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Hi, I'm Jorge, from Brazil!

Can somebody please explain to me why the A in "chocolate" is not pronounced like the A in "face".

I've always pronounced it correctly, but this week I watched some videos on Syllable division and Magic E and I got confused.

Thanks!

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JorgeJuniorCan somebody please explain to me why the A in "chocolate" is not pronounced like the A in "face".

Because it is in an unstressed syllable.

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The connection between English spelling and English pronunciation is a weak one, so it's normal to find some oddities here and there.


As it happens, the stressed ending -ate is usually pronounced as in 'ate' when the word is a verb, but the unstressed ending -ate is very frequently pronounced 'it' in the case of other word classes. (These words in -ate are at least three syllables in length.)

Verbs: accumulate, regulate, infuriate, hibernate, compensate (ate)
Adjectives: legitimate, obstinate, intricate (it)
Nouns: duplicate, chocolate, certificate (it)


Sometimes the same word changes pronunciation depending whether it is used as a verb or as some other class of word.

moderate (verb: moder-ate; adjective: moder-it)
animate (verb: anim-ate; adjective: anim-it)
postulate (verb: postul-ate; noun: postul-it)

CJ

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Comments  

Thanks, GPY.

Students: Are you brave enough to let our tutors analyse your pronunciation?

Thanks, CJ.

I never studied this in the English course.

Syllable division seems to be another taboo.


Thanks!