Pronunciation of Consonants

The consonants include all the letters except A, E, I, O, and U. Here, they are listed according to the position within the mouth.
Click on the letters to watch videos and practice the sounds.
Click on the lessons to return to the class.

T D L NThe tip of the tongue is on the ridge behind the upper teeth.
For T and D, it is just the tip. 
For L, a little more of the tongue touches the same position,
and for N, the U-shape front of the tongue touches.
For L and N, the tongue is pressed longer as well.
T, D, N
R and L
S ZThe tongue rests on the top of the mouth, and the breath passes over it.
For S, the tongue rests lightly.
For Z, the tongue is tenser, creating vibration.
S and Z
Y RThe tongue is in the middle to the bottom of the mouth.
For Y, the tongue is constricted and pushes off the bottom of the mouth.
For R, the tongue is in the same position but much tenser.
The tongue pushes off if R is at the beginning or middle of a word.
If R is at the end, the tongue stays in the middle of the mouth.
R and L

Y Sounds
G and K
NG and NK
For G and K, the back of the tongue presses the back of the mouth.
For G, it is softer, and for K, it is stronger.
For NG and NK, the positions are about the same.
For these sounds, press longer–this causes the air to go into the nose.
In the video, –ing and –ink help you hear the sounds.
These sounds are also used with other vowels, i.e. -ang, ank, ung, unk.
NG and NK
X XThere are two X sounds, the soft sound, and the strong sound.
The soft sound is GZ, as in the example and executive.
The strong sound is KS, as in tax and extreme.
X Sounds
M B PThe lips are together.
For M, the lips are pressed for a moment.
For B, the lips are pressed quickly, and the sound is soft.
For P, the lips are pressed quickly, but the sound is stronger with more breath.
B and P
TH THThere are two TH sounds, soft and hard TH.
For both sounds, place your tongue under your upper teeth.
For the soft TH, let the airflow and create a vibrating sound.
For the hard TH, open the jaw quickly.
F, V and TH
F VThe upper teeth rest on the lower lip.
For F, open the jaw quickly.
For V, hold the position and let the sound vibrate.
F, V and TH
J CH SH ZHFor these sounds, the lips are pressed forward.
For J and CH, the tongue presses the top of the mouth.
For J, the sound is soft. For CH, the sound is strong.
For SH, the tongue rests naturally in the middle of the mouth.
For ZH, the tongue lightly presses at the top of the mouth, similar to the Z sound.
J and CH

SH and ZH
W QUFor W, the lips move forward and outward.
For QU = KW, first, the back of the tongue presses the back of the mouth.
Then, the lips move forward and outward in a true W position.
W and QU
HRelax the mouth and breathe out
Articulate this letter with breath.
Stopped TFor the stopped T, the tongue goes into the T position.
However, the air is not pushed out. Examples are limit and indicate.
Stopped T
– ED ending
Pronounce the -ed ending with D, T, or ED.
The pronunciation depends on the final sound before -ed.
Examples are joined, risked, and visited.
-ED Sounds

* C is not included as a sound because it either sounds like K or S. It sounds like K when it is the first letter as in cat or could
A double C spelling usually sounds like KS as in accept (ak-SEPT). C often sounds like S in the middle of a word, as in receive.
** Y can also sound like I or E. See Lesson 19.

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