When the weather is bad, you’ll want to be sure to have your umbrella with you. Learn how to practice this word by breaking it down sound by sound, knowing what’s stressed and what’s not. 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, we’re going to go over the pronunciation of the word ‘umbrella’.
This week’s Word of the Week is ‘umbrella’.
Thanks so much to the user who suggested it! This is a three-syllable word with stress on the middle syllable. Umbrella, da-DA-da, da-DA-da. We begin with the UH as in BUTTER sound. Since it’s not in a stressed syllable, the jaw won’t drop quite as much as it would in a stressed syllable, like the first syllable of ‘butter’. Um-. Um-. Um-. Then we have the M consonant sound, the lips must come together for that. Umb-. For the B, they may press a little bit more than they did for the M. Umb-re. Next is the R consonant. So our tongue tip, which
has been behind the front teeth the whole time, must pull back and up. The tip isn’t touching anything, and the middle part is touching the roof of the mouth or the teeth about here, umbr-. Now we have the EH as in BED vowel. This is our stressed syllable, and this vowel requires a good bit of jaw drop. Your tongue tip will come forward and back down so it’s again touching behind the bottom front teeth, -bre-. Umbre-. Now we have a Dark L. To make this sound, the jaw will come back up, and the back part of the tongue will pull back, umbrell-. The tip stays forward, where it was for the EH. Umbrell-. This pulling back of the tongue makes the dark sound, ul. Next we bring the tip of the tongue up to the roof of the mouth, umbrell-, and quickly back down so the tip is again behind the bottom front teeth for the schwa. Umbrella, umbrella. Make that last syllable
really short since it’s unstressed: -a, -a, -a. Umbrella. Umbrella.
Make sure you go buy Rihanna’s single ‘Umbrella’, ‘ella, ‘ella, eh, eh, eh. I’ll let her sing it.
Here it is in slow motion.
If there’s a word you find difficult to pronounce, suggest it in the comments. That’s it, and thanks so much for using Rachel’s English.
Hey guys! Did you know I’m running an online course? The topic: Vowels and Diphthongs. I hope to see some of you there. Click here for more information.