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  • In this American English pronunciation video,

  • we're going to go over

  • the pronunciation of the word 'helpful'.

  • This week's Word of the Week is 'helpful'.

  • It was suggested by a user on YouTube.

  • Thanks so much for this suggestion.

  • It's a two-syllable word

  • with stress on the first syllable.

  • Helpful, DA-da, helpful.

  • 'Helpful' begins with the H consonant sound.

  • Some speakers,

  • like my students from Russia and Poland,

  • will want to make this sound too heavy.

  • Don't let the soft palate

  • hang and bounce against the tongue,

  • and don't lift the tongue

  • to constrict the air passage.

  • Just simply expel the air,

  • contracting the throat just a bit. Hh, hh.

  • The mouth position doesn't matter for the H,

  • so you can get into the position

  • for the next sound, in this case, the EH vowel.

  • The jaw needs to drop for the EH vowel.

  • The tongue will lift a bit

  • in the middle/front.

  • Next we have the dark L.

  • Pull the back part of the tongue back

  • to make the Dark sound.

  • I find when I say this word,

  • I don't lift the tip of the tongue

  • to 'finish' the dark L sound.

  • So my tongue tip never comes here,

  • like many think it should for L.

  • Next the lips will close for the P.

  • We need to go straight from the P to the F,

  • so when I lift my top lip,

  • the bottom lip is in position for the F,

  • where it's touching

  • the bottom of the top teeth.

  • After the F,

  • go straight into the dark sound again,

  • by pulling back

  • the back part of the tongue.

  • Again,

  • I don't lift the tip of my tongue for the L.

  • I just make the dark sound.

  • Helpful, helpful.

  • Was that helpful? I hope so!

  • That's it, your Word of the Week.

  • Try it out yourself.

  • Make up a sentence with the word,

  • record it, and post it

  • as a video response to this video on YouTube.

  • I can't wait to watch it.

  • If there's a word

  • you find difficult to pronounce,

  • suggest it

  • as a Word of the Week in the comments.

  • That's it, and thanks so much for using

  • Rachel's English.

In this American English pronunciation video,

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A2 helpful tongue lift sound dark week

How to Pronounce HELPFUL -- American English -- Word of the Week

  • 30 15
    Sam posted on 2015/04/04
Video vocabulary