For people who speak Spanish and Portuguese, s-cluster words can be tough. The mistake is to pronounce an ‘eh’ vowel before the cluster. Watch this video and try to break that habit!
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Made especially for speakers of Spanish and Portuguese, in this American English pronunciation video, we’re going to go over the pronunciation of words that start with an S consonant cluster.
Special thanks to my users who helped me develop this topic. In Spanish and Portuguese, words do not start with an S consonant cluster. But in English, there are many common words that do. For example, study. So, these speakers tend to put an ‘eh’ sound in front: eh-study.
Last week I went to a gala, and a woman there accepted an award. She was a native Spanish speaker, and as she gave her speech, she said the word ‘spiritual’. And she pronounced it eh-spiritual, with that eh-vowel. I noticed it especially because so much about her accent was very, very good. So, even after someone has done a lot of work and corrected a lot of problems, this beginning S consonant cluster tends to stick around.
So how should you work on beginning words with the S consonant cluster? Luckily, in both Spanish and Portuguese, there are words that start with the S consonant. For example, ‘sin’ in Spanish, and ‘sem’ in Portuguese. So, when you’re practicing words that begin with S consonant clusters, I would alternate this with your word that begins with an S consonant. For example: sssssin, sssstudent, and so on.
Let’s go over all of the different beginning S consonant clusters. ST, like student. STR, street. SM, smart. SN, snake. SL, slap. And, the SK consonant cluster, which can be spelled four different ways: school, scoop, skip, square. SP, space. SPL, split. SPR, spring. And SW, swift.
I can hardly believe how many consonant clusters there are! But now that you know what they are, practice them. Drill them. Look for words that you use in everyday conversation that begin with an S consonant cluster. Keep track of that, and at the end of the day, use those words to drill. If you can start a word with an S, you can start a word with an S cluster.
That’s it, and thanks so much for using Rachel’s English.