In this video, you’ll get to see the word ‘water’ used many times in English conversation. How is it pronounced? It can be tricky with the Flap T. Learn how to practice this word by breaking it down sound by sound. Then put it all together to feel confident using this word in American English conversation.
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In this American English pronunciation video, you’re going to learn how to pronounce the word ‘water’.
This video is being made on vacation. So, the background’s weird, the lighting’s weird, but we get the benefit of having lots of other fun people be in this video so that you can better learn American English pronunciation. We’re going to learn how to pronounce the word ‘water’. ‘Water’ is especially interesting because it’s so different in American English than it is in British English. So let’s start. How do we pronounce it?
The lips will round for the W consonant. Wa-. Then we have a vowel. It’s a lot more open in American English than it is in British English. I use the AH as in FATHER vowel, wa-, ah, where my jaw drops quite a bit. The back part of the tongue presses down a little bit. Wa-, ah, wa-. So that’s a very open sound. Water.
Then we have the letter T. It comes between two vowels. So, in American English, we’re going to make that a Flap T. It will sound like a D. In British English they don’t do that. They keep a True ‘tt’ sound. Water, water. This Flap T sound is the R sound in some other languages like Arabic, Spanish, Portuguese. But, in American English we call it a Flap T, and the tongue just bounces up against the roof of the mouth. Water, -ter, -ter. So, it’s a quick easy movement and there’s no stop of air.
Then we have the schwa-R sound. In American English we maintain a real R sound. In British English, they don’t when it’s at the end of a word. Water, -er, -er. It’s a very closed sound. So to make the sound, the tongue lifts up and it pulls back a little bit. So, the middle part of the tongue is touching: maybe the roof of the mouth, maybe the teeth, rr, rr, while the front has pulled back and up a little bit, so it’s not touching anything, rr. We can hold that sound out. The tongue shouldn’t be flapping, ruh, ruh. That’s only for the Flap T. Here it holds in place: water, rr, rr. You can see the lips will round a little bit for that final sound as well. Water.
You don’t need to worry about making a separate schwa sound. Just go straight from the Flap into the R. Water, water. Now we’re going to see a little bit of video of me walking to the well with my family to fill up our water bottles, and you’re going to hear the word ‘water’ lots of times.
>> How, like, old-fashioned are we that we have to walk to the well to get water?
>> I know.
>> We’ll here we’re just on our way to the well to get some water!
>> See, in rural Michigan…
>> How’s it taste, David?
>> Oh, the water is really good.
>> Jace, how was the water?
>> Cold and good.
>> How’s the water?
>> That water tastes great.
>> Alright, does everyone have all the water they need?
>> I have my water. Let’s go.
>> Wait! One more.
>> Do you have your water?
>> I got my water.
>> Jace, do you need more water?
>> Karina, can you way ‘water’?
>> Say ‘water’ for the camera.
>> Say ‘water’.
I hope this has helped you understand how to pronounce ‘water’ in American English. If you’re interested in exploring the differences between American English and British English, check out this video I made with Minoo. Don’t forget to like the video and share it. Put a comment below if there’s another word that you would like me to teach you how to pronounce.
That’s it guys, and thanks so much for using Rachel’s English.