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Unit 1: Contractions 1. Short forms with I 2. Short forms with she, he and it 3. Short forms with we, you and they 4. Short forms with other pronouns 5. Short forms with not Unit 2: Plural -s 1. Three different sounds of plural -s 2. Some rules 3. Test yourself Unit 3: Third person -s 1. Three different sounds of third person -s 2. Test yourself Unit 4: Pronouncing -ough1. Seven different ways 2. Pronouncing -ought Unit 5: -d sound 1. Three different sounds of past tense -d 2. Some rules 3. Test yourself Unit 6: Pronunciation of ch 1. ch sound as in watch 2. ch sound as in chemical 3. ch sound as in chef Unit 7: Pronunciation of -et 1. -et pronounced as it 2. -et pronounced as ay Unit 8: Pronouncing -ment 1. -ment generally pronounced 2. Stress on -ment Unit 9: Pronouncing -age and -ege 1. Practice with -age and -ege

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Unit 10: Silent letters 1. Silent b 2. Silent c 3. Silent d 4. Silent g 5. Silent h 6. Silent k 7. Silent l 8. Silent n 9. Silent p 10. Silent s 11. Silent t 12. Silent w Unit 11: Homophones 1. Practice with homophones Unit 12: Homographs 1. Common homographs 2. Stress makes a difference Unit 13: Word stress 1. Common nouns and adjectives 2. Compound words 3. Part of speech 4. Self practice 5. Endings that are stressed 6. Endings that do not influence 7. Endings that influence 8. More practice with common words Unit 14: Names of days and months 1. Days 2. Months Unit 15: Commonly mispronounced words Unit 16: Phonetic symbols Unit 17: Am, Br differences

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1 Contractions
In everyday speech and informal writing, short forms are frequently used. Listen and practice.

Short forms with I

Im sorry Im late. Ive got a nice car. Id already gone out when you arrived. Ill come to meet you tomorrow.

Im I am Ive I have Id Ill I had I will

I would Id like some coffee, please.

shes shed

Short forms with she, he and it

she is she has she had Shes very pretty. Shes gone to New York. She was scared as if shed seen a ghost. she would Shed come if we invited her.


she will

Shell be sad to hear the news.

hes hed hell its itll

he is he has he had he would he will it is it has it will

Hes good at maths. Hes gone out. If only hed known the answer! Hed be really happy. Hell be sad to hear the news. Its a nice day today. Its got a bushy tail. Itll help you a lot.

were weve wed well

Short forms with we, you and they

we are we have we had we would we will you are you had you would Were going out today. Weve won the match. Wed finished our work before nine. Wed rather stay inside. Well do it. Youre my best friend. Youve been very kind to me. Youd never seen that before, I suppose. Im sure youd be very pleased. Youll have to be there.

youre youd

youve you have


you will

theyre they are theyve they have theyd they had

Theyre coming today. Theyve helped us a lot. They realised that theyd made a mistake.

they would Theyd definitely feel good about it. theyll they will Theyll never forget this event.

heres thatll thats

Short forms with other pronouns

here is that will that is that has there is there has what is what has Heres a gift for you. Thatll be okay. Thats a nice hat youre wearing. Thats spoilt everything. Theres a live concert tonight. Theres been a terrible accident. Whats your name? Whats been happening here? Wheres my bag?

theres whats

wheres where is

where has Wheres he gone?

whod whos

who had who is who has

Whod been there before us? Whos there? Whos taken my umbrella?

who would Whod dare go against him!

Short forms with not

Some verb forms have two short forms, for example, hes not and he isnt. You can use either form but in the audio you will hear the second type only, except for Im not. am not are not cannot did not does not do not has not have not had not Im not arent cant didnt doesnt dont hasnt havent hadnt Im not interested. Arent you helping us? I cant swim like you do. She couldnt remember my name. He called you, didnt he? It doesnt matter. We dont have a problem. Hasnt your sister arrived yet? Havent you seen a snail before? We ate like pigs because we hadnt eaten for days.

could not couldnt

is not must not need not was not were not will not

isnt mustnt neednt wasnt werent wont

This isnt my cup of tea. You mustnt forget that tomorrow is the big day. You neednt worry. Im there. He shouldnt have gone to the party. I wasnt aware of your illness. They werent very friendly with us. My car wont start. He wouldnt listen to me.

should not shouldnt

would not wouldnt

2 Plural -s
The plural s is pronounced in three ways, /s/, /z/ and /Iz/. (Exercises 2 and 3 of this unit are not recorded on the cassette.)

Three different sounds of plural -s

/z/ bags boys candles computers films /Iz/ addresses benches blouses bushes bridges

/s/ beliefs books caps carpets paths

Some rules

Study the rules regarding the pronunciation of plural s. -s is pronounced as /s/ when the words end in -f sound as in chief, graph, cough chiefs, graphs -k sound as in park, cake parks, cakes -p sound as in cup, tape cups, tapes -t sound as in hat, classmate hats, classmates -th sound as in path paths (but not as in then)

-s is pronounced as I/z/ when the words end in -s sound as in glass, house, sentence, glasses, box houses -ch sound as in bench -sh sound as in bush -z as in blouse, maze -j as in page, bridge benches bushes blouses, mazes pages, bridges

-s is pronounced as /z/ when the words do not end in the sounds given in the two lists above. For example dogs, scarves, hotels, mangoes etc.

Test yourself

Now put these words into the three boxes given on the facing page. Then practice saying the words. cups lamps houses boxes hands tables hats pandas marks trains brushes hills parks foxes tubs oranges matches handerchiefs sentences photographs

innings booths mangoes mats

watches glasses scarves


-s pronounced as /s/

-s pronounced as /z/

-s pronounced as I/z/


3 Third person -s
The rules regarding the pronunciation of third person singular -s are exactly the same as the rules for the plural -s.(Exercises 2 of this unit is not recorded on the cassette.)

Three different sounds of third person

/z/ bathes bends blows calls cares /Iz/ amazes arranges blushes messes pinches

/s/ attacks baths claps collects coughs

Test yourself

Now put these words into the three boxes given on the facing page. Then practice saying the words. counts praises eats boxes passes carries

plays switches looks goes realises brushes

laughs runs hangs cries comes watches

crushes pushes jumps loots mops waits

complains tells exercises makes talks

-s pronounced as /s/

-s pronounced as /z/

-s pronounced as I/z/


4 Pronouncing -oughThe combination of letters ough is included in a number of words, and is pronounced in several different ways.

Seven different ways

Here are seven different ways in which ough is pronounced. Listen and practice. 1. although, dough, though, 2. enough, rough, tough 3. through 4. bough, drought, plough 5. borough, thorough 6. cough, trough 7. hiccough

Pronouncing -ought

Listen and practice saying the words that end in ought. bought ought brought sought fought thought nought

5 -d sound
The past tense -d of regular verbs is pronounced in I d/. (Exercises 2 and 3 of three ways, /t/, /d/, and / this unit are not recorded on the cassette.)

Three different sounds of past tense /d/ allowed banned called carried combed /Id/ avoided awarded decided invested planted

/t/ asked attached boxed clapped laughed

Some rules

Study the rules regarding the pronunciation of the past tense d of regular verbs. -d is pronounced as /t/ when the words end in -ch sound as in watch watched -f sound as in laugh, photgraph laughed, photographed -k sound as in talk, bake talked, baked -p sound as in clap, tape clapped, taped -s and -sh sound as in miss, push missed, pushed

-d is pronounced as I/d/ when the words end in -t sound as in paint, rent -d sound as in mend, decide painted, rented mended, decided

-d is pronounced as /d/ when the words do not end in the sounds given in the two lists above. For example, climbed, played, allowed, listened etc.

Test yourself

Now put these words into the three columns given on the facing page. Then practice saying the words. brushed helped cried cooked regardedrented passed wanted needed talked walked handed mended exercised judged listened coughed missed played waited poured watchedtowed painted studied worked


-s pronounced as /t/

-s pronounced as /d/

-s pronounced as I /d/


6 Pronunciation of ch
The letters ch can be pronounced in three ways. Listen and practice.

ch sound as in watch
He remained a bachelor until he was 40. Im in charge of this office. You can pay in cash or by cheque. Jane has three children. Youre allowed to choose a gift for yourself. Hes a bishop in a church. He thinks hes a macho man. Meat and nuts are rich in protein.

bachelor charge cheque children choose church macho rich


ch sound as in chemical
Ive got a terrible ache in my abdomen. Hes a funny character. I love chemistry classes because of the practicals.

character chemistry

Christian echo mechanic

Mr Gomes is a devout Christian. The hall echoed with laughter. My car badly needs a good mechanic.

psychiatrist Shes depressed I think should see a psychiatrist. technology Modern technology is amazing, isnt it?

ch sound as in chef
The details are given in the travel brochure. The police have seized a cache of explosives.

brochure cache

champagneLets celebrate with a bottle of champagne. charades chauffeur machine Lets play a game of charades. Why dont you hire a chauffeur for your limousine? The machines in the factory are too old.

moustache Hes got a big scary moustache. sachet Theres a free sachet of shampoo with this soap.

7 Pronunciation of -et
et at the end of words is pronounced in more than one way.

-et pronounced as it

In most two or more syllabled words ending in -et, -et is pronounced as I /t/. Listen and practice. basket blanket bonnet budget bullet carpet closet faucet ferret hatchet market millet plummet puppet supermarket


-et pronounced as ay

Note that some words ending in -et are borrowed from French. In these words -et is pronounced ay. ballet beret bouquet cabaret cachet chalet croquet duvet parquet ricochet sorbet Are you coming to the ballet tonight? Thats a nice beret youre wearing. I bought a bouquet at the florists. The club is famous for its cabaret. The cachet he has earned comes from his wealth. I used to play croquet at school. For tonight, Ill use the duvet, you use the blanket. Parquet is becoming more popular than the carpet these days. Can I have a glass of lemon sorbet, please?

We stayed in a chalet on our holiday in Switzerland

gourmet Have you tried the new gourmet restaurant?

The goalpost caused the ball to ricochet into the net


8 Pronouncing -ment
The ending -ment may look too simple. But trying to pronounce a few words with this ending will do no harm.

-ment generally pronounced

Listen to these words that end in ment. Pay attention to how -ment is pronounced. Then practice saying the words. advancement employment filament government payment advertisement environment fulfilment management tournament

Stress on -ment

In the following words -ment is stressed and so pronounced differently. Listen and practice. cement


and -ege 9 -age endings

-age and ege are usually pronounced as idge as in bridge when they come at the end of two or more syllabled words.

Practice with -age and -ege endings

baggage college garbage mileage patronage wastage

allege cabbage cottage hostage mortgage village


10Silent letters
The following letters may be silent in the pronunciation of some words: b, c, d, g, h, k, l, n, p, s, t, w. Listen and practice.

bomb numb limb

Silent b
comb climb succumb crumb plumber debt doubt subtle

thumb dumb lamb tomb womb

Silent c
scene scientist scent scissors

muscle sceptre

Silent d
handkerchief handsome


Silent g
benign champagne design ensign gnarled gnat gnome paradigm reign sign

assign campaign consign diaphragm foreign gnash gnaw malign phlegm resign

Silent h
exhibition honest hour

exhaust heir honour

rhetoric rhino rhythm school

rheumatism rhyme scheme

knee knit knot

Silent k
knife knock know

balm calf chalk folk palm

Silent l
behalf calm could half salmon stalk walk yolk

should talk would


Silent n
column damn solemn

autumn condemn hymn

Silent p
pneumonia pseudonym psychology

cupboard psalm psychiatrist

10 Silent s
aisle island corps isle

11 Silent t
castle christen debut glisten listen mortgage thistle wrestle chasten Christmas fasten hasten moisten soften whistle

12 Silent w
answer who whom wrap wreck wretched wrist sword whole whose wrath wrench wrinkle writhe

A homophone is a word with the same pronunciation as another word, but with different spelling and meaning. Following is a list of homophones. Listen and practice.

be bean heal meat

Practice with homophones

bee been heel meet hell board coarse warn bored course worn

morning mourning

peace piece scene seen steal steel weak week knew new knight night knot not

berth birth curb fir guessed leased passed kerb fur guest least past

heard herd


brake break stake steak male sale tale rain wait way pray mail sail tail rein weight weigh prey reign

blew flew to root aisle buy die eye hire

blue flu too route Ill by dye I higher isle bye two

threw through

some sum son sun

write right aloud allowed foul berry bread weather fowl bury bred whether

ascent assent base cell cent bass sell scent sent

cereal serial

lead (pencil) led


know no loan pole road role sew lone poll rode roll so

air bare fair pair stare ware

heir bear fare pare stair wear pear


Homographs are words with different meanings and origins which have the same spelling. The pronunciation is usually the same (A bear is a wild animal; I cant bear the pain). But some homographs differ in their pronunciation (I live in Nepal; I saw a live concert yesterday).

Common homographs

Listen and practice.

word part of meaning speech sentence


adj verb

near shut time small

Im not very close to him. Please close the door. Wait a minute, please. Pay attention to even the minute details.


noun adj


noun noun verb

line fight

Stand in a row. They had a row in the restaurant.

paddle Row the boat gently.



part of meaning speech



noun verb


Dont shed your tears, my dear.

separatePlease tear the paper along the dotted line.


noun verb

air turn

The wind is blowing fiercely. You need to wind the handle to the left.


noun verb

injury wrap

I got this wound in an accident. She wound a scarf around her neck.


noun adj

metal main

Lead pipes are dangerous. Hes the lead singer of the band.

verb show wayPlease lead me to the office. sow noun verb bow noun noun pig plant The sow has three piglets. Farmers sow seeds.

weaponArchers use bows and arrows. knot I tied the ribbon around the parcel in a pretty bow.



People bow to their king.


Stress makes a difference

Some homographs differ in their pronunciation because of the stress. Pay close attention to how the following homographs are pronounced and notice the difference in meaning. Listen and practice. word content part of meaning speech noun adj contract noun verb object noun amount satisfied sentence Chocolate has a high fat content. Hes content with what he has.

agreement Lets not delay in signing the contract. shorten item Metals contract on cooling. That strange object really frightened me.

verb project noun verb

disagree work

I object to the proposal youve made. Im involved in a research project.

calculate We project a 15% increase in sales next year.


13Word stress
In every English word of two or more syllables, one syllable is given particular emphasis compared to the others. This is called primary stress. Although it is often not possible to know where to place the stress in an unfamiliar word, it can be helpful to remember the following approximate rules.

Common nouns and adjectives

Many common nouns and adjectives are stressed on the first syllable, especially those words that have two syllables. Listen and practice.
athlete breakfast brother building carrot evening father metal better clever funny happy naughty stupid utter yellow


Compound words

Compound words, particualrly nouns, are usually stressed on the first part. Listen and practice. barber shop can opener clock tower motorcycle post office travel agent wrist watch

Part of speech

In some words with two syllables, the first syllable is stressed when the word is a noun or adjective, but the second syllable is stressed when it is a verb. Listen and practice. export: He has an export company. He exports carpets. conduct: Her bad conduct disturbed everyone. Please conduct the test well. produce: This juice is a produce of Australia. Please produce your documents tomorrow. progress:

Shes making good progress in her studies. Im sure shell progress in life.

Self practice

The following is a list of words similar to the ones in exercise 3. Pronounce each of them twice - first with the stress on the first syllable and then with the stress on the second syllable. combat compound construct contest contract contrast convert convict decrease exploit extract frequent insult object perfect permit present project protest recall record reject subject survey suspect transfer transport upset

Now, practice saying each of the words above in sentences of your own.

Endings that are stressed

Note that the following word endings are usually stressed. Listen and practice. -ee -ese -ique -eer -esque -ette referee Japanese physique mountaineer picturesque brunette

Endings that do not influence

The following word endings do not usually cause the primary stress to move. Listen and practice. -age patron patronage -en -ful -ing -less -ly -ment -ness -y

awake success understand meaning regular develop tidy comfortable

awaken successful understanding meaningless regularly development tidiness comfortably

Endings that influence

The following endings cause the stress to move to the syllable immediately before the ending. Listen and practice. -graphy -eous -ious -ial -ian -ion -ic -ical -ity photograph advantage injury commerce comedy conserve academy economy able photography advantageous injurious commercial comedian conservation academic economic ability

More practice with common words

Listen and practice. Stress on first syllable astronaut chicken childhood coffee devastate doctor favourite interesting pencil popular president restaurant salad Stress on second syllable confess delicious determine develop electric potato ridiculous success surprising terrific today tomorrow