Are You Mispronouncing These 5 Words?

Here are five commonly mispronounced English words—and how to pronounce them correctly.

1. CLOTHES (Anziehsachen)

You’ve been practising? But it still doesn’t work. It should sound like ‘klowthz’. Too difficult? Just say, ‘klowz’. 

We often “swallow” letters. This is true here too. The -e is a silent -e, and the -s at the end is only lightly pronounced.

2. COLLEAGUE (Kollege/Kollegin)

No, it’s not ‘co-league’ like a football league. And it doesn’t sound like “college.” It’s actually quite simple: Say ‘kol-eeg‘—with a longer -e.

3. FEBRUARY (Februar) 

Many of us find this month difficult to pronounce (and spell). ‘Feb-RU-ary’ is the standard pronunciation. But keeping the first -r silent (almost as if you’re whispering it): ‘Feb-U-ary’ is now perfectly acceptable.

4. WEDNESDAY (Mittwoch)

The middle of the week can be a linguistic challenge! Although the word has an additional letter -d, it’s usually ignored. Therefore, the correct pronunciation is ‘Wenz-Day‘.

5. WOMEN

Beware of this plural! The word ‘women‘ may look like the word ‘woman’ with an -e instead of an -a. But the way we pronounce it is different. In ‘women’, the -o sounds like the -i in ‘hit’.

So, now you know!

Next time you come across these words, you can pronounce them with confidence.

Which English word do you find the most difficult to pronounce?

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Foto Christine Sparks

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