Most of the time when you see the letters NG, you want to pronounce them as one sound only, the NG sound [ŋ]. Can you make this sound without a hard G [g] sound?
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One of my regular blog users has sent of herself speaking to help work out some of her pronunciation problems. There was one thing that I noted that I wanted to add here, because I thought that other people might be able to benefit from it. This NG sound: ng [?]. When she makes it, it is often followed by a kk or gg, quick sound, which sounds like a bit of a click at the end of the word. For example: sing, wrong. It’s subtle, but it’s not necessary.
To make the NG sound, the middle/back part of the tongue is raising to touch the roof of the mouth. Ng, ng. To make the G/K sound, it is the back of the tongue that is pulling away from the soft palate, so it’s not very far from the NG sound. The NG sound is a little further up, where the tongue touches, the G/K sound is a little further back. But, if you allow any sort of pressure to build up while you’re making the NG sound, and then you pull the tongue down, when the tongue comes down it’s going to make that gg, kk sound. So what you need to avoid doing is letting there be pressure build up and then pulling the tongue away. After you make the ng, NG sound, that is it. That is the final sound. Sing, sing.
So, the sound stops here rather than letting it build up a little further back and then releasing the tongue. Sing. Now, I do want to note, that there are some cases where the G is enunciated on its own, after the ng sound. For example, in the word fungus. And this is because this ‘gus’ is starting the beginning of the next syllable, so the G is enunciated. Gg, gg. There are a few such cases. And I will do a blog on that to follow up. But in general, the NG is most commonly pronounced as the ng, NG sound, and should not be followed by the gg or kk.