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Just wondering what do you consider as the hardest word/expression to pronounce. I am particularly having problems with the following:

'Sheet/Shit' I always mess up these two and end up making joke of myself. Sometime I meant to say 'a sheet of paper', but to my friends it was like 'shit of paper'. I had the same problem with 'live/leave' too. I hate to always repeat myself to make my friends understand. This is really annoying.

'Statistically' This word is purely evil. I can never say this word in one breath. I need to pause before the 'tis' part to get the pronunciation correct.

'Not at all' or simply 'at all'. I am talking about the American accent here. I could never got this one right. Should I pronounce it as 'no-ta-tall', 'no-da-tall' or something else?

Can anyone point me a way?
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I hear and feel you. The difference between full and reduced 'i' sounds is one of the more difficult to master for many non-native English speakers, as is the unaccentuated 't' in between vowels in American English that becomes a soft 'd.' I also struggled with these when beginning to learn American English. I found it especially difficult to say the unaccentuated 't' in pattern, lattern, quarter, ardor, harder, and herder. Especially, herder! :) Check out these pronunciations guides at http://iteslj.org/links/ESL/Pronunciation /
Difference is in the length of vowels(short vowel vs the long one). These little sounds are the ones which make you being misunderstood by others.So short vowel /I / in 'live' is pronounced very fast while /i: / in 'leave' is longer /prolonged.

Apart from 'statistically' there are of course othere suchlike words which present problems for learners.Some are 'exactly','success' and it is because they are consisted of the cluster of consonants.You need to pronounce these words in a fast manner.They can be real 'tongue twisters' for the beginners.
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Hi,

in Italy, most people (and I could say "almost everyone") don't even know that live and leave are pronounced differently. They pronounce both of them like leave. Anyway, when I started to correct my pronunciation I often pronounced both of them like live, because I tended to hypercorrect everything in my speech in order not to make the "typical Italian mistake". The only way to get rid of this mistake is to pay attention to what you say, don't speak too fast, be careful when you are pronoucing the words that give you trouble. If you can't pronounce those sounds clearly, you can find some websites that help you (for example http://www.uiowa.edu/~acadtech/phonetics/about.html ).

As for the most difficult words or expressions, well, here's what's difficult for me:

  • These kinds of things (I can say it slowly, if I say it quickly I just say "these kinds ozzf fz... #[email protected]? damn!")

  • obviously (it needs some practice, I have to control my mouth when I say it)

  • Thousandths, sixths (these are the most difficult words to pronounce, even for native speakers. You have to leave out some consonant sounds... I pronounce them more or less like "Thousanths" and "sickths")
Kooyeen
  • obviously (it needs some practice, I have to control my mouth when I say it)
Same problem here, I really hate this word!!! I'm not able to pronounce it!

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It's a common problem.

My boyfriend does the short i instead of ee sound (non-native speaker).

Most of the time people still understand him. It's just unfortunate we live in a town with Green in the name as when he says Grin-etc it does confuse people as it's not the sort of place that most people have already heard of anyway.
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Hello everyone,

I would like to highlight that it is possible for anyone to learn to distinguish between the different sounds of any variety of English. You just need to study the sound-system of an accent of English carefully enough. What you need to do is to train your ear and imitate native speakers. You might also find studying English phonetics from a more theoretical point of view useful. When you master the sounds, study English intonation, prosody, and different registers of spoken English.

Englishuser
Thanks for all your help. I've decided to get American Accent Trianing and give a good shot at it.
Americans, depending on where you live, will usually not bother unvoicing when there is a t with vowels on either side.

For example, we tend to say "congraDulashunz" for congratulations.

Not at all, which you asked about - noddit-all
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