B1 Intermediate AU 243 Folder Collection
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Well hello! I'm Emma from mmmEnglish!
Now I have to admit that I'm a huge fan of adjectives.
I mean, I probably overuse adjectives
if I'm being completely honest with you,
but they are such a beautiful part of any language.
They allow you to go into detail, to add colour, flavour
and personality to all of your thoughts and your ideas.
One of the most noticeable differences between
intermediate level English speakers and advanced ones
is their use of adjectives.
Because yes, you can add meaning to your sentences
by using simple adjectives
like 'happy' or 'sad' or 'nice' or 'bored'
but life can be so much more
spectacular than that, can't it?
Your English can be much more colourful than that,
Using a wider range of adjectives will help you to
be more expressive, to show emotions and feelings
and to sound more interesting when you use English.
So if you need to refresh your memory about
how to use adjectives in English sentences,
then check out that lesson up there.
But right now, I've got ten adjectives for you
and I've specifically chosen them
because they're adjectives that English learners
often mispronounce.
They're all a little tricky.
There's a few silent letters, some strange vowel sounds,
different pronunciation of the same letter
in the same word.
But don't worry!
By the end of this lesson, you're going to have
all of these adjectives completely down!
You're going to be saying them much more confidently
and more often.
Let's start with...
Now if you haven't heard this word pronounced before,
it looks a little tricky.
There's two C's and two S's.
Of course, you know that in English, a C can sometimes
be pronounced in the same way as an S.
Many of my students,
they look at this word and take a guess and say
which is a nice try, I can see why
you would pronounce it that way but actually,
each C in this word is pronounced differently
and that's made clear
when you look at the phonemic script.
The first C is pronounced as a /k/ sound
at the end of the first syllable
and the second C is pronounced as a
/s/ sound at the start of the second syllable.
Now the second syllable is the stressed
syllable in this word and that's why you hear it
pronounced more strongly
while the first syllable is short and lower in pitch.
The final syllable is also unstressed.
The pronunciation is the same
throughout the word family. Success, successful,
And as frustrating as it is, that the same letter
is pronounced differently in the same word,
just accept it, practise it, remember it.
So 'successful' is used when someone achieves
the result that they want.
They're really happy and they're satisfied with the result.
He's a successful businessman.
We've had quite a successful year so far.
Anxious. Are you anxious looking at this one?
It's a little tricky!
There are three consonant sounds here together
which makes it quite challenging.
In the first syllable, the stressed syllable,
the strong vowel sound A
is followed by the /ŋ/ consonant.
And that consonant sound is usually made by the letters
-ng like in 'song'.
So my mouth is open slightly when I make this sound
and the back of my tongue is right up at the soft palate
in the back of my mouth.
For the second syllable, you'll hear the /k/
and the /ʃ/ consonant sounds.
So you're pushing that air through your mouth
to make the sound /kʃ/
Make sure you exaggerate this sound
while you're practising.
Pretend you're like a superhero fighting a monster.
And the following vowel sound will be unstressed,
the weak schwa sound /ə/
So this adjective is usually used to describe a person
and it's to do with their emotions or their feelings.
An anxious person is worried or nervous because
they think that something bad might happen.
I'm feeling really anxious about my interview tomorrow.
My friend doesn't like flying so he's always
quite anxious when we go travelling.
Over the years as an English teacher,
I've heard this word pronounced in several
different ways and all of the problems coming from
those two vowel letters in the middle.
The first common mistake is assuming that there are
four syllables but there's not, there's only three.
And the first syllable 'val' is the stressed syllable
the strongest one.
But the second syllable is quite tricky.
There's an extra consonant sound added,
one that you can't see in the written word.
So this adjective is really handy to know
because it can be used in a few different ways.
Now you often hear this adjective used for things like
jewellery or houses or cars
to tell that something is expensive
or worth a lot of money.
My grandmother gave me her sapphire brooch.
I think it's quite valuable, though I'd never sell it.
It's quite valuable.
But this is also an excellent adjective to describe
a person's qualities
and often used in a professional context.
So 'valuable' can not necessarily be about money
but about how important or useful someone is.
James is a really valuable member of our team.
That's a valuable piece of advice. Thanks.
Now most of the pronunciation problems with this
adjective relate to syllable stress.
There are four syllables.
The third is the strongest,
though the first one is also stressed.
The remaining two syllables are unstressed
so they reduce down, they become the schwa sound
which is always short and low in pitch.
Can you hear how the two weaker syllables
fade into the background?
This adjective is used when something is increasing
or growing really quickly.
The company has experienced exponential growth
over the last two years.
The renewable energy market is growing
at an exponential rate.
Complex. Now in standard British English,
there's just one way to pronounce this word
with the stress on the first syllable.
In American English, there is a difference between
the adjective 'complex'
and the noun 'complex'.
But the real pronunciation challenge here
is the cluster of consonants that are pronounced
at the end.
The letter X usually produces a sound that has
two consonant sounds pushed together,
/k/ and /s/
which is what makes this sound difficult.
Two consonants together is tough.
The sound is produced right at the back of the throat
while the sound is made with the tongue and the teeth
at the front of the mouth.
So really, creating this sound successfully is about
switching between these two these sounds smoothly.
So this adjective is used to describe something
that consists of many different and connected parts
that makes it quite difficult to understand or manage.
It's a complex issue but we need to find a solution.
The relationship between the general manager
and the marketing team is quite complex .
They've never really seen eye-to-eye.
The /r/ and the /l/
sounds in this word make it a real challenge
but there's actually a little variation
between English accents for this word
which is really common.
Officially, the correct pronunciation is 'rural' with a /ʊə/
vowel sound as the stressed syllable.
But I want to share a little tip with you because
in Australia, our pronunciation of this word is
much more relaxed.
So if you're having trouble pronouncing this word,
put on an Australian accent and say 'rural'.
You can use this adjective to describe characteristics
of the countryside rather than the city.
So usually it's
farming land or a small village in the country.
So the opposite of rural is 'urban'
which is characteristic of cities and towns.
The government will help rural communities
affected by the floods.
People are moving to rural areas
to live healthier lifestyles.
It's a bit of a tongue twister, isn't it?
Rural areas.
The stress is on the middle syllable here and there are
two things to pay attention to with this word.
One is the consonant cluster at the start of the word.
The consonant sounds
/s/ and /p/ together.
So if you're having some trouble with this,
we're going to go to the gym for a minute
and do a little workout.
Practising pronunciation is just like training at the gym.
We just need to train your muscles in your mouth to be
more comfortable doing something a little different.
/s/ and /p/ are both unvoiced consonant sounds
and the sound is made by pushing air
through your mouth.
So I want you to slowly bring these sounds together.
Now are you ready for your workout?
Take a deep breath and move back and forth
between these sounds really quickly, ready?
If these consonant sounds are too difficult
for you to pronounce, you need to do this workout daily.
Now the second challenge with this word is
the final consonant sound - the consonant at the end.
Make sure that you finish this word
on the consonant sound.
Don't get lazy and forget it. It's not 'specifi'
It's 'specific'.
And you can use it to explain that something is really
exact or detailed.
There are some general issues
that I need to discuss with you
but there's one specific issue that's quite urgent.
If you have any specific questions about
the accommodation, then please ask Sarah.
There are a lot of vowel letters in this word
which makes it a little confusing to work out
how to pronounce each syllable
and which one is stressed.
The first syllable is the strongest, the others relax.
For some reason this word is one
that native English speakers
sometimes get wrong as well. You might hear people
say 'mischievous' with four syllables
but that's incorrect. There are only three syllables here
and the stress is on the first syllable /ˈmɪs/
which means the second syllable reduces a little,
the vowel sound is short and fast.
There's also two difficult consonant sounds here 'ch' and /v/
So with both of these consonant sounds,
your lip position is really important
so I want you to exaggerate the position of your mouth
while you're practising with me just to make sure
that you're pronouncing and your producing
the correct sound.
So for 'ch', see how my lips are really flared, exaggerated,
and this sound is controlled by my tongue
in a similar way to the /t/ sound.
The tip of my tongue.
But also my tongue is tense all the way
along the sides here.
And they're pushed up against the inside of my top teeth
so we move through tʃɪ/
through the unstressed vowel sound to /v/
making sure that your top teeth
are touching your lower lip.
Now if you have cheeky children in your life, this
could be the perfect adjective to describe them.
So usually it's an adjective to describe children but it's
okay to describe adults with it sometimes or even pets.
It describes someone who has fun by being silly
and creating a disruption but not in a negative way,
not in a way that's
really annoying or that really harms anyone.
It's kind of a cute or funny attribute.
I was quite a mischievous child.
There are a few mischievous children in the classroom.
Now, this is a wonderful, descriptive adjective
that means harmful or damaging in some way.
So looking at this word,
it's the third syllable that is the strongest
and just like 'exponential'
the first syllable also has a secondary stress
so we can hear that one clearly as well
which means that the other two reduce.
But the second syllable is the most difficult here
because of the consonant cluster /trɪ/
with an unstressed vowel sound.
So it's like the noun 'tree', but with a shorter,
weaker vowel sound.
So as I said, the adjective 'detrimental' suggests that
something is creating a negative effect.
It's harmful or it's damaging in some way.
It had a detrimental effect on the company's growth.
The infection was detrimental to her recovery.
It was detrimental.
I've talked about this adjective before
in another pronunciation lesson
but it's so common and it's so often mispronounced
that it had to be included in this lesson as well.
The correct pronunciation of this word uses only
three syllables which means that this vowel
is completely silent.
So notice that the first syllable is the stressed one
and the following syllables reduce down
to the schwa sound.
Now you may hear native speakers using a tiny, tiny, tiny
extra syllable and say 'comfortable' which is fine too,
it's just a difference in accent or dialect.
And you may think that it's easier to pronounce
this word with four syllables, particularly if it's difficult
for you to pronounce the /f/ and /t/
consonant sounds together.
Of course people are going to understand you
whatever you say but please, please, please
make sure that that syllable is super, super tiny.
So hear how short and quick those schwa sounds are?
Like I said, 'comfortable' is the more
common pronunciation
so I recommend that you practise using that one.
I'm not comfortable doing that.
Are you comfortable with the decision?
Well that's it, ten tricky English adjectives
that English learners often mispronounce.
So I hope that this was a useful lesson for you.
Remember that if you haven't subscribed yet
to the mmmEnglish Channel please do it.
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But if you are ready right now
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then check out these ones right here.
Thanks for watching today
and I'll see you for another English lesson next week.
Bye for now!
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243 Folder Collection
蔡天羽 published on August 10, 2018
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