The N consonant is one of the three nasal consonants. Learn the correct mouth position with illustrations and up close, slow motion speech.
YouTube blocked? Click here to see the video.
The N consonant sound. This sound is made by the front/top part of the tongue raising and touching the roof of the mouth, nn, nn. The teeth part a bit, the lips are open, nn, nn, and the vocal cords make sound, nn, nn. Here is the N consonant sound on the right compared with the mouth at rest. You can see that the lips are parted and the jaw is slightly dropped for this sound.
Here, parts of the mouth are drawn in. The tongue raises in the front and touches the roof of the mouth just behind the teeth. So actually the tip of the tongue is touching the front teeth. This is one of the few sounds in American English where the soft palate remains down. This allows air to pass over the soft palate, and causes it to feel somewhat in the nose. It is a nasal consonant along with M and NG. Sample words: nice, can, dinner. Sample sentence: Now I don’t know when I can come. 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 this sound.
Now, jaw drops and the tongue goes to the roof of the mouth just behind the teeth for the N. Down for the ‘ow’ as in ‘now’ diphthong. I, with the ‘ai’ as in ‘buy’ diphthong. Don’t, the lips are rounded here, so you can’t really see the tongue goes up behind the teeth and back down. Know when, lips make the tight circle. Tongue up for the N. I can come with the ‘uh’ as in ‘butter’ vowel sound and the lips together for the M consonant sound. And now from the angle. Jaw drops while the tongue goes to the roof of the mouth just behind the teeth. Now, ‘ow’ as in ‘now’ diphthong. I don’t, tongue up to the roof of the mouth for the N, and again for the N in know. When, lips make the tight circle for the W and the tongue up to the roof of the mouth for the N. I can, tongue raises in the back for the K sound. Come, with the ‘uh’ as in ‘butter’ and the lips close for the M consonant sound. That’s it, and thanks so much for using Rachel’s English.