the English speakers should be committed to an asylum for the verbally insane. English was invented by people, not computers, and it reflects the creativity of the human race, which, of course, is not a race at all.
And for you lovers of the English language

There is a two-letter word that probably has more meanings than any other two-letter word, and that is 'UP.'

It's easy to understand UP, meaning toward the sky or at the top of the list, but when we awaken in the morning, why do we wake UP? At a meeting, why does a topic come UP? Why do we speak UP and why are the officers UP for election and why is it UP to the secretary to write UP a report?

We call UP our friends. And we use it to brighten UP a room, polish UP the silver; we warm UP the leftovers and clean UP the kitchen. We lock UP the house and some guys fix UP the old car. At other times the little word has real special meaning. People stir UP trouble, line UP for tickets, work UP an appetite, and think UP excuses. To be dressed is one thing, but to be dressed UP is special. A drain must be opened UP because it is stopped UP. We open UP a store in the morning but we close it UP at night.

We seem to be pretty mixed UP about UP! To be knowledgeable about the proper uses of UP, look the word UP in the dictionary. In a desk-sized dictionary, it takes UP almost a quarter of the page and can add UPto about thirty definitions. If you are UP to it, you might try building UP a list of the many ways UP is used. It will take UP a lot of your time, but if you don't give UP, you may wind UP with a hundred or more. When it threatens to rain, we say it is clouding UP. When the sun comes out we say it is clearing UP.
When it rains, it wets the earth and often messes things UP.
When it doesn't rain for awhile, things dry UP.

One could go on and on, but I'll wrap it UP,for now my time is UP,so........it is time to shut UP! Now it's UP to you what you do with this email.

This took a lot of work to put together! Thank you to whomever did it!
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Content copyright © 2014 by Felicity Bleckly. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Felicity Bleckly. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Felicity Bleckly for details.

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