You can learn English vocabulary in the best possible way with this video—by learning the correct pronunciation of English words directly from an experienced English speaking teacher! You’ll learn English pronunciation for all of the words related to doing the laundry. This video is a fun, easy and step-by-step guide for English speaking and vocabulary pronunciation practice—all about the laundry! English words are notoriously difficult, but with a little effort you can really increase your skills.
You will help me do my laundry and learn English vocabulary along the way. I will teach you the precise, correct pronunciation of each word, including the spelling of each vocabulary word using IPA. The next time you need to do the laundry you’ll know exactly what to say!
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In this English vocabulary video, you’re going to help me do some laundry.
My laundry room is in my basement so we’re going to head down there! It would be awesome to have a laundry room where you didn’t have to go down into the dark scary part of your house, but I don’t! So laundry room.
Laundry room. The word ‘laundry’ is interesting because it has a DR cluster. And often, Americans pronounce the DR cluster so it sounds like JR. jjj Laundry, jjj, -dry. You can make a DR cluster, dd, -dry. But you don’t have to.
You may find it easier to make a JR cluster, that’s fine. That’s what most Americans do. Laundry. Laundry. Try that with me. Laundry. Laundry room.
And my laundry room is in my, basement. All right, let’s go to the basement. All right we made it to the basement.
So, first of all this is a laundry basket. I have two different laundry baskets. Now! These should probably be in here!
Laundry basket. Basket with the AA as in BAT vowel. The unstressed syllable has a very quick IH vowel. –it. Basket. Basket. Say that with me. Basket. Laundry basket. All right we made it to the basement.
So, first of all, this is a laundry basket. I have two different laundry baskets. Now, these should probably be in here. Hard to tell.
Okay, so we have lights or whites and darks. And that’s sort of funny because light, dark, white, those are adjectives but we put an S at the end of them turning them into a noun.
So if this was all white, I could call them whites. But since I also have other stuff in here, like Stoney’s cute little gray jeans, I’m going to call this my lights. It’s not all white.
And these are darks, you could also call them colors. Usually we just split our laundry into lights and darks. Lights, darks, whites, colors. We have four plurals here.
The rule for plurals is, the S is pronounced as an S when the sound before was unvoiced. So that’s an S sound for lights, darks, and whites. If the sound before was voiced, then it’s a Z sound. That’s for ‘colors’. Ending Z sounds are weak, and
they usually sound like a really weak S: colors, ss, sss, ss, instead of SS like in ‘darks’.
TS cluster can confuse people. The tongue tip can actually stay down. Lift a part of the tongue further back to the roof of the mouth and stop the sound. Tss, tss. When you lower that part of the tongue, the tongue is in position to make the S. Whites. Lights. Whites, lights. Try all four of those with me: lights, darks, whites, colors.
Hard to tell. Okay, so we have lights, or whites and darks.
Washing machine. Washing machine. Look, we have the SH sound twice. Once, it’s spelled with a SH and in ‘machine’, with a CH. Same sound, spelled differently. Wassssshhhhing maccccchhhhine. Washing machine. Try that with me. Washing machine.
Washing machine and dryer. Dryer. Another DR cluster. So you can either make it a D, dd– dryer, or a J sound: jj– jryer. The AI diphthong, lots of jaw drop for that. Draiiiii– yer. Then a quick ER at the end. No break. Dryer, dryer. Smooth connection. Dryer. Say that with me. Dryer. Washing machine and dryer.
And for clothes that you’re not going to put on a dryer, we have a drying rack. Very useful.
Drying rack. Now instead of –er, we have an –ing ending. Drying, drying. A smooth transition between syllables, no break. Drying. Rack. Tight circle for the beginning R. Ra-ah– then lots of jaw drop. Rack. Drying rack. Try that with me. Drying rack.
And for clothes that you’re not going to put on a dryer, we have a drying rack. Very useful. We also have a utility sink, where we can hand wash clothes.
Utility sink. The T here comes between two vowels, that’s a Flap T, unless it begins a stressed syllable, which is what happens here. So it’s a True T. U-til. Util-ity. The second T is between two vowels and doesn’t start a stressed syllable, so it’s a Flap.
Utility. Try that with me. Utility.
Sink. The IH vowel here is followed by the NG consonant. The letter N always makes an NG sound when it’s followed by a K. So it’s made with the back of the tongue, Sing– instead of the front, NN. When IH is followed by the NG, which happens all the time with ING words, the IH vowel is a little tighter, it’s closer to ee. So it’s not ih-si, si-ih-nk. But ee, si-sink. Sink. Say that with me. Utility sink.
We also have a utility sink, we’re we can hand wash clothes. So sometimes, you don’t put it on a washer, you hand wash it.
Hand wash. This is a case where you can drop the D. It’s not uncommon to drop the D between two other consonants, and I think it sounds just fine to say ‘han-wash’. Hann-wash. The requirement for dropping the D is you have to link the two words together, no separation. Hand wash, hand wash. Say that with me. Hand wash. So sometimes you don’t put it on a washer, you hand wash it.
Iron. That’s a pretty tough word. Iron. And then we also have an ironing board. Iron and ironing board. Okay, tough words here. It looks like it should be i-ron, but it’s not.
Actually, the R comes after the vowel in the second syllable. Since the vowel there is the schwa, you don’t even need to try to make a vowel sound there. When R comes after schwa, it absorbs it. Errrr, just one sound, rrrrrr. I—rr—nn. Iron. It might help you connect these two syllables if you think of a Y sound being in between them. I—yyyrrrn. Iron. Iron.
So separate what the word looks like based on the letters, from the pronunciation. If you focus on the how the word looks, it will probably mess up how you say it. I—yyyrn, iron. Say that with me. Iron. Try it now with ING ending. I-yr-ning. Ironing, ironing board.
Again don’t focus too much on the letters, that might mess you up, just imitate what you’re hearing me say. Ironing. Ironing, ironing board. Try that with me. Ironing board. Iron. And then we also have an ironing board.
So you can see we have the load size and the temperature. Load size. We have two diphthongs here. First, an OH diphthong, jaw drop, then lip rounding. Load. Load. Then the AI diphthong. Jaw drop then the tongue arching towards the roof of the mouth. Ai, si– size. Load size. Notice what’s happening with the D. I don’t release it, but I don’t drop it. I make a really quick D sound, dd– in my vocal cords before the S. Load—dd-dd size. Load size. Connect the two words. Try that with me. Load size. Load size.
So you can see we have the load size and the temperature. Temperature. This is a tricky word. It looks like it should be four syllables: Temp-er-a-ture. But many Americans will make this just three, it’s a simpler pronunciation. TEM-pra-ture. Try it! TEM-pra-ture. Notice the second T here is a CH sound. Tem-pra-ture. Temperature. Try that with me. Temperature.
So you can see we have the load size and the temperature. Temperature. So load size, anywhere from small to super, which means really big.
Precise fill just means the machine will figure out how much you have in there. For temperature, we have anywhere from cold to hot. Passing thru warm and colors.
Tap cold, what does that mean? That just means that the machine doesn’t try to make it cold, it just uses whatever the temperature is as the cold comes out of the tap.
Then we have several different options here, so these are all dials, and these of course are buttons.
Dials and buttons: Let’s start with dials. We have AI diphthong, and then a Dark L. Dia-uhl, uhl, uhl. Tongue tip stays down, it does not lift before the S. Dia-uhls. The back of the tongue does the work here for the dark L. Pulls back, presses down a little bit. Uhl, uhl. Dial. Dials. Try that with me. Dials. Is your tongue tip lifting? Don’t let it. Try again. Dia-uhls, Dials.
Buttons. The double T here is a Stop T because it comes before schwa-N. So put your tongue into position for the T, stop the air, butt-nns, then make a N sound. Button. Buttons. Say that with me. Buttons.
So these are all dials, and these of course are buttons. This is where you choose your wash cycle. I don’t usually get too crazy here but we have a wash cycle. You can also choose an extra rinse for a rinse or an extra spin for the spin cycle.
So cycle is another word that we use with laundry. Wash, rinse, spin cycle. Careful with the P not to put too much air in it. Some people want to, pph, put a lot of air in, making almost an extra H sound. Spin. Spin. Pph– It’s just spin. Pp, pp, pp. A very light separation of the lips. Not a B, sbbin, but a very light P. Pp– Spin. Wash, rinse, spin cycle. Say those with me. Wash, rinse, spin cycle.
So cycle is another word that we use with laundry. So that’s it for the washer. We have a top-loader, more fancy ones are front loaders. Top-loader and front-loader.
Both P and T are stop consonants. That means there’s a stop of air, and a release. When stop consonants at the end of a word are followed by another consonant, we usually don’t release them. Pp, tt, we just move on to the next sound.
So top loader looks like this: top—loader. My lips come together for the P, that stops the sound, top—loader. But then I just to into the L sound. Top loader. Top loader. Front loader, front—loader. Stop the air in between. This is not the same as fron-loader, fron-loader, where there is no T at all. I am making a T by making the stop of air. The stop is needed.
Front loader. Front loader. Say these two with me: top-loader, front-loader. So that’s it for the washer.
We have a top-loader, more fancy ones are front loaders, and ours has…if you can bring the camera over here, ours has this thing in the middle, which is called an agitator, some washers don’t have an agitator.
Agitator. We have two T’s between vowels. The first is a True T, and the second is a flap. Why? Because the first one begins a stressed syllable. You might say, wait a second Rachel. Agitator. Stress is on the first syllable. Okay, you’re right. But there’s secondary stress on the third syllable. A-gi-ta-tor.
Secondary stress generally doesn’t mean much. It’s really just like an unstressed syllable. But when it comes to this True T rule, it does matter. A T is always a True T if it starts a stressed syllable, and that includes secondary stress. The second T, between two vowels, starts an unstressed syllable, so it’s a flap. Rra– Agitator. Agitator. Say that with me. Agitator.
Ours has this thing in the middle which is called an agitator. Some washers don’t have an agitator. We have laundry detergent.
Laundry detergent. Detergent. First T a True T because it begins a stressed syllable. Detergent. Say that with me, detergent.
This can also be called laundry soap. Soap. A light release of the P. Soap, or not, soap. Say that with me. Soap. We have laundry detergent. And we have… Oh, this is heavy! Bleach.
Bleach. BL consonant cluster. As soon as the lips part, the tip of the tongue is right at the roof of the mouth, blll, bllleach. Say that with me: bleach. Oh, this is heavy! Bleach. We don’t have fabric softener but that’s another thing you can put in a washing machine.
Fabric softener. Softener – this word is interesting because in the word ‘soft’, we pronounce the T. Soft. But in the word ‘soften’ or ‘softener’, the T is silent. Sof-en-er. Say that with me. Softener. Fabric softener.
We don’t have fabric softener but that’s another thing you can put in a washing machine. We also have stain remover. Of course, with the kid, we need to use it all the time. Stain remover. So important to have.
I like the word ‘remover’ because it’s a stressed syllable, ‘move’, with a really quick R sound before and after. The quickest R sound you can make: rr, remover, remover. Most non-native speakers make their unstressed syllables too long. How short can you make these unstressed syllables? Rr move rr, Remover. Stain remover. Try that with me. Stain remover.
We also have stain remover. Of course with the kid, we need to use it all the time. I think, usually, when I refer to this, I just refer to the brand. Like, “David, I think we need more Zout.” Is this Zout or Z-out? I don’t know. Spray-On Wash. Stain Stick. Oxiclean. Max Force. You got to have a variety.
So for the dryer, you have a couple different options. Automatic Dry. That’s what I always use.
Automatic dry. Both T’s are flap Ts. Automatic. I’ll do it with two true T’s: automatic. Wow. Automatic. Flap T’s really help to smooth out and make an American sound: automatic. We love that smooth flow of sound in American English. Automatic. Try it with me. Automatic.
So for the dryer, you have a couple different options. Automatic Dry. That’s what I always use. And of course these are dials just like on the washing machine. And don’t forget to empty…the lint screen.
Lint screen, lint screen. What am I doing with that T? Lint screen. I’m making it a stop. Lint screen. It’s different from ‘lin-screen’, where there’s no break. We need that little break, lint screen. That little stop, to know a T was there. Lint screen. Lint screen. Say that with me. Lint screen.
And don’t forget to empty…the lint screen. We don’t have any, but you might put dryer sheets in.
Dryer sheets. Remember, you can make this word with a D sound, dryer, or a J sound, “jryer”. Dryer sheets. Say that with me now. Dryer sheets.
We don’t have any, but you might put dryer sheets in to keep your clothes from getting staticky.
Static, staticky. T’s in beginning clusters are usually True T’s. St. St. The second T, is a Flap. Static. Staticky. Try that with me: static, staticky.
We don’t have any, but you might put dryer sheets in to keep your clothes from getting staticky. All right I have a load to do. Let’s do it. This is a big one, this is going to be a super. I’m not sure if that sweater should go in, I think it’s okay. Some stuff is dry clean only. Do you ever put dry clean only stuff in your washing machine? I know I do. I’m guilty of that.
Dry clean. It’s a compound word, written with a space, and a compound word has stress on the first word, like ‘eyeball’ or ‘bedroom’. Dry clean. So rather than ‘clean’, it’s ‘clean’. Unstressed. Dry clean. Try that with me: dry clean.
Some stuff is dry clean only. Do you ever put dry clean only stuff in your washing machine? I know I do. I’m guilty of that.
Stuff it down around the agitator. Wow that’s really full. Okay, I’m pretty sure you’re supposed to put this in first but I have never ever done that in my entire life of doing the laundry. And I did have to start doing my own laundry when I was in the fourth grade. About nine years old, that’s when my Mom was like “I’m not doing your laundry anymore.” Okay, normal, super, tap cold. There we go!
I should probably go fold that laundry. I have several vocabulary videos like this one, click here to see that playlist. I cover topics like cars, family relationships, and items in the kitchen.
What other vocabulary lists would you like to see? Let me know in the comments below.
That’s it, and thanks so much for using Rachel’s English.