50 commonly mispronounced words in English

It's not a secret English has one of the craziest spelling systems in all European languages. Really, why are words never read like we expect them to be? 

In this article, you will learn about the most commonly mispronounced words in English and how to improve your pronunciation and listening skills.


I believe you could hear this funny poem showing you all the English pronunciation quirks called 'Chaos'.

Anyway, so many words look the same but are pronounced differently. Confusing, isn't it?


In our new course 'Say it right!', I am teaching you all the basic reading rules which you need for pronouncing the most words in English without problems. Learn more here

What are commonly mispronounced words in English?

Don't accentuate (=pronounce clearly) the final suffixes and unstressed syllables in long words

'-ous' (sounds like /es/): various, serious, nervous, obvious, previous, dangerous
'-tion' (sounds like /shin/ not /shon): information, section, decision, population, association, organization, position, commission
'-ture' (sounds like /che/): future, feature, creature, moisture, picture
'-ate' (sounds like /et/ not /eit/): corporate, desperate, private, separate, adequate
'-able' (sounds like /ebl/ not /eible/): questionable, reliable, doable

A lot of borrowed words have their own rules of reading

 - Latin and Greek words have 'ch' pronounced like /k/, not /ch/, for example, character, chemistry, architecture, architect, mechanic

- 'Ph' is always read /f/, not as two letters: phone, sphere, nephew, physics, graph

- You will find that in most cases we pronounce 'au' letter combination like /o/ not /au/: pause, audience, Austria, Australia, author

What are the most commonly mispronounced words in English? #learnenglish

Click to Tweet

Combinations of vowels e/i/y/u with 'r' in the middle of words all sound the same 

We pronounce all these words similarly: girl, term, turn, burn, spur, Myrtie, shirt, bird, heard, early, thirsty, skirt, fur, dirty, curse, work

You need to remember words with silent letters (=letters which are written but not pronounced)

Some of them: (letters in red are not pronounced)
honest, hour, ghost
knife, knot, knee, knitting, knock
autumn, damn, column
bomb, numb, climb, lamb, doubt, plumber, debt
resign, design, foreigner
guest, guess, colleague, guilty, tongue, biscuit
almond, palm, calf, half, talk, walk
write, wrap, wrist, wren, wrong

Make sure you pronounce all these words right.  Practise with the audio.

How to avoid mistakes with commonly mispronounced words

This could be confusing, but they are absolutely learnable. I recommend working with these rules step by step.

That's why we have recorded a video course covering the most important spelling/reading/pronunciation rules in English so that you could work with the videos at your own pace.

50 commonly mispronounced words in English

I hope this course helps a lot with your confidence as well as listening and pronunciation of the commonly mispronounced words in English.
Please let me know what you think of the course!

50 Commonly Mispronounced Words in English

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *