Vocabulary study: how to pronounce the days of the week in American English. Learn the pronunciation of Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.
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The days of the week: Monday Monday is spelled with an O but it is pronounced as the ‘uh’ as in ‘butter’. Monday . Now all of the days of the week end, of course, in ‘day’, and it is pronounced the same in each of these days of the week, with the ay diphthong. Tuesday, Tuesday, Tuesday. Wednesday.Now, Wednesday is spelled with a D, but that D is silent. Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday. Thursday. The TH that begins this sound is unvoiced: th. Thursday. So with this we have that tricky ur [ɜ] vowel-consonant mix. So we go from the th straight to that uurr straight to the zz. So in a way, there is no real pure vowel sound in that first syllable. Thursday. Friday. It’s spelled with an I but it’s pronounced the diphthong ai, ai, Fri-, Friday, Friday. Saturday. Now this is, of course, spelled with a T, Sat-, but it is pronounced as a D, sadder. Just like ‘I am sad, and now I’m sadder; it is pronounced exactly the same way. Saturday, Saturday. Sunday. Sunday is very straight-forward, isn’t it? Sunday.
Now to focus on how the sound looks in the mouth and not just how it sounds to the ear, I’m going to step through the beginning sound for each of these days of the week. Here you can see the M sound being formed. The lips are still together, but the teeth are already starting to separate within the mouth, which is why the lips look a little bit pulled. This is the sound for ‘Tuesday’. You can see the teeth are together to make that tt, tt sound and the corners of the mouth are starting to come in to make that oo sound. And this is the ww Wednesday sound. As you can see, the lips have come in to make this oo shape, which is critical for correctly pronouncing the W sound. This is the th sound for Thursday. In this th sound, the tongue must come out from the teeth. It’s a little bit harder to see here because my bottom lip is covering up my bottom teeth. But you can see that tongue, still, coming out underneath the op teeth. The ff, Friday sound. Here, the bottom lip is coming up and touching the very bottom of the top front teeth, ff. And you can see that the mouth is not completely relaxed because you see a little bit of tension in the cheeks around the corners of the mouth. Here we have the ss sound, which begins both Saturday and Sunday. Ss. Again, it is not so clear to see in speaking because my bottom lip is covering up my bottom teeth. They have come together so the air can release to make that ss sound.
Now I’m going to show the photos in random order, and I want you to guess, based on what you see, what is that beginning sound, what is that day of the week. If you are watching this video through my website, you can see the answers below the transcript. 1114 The two TH consonant sounds. These sounds are paired together because they take the same mouth position. Th is unvoiced, meaning, only air passes through the mouth, and th is voiced, meaning you make a sound with the vocal cords. To make this sound, the very tip of the tongue comes through the teeth, th, th, thanks, th, th, this. The rest of the mouth remains relaxed. For the THR consonant cluster, the lips will begin to move into position for the R while the TH is being made. Three, three. In some cases, these sounds will be replaced with through the teeth. Instead it presses against the closed teeth. This will happen in an unstressed word only, when there isn’t enough time given to the word for teeth to part and the tongue to come through. For example, ‘What’s in the car?’ What’s in the car? The tongue isn’t coming all the way through the teeth.
Here we see the TH sound on the right compared with the mouth at rest on the left. And with parts of the mouth drawn in. The soft palate is raised for this sound. You can see the tongue through the teeth, just the tip comes through. The TH consonant sounds. Sample words: thin/this, thief/these, birthday/worthy. Sample sentence: I thought of using these Lily of the Valleys rather than those thorny roses. Now you will see this sentence up close and in slow motion, both straight on and from an angle, so you can really study how the mouth moves when making these sounds.
I, with the ‘ai’ as in ‘buy’ diphthong. Thought, tongue tip through the teeth, TH, thought. ‘Aw’ as in ‘law’, tongue up to make the T which is a D here, thought of. Using, the ‘ew’ as in ‘few’ diphthong. These, tongue tip through the teeth. Lily of the Valleys, tongue up in the L position, comes down, ‘ih’ as in ‘sit’, back up for the second L, lily, of, bottom lip up for the V sound, and again for the V sound of Valleys. Tongue up for the L, that was an L, not a TH. Rather, lips take the R consonant shape, and the tongue comes through the teeth again for the TH, one more time quickly for than. Those, ‘oh’ as in ‘no’ diphthong, and again for thorny, thorny roses, R consonant shape, ‘oh’ as in ‘no’ diphthong. Teeth together for the Z sound, then part slightly for the schwa, and together again for the final Z sound. And now from an angle. I thought, tongue tip through the teeth, tongue up to make the D sound, bottom lip up for the V. Using, with the ‘ew’ as in ‘few’ diphthong. These, tongue tip through the teeth. Teeth together for the Z sound and tongue up to make the L. Lily, up again for the second L. Lily of, bottom lip up for the V. And you don’t even seen the tongue for the TH there because it’s so quick. Of the Valley, Valleys. Rather, mouth takes the R consonant shape and the tongue tip comes through for the TH. Rather. The tongue tip comes through quickly to make than and those, than is very short there. ‘Oh’ as in ‘no’, teeth together for the Z sound. Thorny, tongue through the teeth for the TH, tongue up to make the N, roses. R consonant shape, teeth together for the Z sound, part for the schwa, and together again for the Z sound. That’s it, and thanks so much for using Rachel’s English.