Be QUITE sure how to pronounce QU-words with this video. Watch the up close, slow motion pronunciation to study the lip rounding and get it right: question, quality, quick, queen, etc.
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In this American English pronunciation video, we’re going to go over how to pronounce the words ‘quality’ and ‘question’.
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I’ve noticed that the KW consonant cluster can be difficult for some people, so they just make a K sound instead. So ‘question’ becomes ‘keschin’.
Let’s study what this consonant cluster should look like in the word ‘question’.
Lips come into a tight circle for the W sound. Next we have the EH vowel. Jaw is dropped, tongue tip is forward, and the middle of the tongue lifts. Next my teeth will come together for the S. The tongue tip can point up or down. Here you can see it’s pointing up. Teeth stay together and lips flare for the CH sound. Tongue tip is at the roof of the mouth. Lips relax. We can’t see the tongue, but the tip flaps down for the IH vowel, then right back up for the N consonant. Watch again.
Practice that slowly with me: question. Qu-, tight circle! Question. The second syllable, -tion, is unstressed. It should be “–tion” and not “chin” –tion –tion –
Flat in pitch, fast: Question. Question.
Let’s take a look at the KW cluster in another word, ‘quality’. Also, watch for the Flap T.
Lips come into a tight circle for the W sound. The AH vowel. The tongue presses down a little in the back. The L consonant. Here I make it by pressing the tongue tip up on the bottom of the top front teeth, so the tip peeks through the teeth. It can also be made with the tongue tip at the roof of the mouth. Tongue comes into the mouth and down for the IH vowel, then flips up the to the roof of the mouth for the Flap T. And releases down for the ending unstressed EE vowel as the mouth closes.
Practice that with me slowly: quality, qu-, tight circle! Quality. This is a three-syllable word with stress on the first syllable. So the last two syllables should be flatter in pitch and have less energy in the voice. –ity, -ity, -ity notice how relaxed the face is. -ity Quality. For the Flap T, the tongue bounces once against the roof of the mouth. It’s just like the R sound in some languages. -ra Quality.
QUE-stion. QUA-lity. Let’s watch them again.
I hope this video has made these words easier to pronounce. Here are some more words that begin with [KW] cluster for you to practice with:
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