If you’re interested in improving your English pronunciation online, then let us help you with a free lesson and an interactive game! Today, we’ll show you the secret to pronouncing English words.

First, let’s look at the basic idea. Every word in English has between 1 and 5 sounds. These sounds are called syllables. Some syllables are strong, and some are weak. With our video and quiz, you will learn how we combine the strong and the weak to make your English sound natural.

What’s a syllable?

A syllable is, basically, a vowel sound. This is a sound which is related to one of the 5 letters aeior u. They can be spelled in many different ways, but each letter has 2 difference sounds:

(soft)apple
(hard)eight / ate

(soft) – elephant
(hard) – three

(soft) – ship
(hard) – hi

(soft) – orange
(hard) – no

(soft) – umbrella
(hard) – you

We also add extra sounds to these syllables, like antfeel or wait.

Stress patterns

Some words have just 1 syllable (like antfeel or wait). Many words have more than 1 syllable (like orange [2 syllables] or umbrella [3 syllables]). Often, when we have 2+ syllables, some syllables are strong and other syllables are weak.

In the game later, you will see the words stress patterns. The stress pattern of a word is the strong and weak syllables.
Unfortunately, there are no rules. However, if you find a new word in a dictionary, you will always see a pronunciation guide. Or just ask us!

Stress in English speaking – our free video

So, we have seen how important syllables are in English words. We learned about the different sounds that vowels can make. Now, in our free video, watch English teacher and English42 founder Simon tell you about the 1 sound almost every word in English has! Perfect this word and you will perfect your English pronunciation…

Did you enjoy this lesson? Contact us to organise 1-to-1 lessons with Simon or our other professional teachers!

learn english online

Improve your English pronunciation online with English42

Scroll down the page to start the quiz, or get ready by exploring our other Speaking lessons.

We recommend you start with our Quick English lesson on pronouncing numbers – like THIRT-y and THIRTEEN from our video. With this free lesson, you can learn, listen and repeat:

pronounce numbers english

Pronouncing difficult numbers in English

Another video shows you tongue twisters – strange sentences we learn to improve our pronunciation. Can you say this? How much wood could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood? Learn how to here, and practice lots more!

english tongue twisters

[VIDEO] Tongue twisters & pronunciation

Improve English pronunciation online – the quiz

There are 15 questions in our pronunciation quiz.
We will start off with some Elementary English.
After 4 questions, we will move to Intermediate English.
For the final 5 questions, we will test your Advanced English.

When the quiz is finished, you can see your score, and find lots more ways to improve your English pronunciation!

There are 15 questions in our pronunciation quiz.
We will start off with some Elementary English.
After 4 questions, we will move to Intermediate English.
For the final 5 questions, we will test your Advanced English.

When the quiz is finished, you can see your score, and find lots more ways to improve your English pronunciation!