The 101 Most-Mispronounced Words

Exercise for Voice Talent: Add any words you don’t know to your daily articulation practice:

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WORD
CORRECT PRONUNCIATION
INCORRECT
Acaí
ah-SAH-EE
ACK-ah-ee ; ah-KAI
Accessory
Ack-SESS-or-ee
Assessory
Affidavit
aff-ih-DAVE-it
Affadavid
Affluent
AFF-loo-ent
uh-FLOO-ent
Albeit
all-BE-it
all-bite, all-BAY-it
Ambrosia
“am-BROH-zhah”
Anise
“AN-ihss”
(British: uh-NEES)
Anonymous
uh-NON-uh-muhs
Antarctic
Ant-ARK-tic
Antartic
Arctic
ART-tic
Artic
Ask
Ask
aks, ax
Asterisk
ASS-ter-isk
Asteriks
Athletic
Ath-LET-tik
Athaletic
Athlete
ATH-leet
Athalete
Awry
uh – RYE
AW-ree
Barbed Wire
Barbed Wire
Bob Wire
Barbiturate
Bar-BIT-cher-ut
Barbituate
Bruschetta
Broo-SKETT-ah
brush-ET-uh
Candidate
CAND-id-ut
CAN-nih-date
Caramel
KEHR-ah-mehl”or KAR-ah-mehl
CAR-mul
Cavalry
CAV-ul-ree
Calvary (this is a completely different word)
Celtic
The C’s are both  k sounds
SELL-tik
Chutzpah “kHUT-spa” kH = slightly aspirated H. “U” as in “put”
Citizen SIT-ih-zen

SIT-ih-sen
Clothes
A Very Soft [Th] Sound
Close
Comptroller
“con-TROLL-er”
“comp-TROLL-er” though becoming accepted
Colleague
“KAHL-eeg”
Don’t pronounce the final ue.
Costs
Don’t overdo the “sts”
Croissant
“kwah-SAHN”; “KWAH-sawn”; “kruh-SAHNT”
crescent
Data
Dayta most common, but DATa also correct.
Desktop DESK top

DEStop
Digital DIJ-ih-tul

DIJ-iddle
Dilate
Dilate
Dialate
Diphtheria
Di/F/Theria This Ph Is “F” Not “P”
Diptheria
Drown, drowned
Drown, drowned
Drownd, drownded
Edamame
“eh-dah-MAH-meh”
EH-duh-mame
Electoral
e-LEC-toral
e-lec-TOR-al
Environment environment

envire-ment
Especially
Especially
Expecially
Espresso
Espresso
Expresso
Ethnicity
eth-NIS-i-tee
eth-NICK-ity
Etcetera/Etc
et – SET– er – uh
Ex-ET-er-uh, ex-SET-truh
Facilitate
fuh-SILL-i-tate
FA-sill-uh-tate
February
Feb-ROO-ary
Febyuary
Federal
Federal
Fedral
Foie Gras
“FWAH GRAH”
foy groy
Foliage
FO-lee-age
Foil-age
General JEN-er-al

JEN-rul
Gif
Not a “J” sound, but a hard G
Government GUV-ern-ment

GUV-er-ment
Gyro
JY-roh or YEE-roh
GEE-ro
Height
hite
hite-th
Hospital HOSS-pit-ul

HOSS-piddle
Homage HOM-idge, or “o-MAHJ” (French)

Hummus
HUMM-uhs
KHUM-uhs, HOO-mus
Internet inter-net

innernet
Jalapeño
hah-lah-PEH-nyoh
hah-lah-PEE-nyoh
Jewelry
JOO-el-ree
JOO-ler-ee
Lease leese

Leash
Liable
li-a-ble
LIE-bul
Library
Three syllables-li-bra-ry, not li-bary
Masonry
Masonry
Masonary
Mayonnaise
MAY-uh-nayz
Man-ayz
Miniature
MIN-ee-uh-cher
MIN-uh-cher
Mischievous
MIS-chuh-vus
“mis-CHEE-vee-us” NOT 4 syllables
Mozzarella
“maht-suh-REHL-lah”; “moht-suh-REHL-lah”
mozz-uh-rella
Niche
Nitch or Neesh are both correct. Ask for preference
“ni-chay”
Nuclear
NU-klee-ar
NUKE-you-ler
Nuptial
NUP-shull
NUP-shoo-ul
Often
The “t” is silent (most preferred pronunciation)
Hearing the “t” is becoming accepted
Parliament
Use a brief “Y” Sound After The L
Parlament
Particularly
par-TIK-yuh-ler-lee
per-TIK-leree
Pastoral
pas-TOR-al
Pecan
Options: “pih-KAHN”; “pih-KAN”; “PEE-kan”
Perspective per-SPECK-tiv

Perspire
Per-SPIRE
Prespire
Phenomenon
fi-NOM-uh-nun
fi-NOM-uh-non
Picture
pic-shur” or pic-tchur
pitcher
Pollute
Pollute
Plute
Prejudice
PREH-juh-dis
Prerogative
pre – ROG– uh – tiv
per-OG-uh-tiv
Prescription
pre – SKRIP – Shun”
Perscription
Probably
Probably
Probly or Prolly
Pronunciation
Pro-nun-see-ay-shun
Pronounce-ee-ay-shun
Prostate
Prostate
Prostrate
Realtor
Realtor
Realator
Regularly
REG-yuh-ler-lee
REG-uh-ler-lee
Ricotta
rih-KAHT-tuh; “ree-KOH-tah
Sherbet
SHER-biht, no second “R”
“Sure, Burt”
Silicon
Silicon
Silicone
Sommelier
saw-muh-LYAY
some-AWL-ee-er
Statistics
stuh-TIS-tiks
suh-TIS-tiks
Supposedly
Supposedly
Supposably
Tamale
tuh-MAH-lee
tuh-male
Temperature TEM-per-uh-cher

TEMP-uh-cher
Triathlon
Triathlon
Triathalon
Turmeric
TER-muh-rihk, ter-MARE-ik
TOO-mer-ick
Utmost
Utmost
Upmost
Wasn’t
Wasn’t
Wadn’t
Wednesday
The first d and the second e are silent
Yolk
Yoke

Neutralizing your Accent

Vocabularly-Improving links:

English vocabulary resources:

If you want to study a variety of vocabulary lessons AND be able to choose your level,
Here are some specific resources for learning to speak better, oriented around vocabulary and idioms (common phrases)
Some other links to help improve your vocabulary: