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Commonly Mispronounced Words

19 Commonly Mispronounced Words

Nail tricky words! Get it right with our guide to commonly mispronounced words. #Pronunciation #LanguageTips

Public speaking in English may be somewhat challenging as most of its speakers can’t avoid mispronounced words. This is merely because there are lots of phrases that most of speakers struggle in pronouncing, at least once or twice.  Basically, there are lots of words that are mispronounced through decades.

Basically, there are some common words that are mispronounced and here are the right ways to pronounce.

  1. Coup de grace

koo-de-GRAHS

It is actually a French phrase that is very common to use in English. The real meaning is ‘a stroke of grace’ that means killing enemies out of their misery. The phrase is transformed into English as mispronounced words.

Most English speakers pronounce it as “coo-de-gra. It could be that people are aware that leaving out the last “s” is very common for French phrase.

  1. Prestigious

pre-STI-jus

This phrase means having prestige or being honored. Yet, this is one of so many mispronounced words. Lots of people pronounce the first “i” in the word as “ee”.  The fact is it is required to pronounce it as short “i,”. Meanwhile the second “i” should not be emphasized. The pronunciation should be “pre-sti-jus,” instead of “pre-stee-jus”.

  1. Anyway

EH-nee-way

It seems to be an easy word to pronounce though there are people mispronounce it. Some people just add “s” at the end of the word.  Even worse, “Anyways” becomes more and more common. So, it is clear that this word is ANYWAY and there is no additional ‘s’

  1. Tenet

TEN-eht

A word tenet with one “n” means a basic belief. Meanwhile, a tenant with a second “n” means a person who rents from a landlord, whether it is a house or an apartment.

Some people even say tenant instead of tenet, even if they mean to speak the latter word.

  1. Electoral

ee-LECK-tor-al

This term is very common in which it means the President choosing process. However, this word is one of the most mispronounced words though this word has such exact meaning.

For your information, the accent is not on the third, but on the second syllable. It is supposed to be “ee-LECK-tor-al,” instead of “ee-leck-TOR-al.”  Some people also say “ee-leck-TOR-ee-al”.

  1. Hyperbole

high-PER-boh-lee

This phrase means exaggeration. This is not a common word to speak but many people still mispronounce it. Some people even mention “Hyper-bowl.”

It is true that this phrase is originated from the ancient Greek. Most Greek words with final “e” is pronounced like epi-tuh-mee in epitome.

  1. Mischievous

MIS-chuh-vus

Lots of speakers pronounce this phrase with an additional syllable; “mis-CHEE-vee-ee-us”. Some of them even add an extra “i”. This kind of mistake already occurred since the 16th century and it still often occurs now.

  1. Segue

SEG-way

It is much simpler to pronounce this word as “seg-u.” Segue means to lead from one thing to another without any pause. This word should be pronounced just like the Segway.

  1. Affidavit

Ah-fuh-day-vit

Some people mistakenly pronounce it as ah-fee-day-vid.

This word means a written, legal statement that is used in court as evidence.

  1. Remuneration

re-MYOO-nuh-ray-shun

This phrase is very common among business people. This word means payment received after the accomplishment for work or service. Almost every speaker flips the “m” and the “n”. So, instead of speaking “re-MYOO-nuh-ray-shun”, it is often pronounced “re-NUM-eration. It can be because people think that it relates to NUMbers.

  1. Acai

ah-sah-EE

It is much easier to say uh-KAI, instead of the right pronunciation ah-sah-EE

Acai is a kind of berry in purple. It is a good and delicious kind of fruits. It is very nutritious especially when it is served with vanilla yogurt or granola.

  1. Prostrate

PRA-straight

It is common to hear this word without an “r”.  This is because it is very common to confuse this word with “prostate.”

For your information, prostrate means lying face down. Meanwhile, prostate with one “r” refers to a male organ.

  1. Comptroller

con-TROLL-er

This word refers to a management-level position that deals with accounting and financial reporting. Believe it or not, this word has been very confusing since the 16th century.

Notwithstanding its spelling, it’s theoretically pronounced without the “p”. ‘Magically, the letter ‘M” is replaced by “N”.

The spelling is weird because it relates to compte, a French word.

  1. Ophthalmologist

off-tha(l)-MOLL-o-gist

Basically, it is common to speak “oph,” as an “f” though many people still speak ‘op’, just like ‘optic’. This word is from the Greek word “ophthalmos” that means “the eye”.

There are two “l” letters in this word that it is even harder to pronounce. The good news is, we don’t have to pronounce it.

  1. Quay

kee

Quay is a platform that is built next to bodies of water. It is used for either loading and unloading freight or passengers.  Many people pronounce it incorrectly as “kway.”  The right pronounce is actually “kee.”

The spelling seems odd because it is originated from the French word. So, it is pronounced as its original word.

  1. Almond

AHL-muhnd

This very common word has such a high percentage of mispronounced words.  Lots of people still pronounce it as AL-mond.

The mispronunciation of this word happens when the emphasis is heavily placed on the “l” at the start of the phrase.

  1. Aluminum

Correct: uh-LOO-mi-num

This is an American English with similar meaning as “Aluminium” in British English. People mispronounce it as uh-LUM-i-num Aluminum is a kind of mostly used metal. Lot sof speakers mispronounce this word as the first “u,” is creating an “uh” sound instead of the right “ew” sound.

  1. Arkansas

AR-kuhn-saw

Arkansas is the name of a state that is located near the Mississippi River in the southern United States. The end syllable “-saw” is mostly where people mispronounce it. Some people, mostly non native speakers pronounce it as AR-kuhn-sas

  1. Asphalt

ASS-fawlt

This word refers to the thick, black liquid for paving roads. Even lots of natives mispronounce this phrase as Az-fawlt. More often as they don’t feel sure about pronouncing the “ph” part of the word.

Coup de gracePrestigiousAnyway
TenetElectoralHyperbole
MischievousSegueAffidavit
RemunerationAcaiProstrate
ComptrollerOphthalmologistAlmond
AluminumArkansasAsphalt
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