Little changes can make a big difference in how natural you sound when speaking English.
In this short-and-sweet video, I tackle three of the most difficult-to-pronounce words in English: idea, people, and create.
(I give more guidance on stress and pronouncing vowels inside my free five-day email course, Sound More Natural in English. Be sure to sign up!)
Words like idea, people, and create require you to combine both word stress *and* vowel shaping to produce the right sound.
One syllable of these short words must be longer, louder, and higher in pitch, like so: i-DE-a, PEO-ple, creATE.
The syllables need to be connected by a slight “y” sound created by shaping your mouth. (It looks similar to a smile – watch the video on pronouncing long vowels to get it right.)
Learning to combine both word stress and vowel shaping will improve the overall clarity of your speech.
When you reduce the choppiness between vowels and syllables, you’ll notice an immediate difference in your accent.
Now that you’ve learned the trick, you’ll start noticing these types of words everywhere!
I suggest you make a list and work through the words one by one. Small steps = big progress.
Remember, the goal isn’t perfection – it’s making consistent changes that enable you to speak more clearly and feel more certain that your meaning will be understood.
(Getting this right also helps you improve your intonation and master connected speech, but we’ll talk about that another day! 😆)
Did this trick help you improve how you sound when speaking English? Have you started to collect words that have a lot of vowels you need to connect?
After watching the video, leave a comment letting me know any other challenging words you’re struggling with. (You might just get some help in a future video!)