10 Commonly Mispronounced Words- Get them Right!

Oct 24, 2016 | Language

What is Pronunciation?

Pronunciation is the accepted way of how words are spoken in a particular language independent of any regional dialect or accent. Correct pronunciation refers to not just the sound but also the intonation, stress on specific letters and manner of speaking. It is not always led by the spelling, which makes it difficult to grasp for non-native speakers leading to mispronunciation. English is specially tricky due to it’s multilingual origin & centuries of evolution. In this article, you’ll find out some commonly mispronounced words and the right way to say them.

Correct pronunciation forms one of the basic pillars of effective communication. It’s one of the most important things that people notice when you speak; mispronounced words are even more noticeable. Yes, vocabulary and grammar are important for  impressive communication, but you can get by with simple words and grammar structures. However, with pronunciation there is no such thing as simple or advanced pronunciation. You either pronounce a word correctly or mispronounce it. When you speak to people, even with correct grammar people may not understand what you are saying because of mispronunciation. Since English is such a widespread language for communication, practicing correct and authentic pronunciation will do you a lot of good in communicating effectively with people around the globe. In this article, we look at 10 of the most commonly mispronounced words in our daily life. Let’s get them right today!

“My name can’t be that tough to pronounce!”

– Keanu Reeves

Correct Pronunciation of Commonly Mispronounced Words:

1. Meme

Correct pronunciation: Meem

Source(s):   Oxford Dictionary, Meriam-Webster Dictionary

Memes have become an internet sensation and though commonly used in today’s world, the word is often mispronounced as ‘may-may’ and ‘mem’.

Correct Pronunciation of Meme

2. Wednesday

Correct pronunciation: Wenz-day

Source(s):   Cambridge Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Dictionary

‘Wednesday’ is one of those words whose pronunciation is different from its spelling. Seemingly, it should be pronounced as ‘wed-nes-day’ but the correct pronunciation is actually ‘wenz-day’.

Commonly mispronounced words

3. Salon

Correct pronunciation: Sa-lawn

Source(s):   Cambridge Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Dictionary

Often mispronounced as ‘sa-lon’ or ‘sa-loon’, the correct pronunciation of the word is ‘sa-lawn’

Mispronounced Words List

4. Bass

Correct pronunciation: Base

Source(s):   Cambridge Dictionary, Oxford Dictionary

Bass is a word that a lot of non-native speakers pronounce wrong. Quite commonly mispronounced as ‘baas’, its pronunciation is same as ‘base’.

Commonly Mispronounced Words in English

5. Suite

Correct pronunciation: Sweet

Source(s):   Cambridge Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Dictionary

The word ‘suite’ is incorrectly pronounced by a lot of people, partly because of its French origin and partly because its pronunciation is quite different than its spelling suggests. Often mispronounced as ‘soot’, its pronunciation is same as ‘sweet’.

Correct Pronunciation of Suite

6. Bowl

Correct pronunciation: Bol

Source(s):   Cambridge Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Dictionary

Possibly because ‘bowl’ is similar to ‘owl’, a lot of people end up saying ‘baa-ool’. However, the right pronunciation is ‘bol’.

Mispronounced Words List

7. Dengue

Correct pronunciation: Deng-ee

Source(s):  Oxford Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Dictionary

This mosquito-borne disease is often pronounced wrong as ‘deng-oo’, even in media. The right way to say it is actually ‘deng-ee’

Mispronounced Words List

8. Subtract

Correct pronunciation: Sub-tract

Source(s): Cambridge Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Dictionary

Subtract, though a relatively easy word to say, is often pronounced as ‘subs-tract’. The correct pronunciation is as the spelling suggests – ‘sub-tract’

Commonly Mispronounced English Words: Subtract

9. Receipt

Correct pronunciation: Ree-seet

Source(s): Cambridge Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Dictionary

In the word ‘receipt’, the ‘p’ is silent. Hence, its pronunciation is not ‘ree-sipt’ but ‘ree-seet’.

Funny mispronounced words: Receipt

10. Pronunciation

Correct pronunciation: Pra-nun-cee-a-shun

Source(s): Cambridge Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Dictionary

Derived from the word ‘pronounce’, people often overlook the fact that the ‘o’ in ‘noun’ is omitted in the word ‘pronunciation’. So if you say ‘pro-noun-cee-a-shun’, that’s wrong. The right way to say it is ‘pra-nun-cee-a-shun’.

Pronunciation of Pronunciation