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Learn and practice the exact pronunciation for more than 20 English vocabulary words about vegetables!
I’m here at my local grocery store to go grocery shopping for some vegetables for this vegetable vocabulary video.
Garlic looks good. Tomatoes on the vine. Those look nice. These might be heirloom tomatoes. They are, mmm, those looks so nice. Slice that on a sandwich.
There you heard the terms garlic and tomatoes. Both are two-syllable words with stress on the first syllable.
For garlic. We have an R followed by L. Depending on your native language, that can be tricky. Try practicing it, holding out your R. Garrrr— the tip is pulled slightly back enough and it’s not touching anything. Garrrr— garlic. Then bring your tongue tip up and forward for the light L. Garlic. Say that with me. Garlic.
Garlic looks good.
Tomato or tomatoes. Notice that the first T is a true T, unlike tomorrow or today, which also start with an unstressed syllable, T schwa. This really has to be a true T. It sounds weird with a flap T. The second T however is a flap T because it comes between two vowels and doesn’t start a stressed syllable. Tomato. Toma– dadadada– Tomato.
Make that by just flapping your tongue once on the roof of the mouth. Tomato. Tomatoes. Say those with me. Tomato. Tomatoes. You also heard the phrase: tomatoes on the vine, which is just what it sounds like. A set of tomatoes still attached to the vine.
Tomatoes on the vine. Those look nice.
Also, I said heirloom tomatoes. Those are tomatoes grown from heirloom seeds. Notice that the H is silent in that word. Heirloom. Say that with me. Heirloom.
These might be heirloom tomatoes. They are, mmm, those looks so nice. Slice that on a sandwich.
You also heard a funny pronunciation of the word ‘sandwich’. We often don’t say the D sound in this word. So it sounds like sanwich, sanwich, with just an N sound and you’ll even hear it with an M instead of an N. That’s what I did. Sam, Sam-wich. Sandwich. Sandwich. A very common pronunciation of that word. Sandwich. Say that with me. Sandwich.
Slice that on a sandwich.
Let’s look at a close-up of garlic. Garlic. This is called a head of garlic, and one piece pulled off is called a clove. Head. Clove. Say those with me. Head. Clove.
Sweet potato. Red onion. Yellow onion. White onion. Red potato. Regular potato. Russet.
There, you saw several varieties of potatoes and onions. Potato rhymes with tomato. The first T is a true T because it begins a stressed syllable even though it does come between two vowels. The second T is a flap T because it comes between two vowels and doesn’t start a stressed syllable. Potato. Potato. The first O is a schwa. Pot— the second O is the OH diphthong. Oh. Oh. Potato. Say that with me. Potato.
Red potato. Regular potato. Russet.
Onion. The first letter O is the UH as in butter sound. Uh— Onion. Onion. Say that with me. Onion.
Red onion. Yellow onion. White onion. All sorts of mushrooms. Look how big these portabellas are. Oh my gosh, they’re huge.
Mushrooms. One of my favorite vegetables. So many varieties. And also one of Stoney’s favorite vegetables. Two-syllable word, stress on the first syllable. Mush-room. Room, room, room. Room is unstressed, lower in pitch, has less energy in the voice. Room, mushroom. Mushroom. Say that with me. Mushroom.
All sorts of mushrooms. Look how big these portabellas are. Oh my gosh. Cauliflower. Oh, that looks good.
Cauliflower. The first syllable can have the AW vowel, caul— or the AH vowel, ca— cauli– cauli– cauliflower. The first syllable is the most stressed. Cauliflower. Say that with me. Cauliflower.
Cauliflower. Oh, that looks good. Like garlic, a unit of one cauliflower is called a head. When you cut it up into smaller pieces, those pieces are called ‘florets’. Florets. Say that with me. Florets.
Nice and fresh. Asparagus.
Asparagus. A four-syllable word with stress on the second syllable. So the first syllable should lead up to it, and the last two syllables fall away. Ah-spar-agus. Asparagus. Say that with me. Asparagus.
Asparagus. Oh wow, look at this artichoke. I’ve never made an artichoke. I’ve only ever bought them canned.
Artichoke. Here, we have a flap T. Why? It doesn’t come between two vowels. That’s the rule for flap T, but there is a second rule. A T is also a flap T when it comes after an R, before a vowel or diphthong like here. So you’ll flap your tongue once on the roof of the mouth.
Arti– dididididi– Artichoke. First-syllable stress. Artichoke. Say that with me. Artichoke.
Oh wow, look at this artichoke. The eggplants look good. Is that on the list? Yep? And the cabbages.
Eggplants. Eggplant has nothing to do with a chicken but one variety was originally called this because it looked like a goose egg. Make the G with a back of the tongue, gggg– then close your lips for the P, egg– and you don’t try to pull your tongue away to fully pronounce the G. Egg-plant. Eggplant. Eggplant. That G is too heavy. Instead, just lift the tongue, egg– and close the lips for the P and release. Eggplant. Eggplant. Say that with me. Eggplant.
The eggplants look good. Parsnips. Don’t think that’s on our list.
Parsnip. I love these put into a fruit and vegetable smoothie. Make sure you drop your jaw for the AW vowel before the R. Par– paarr– parsnip. Say that with me. Parsnip.
Parsnips. I also bought a bunch of vegetables and brought them home. Let’s take a look. Avocado. Let’s cut it open. An avocado. Let’s see. What’s on the inside? It’s not a seed. Is it a pit? Does that sound right to you? It’s a pit. There it is. Avocado.
Avocado. We have two syllables here with the AH as in father vowel. Don’t let that first letter O fool you. It’s a schwa. Uh, said very quickly. Avo, avo, uh, uh, avo. Avocado. Third syllable is the most stressed but the first syllable has some stress too. A-vo-ca-do. Avocado. Avocado. Say that with me.
I mentioned seed and pit. I went over the pronunciation of these two words in the fruit vocabulary video that I did. Did you miss that? It’s a great one. I’ll put a link to that one towards the end of this video.
An avocado. Let’s see. What’s on the inside? It’s not a seed. Is it a pit? Does that sound right to you? It’s a pit. There it is.
Broccoli. Just like cauliflower, this is a head. And when it’s cut into smaller pieces, those are called florets. This is one of those words that can be three syllables or two like: camera, camera, and family, family.
I recommend you go with the two-syllable pronunciation I think it’s more common and it’s simpler. Brocc–li instead of broc-uh-li. Broccoli. First-syllable stress. Broccoli. Say that with me. Broccoli.
Broccoli. Cabbage. Let’s cut it open. I have to be really careful because this knife is extremely sharp. I actually gave it to David for Father’s Day and the same day, we had to go to the ER because he got his finger. I better be really careful. This is a tough cabbage. There we go. Cabbage.
Cabbage. Which can be extremely hard to cut. Cabbage. This is also called a head. A head of cabbage. But it doesn’t cut down into florets the way that broccoli and cauliflower does. Good thing I was so careful with that knife, right?
The first syllable is stressed so keep the second syllable really short. Age, age, age. Cabbage. Cabbage. Say that with me. Cabbage.
Cabbage. Which can be extremely hard to cut. Carrot.
Carrots. I can’t hear this word without thinking of Anne of Green Gables where a boy teases her for having red hair by calling her carrots.
You mean, hateful boy!
How dare you!
This word is written phonetically with the AH as in bat vowel but that’s not how it’s pronounced. R changes this vowel. It’s more like the EH as in bed vowel but not quite that either. Car– car– car– Just like CARE, care. Carrot. Carrot. Carrots. Say those with me. Carrot. Carrots.
Carrot. I have two peppers, a red pepper, and an orange pepper.
Peppers. There are so many kinds of peppers. Bell peppers, like you saw in the video, and then all kinds of hot spicy peppers. And then of course, there’s the spice pepper, which with salt is very typical on the American dinner table.
Pepper. Unstressed schwa R ending, said quickly, low in pitch. Er, er. Pepper. Pepper. Say that with me. Pepper.
I have two peppers, a red pepper, and an orange pepper. Here’s a bunch of kale.
Kale is a really thick, hearty leaf. Kale. K constant, AY diphthong, and the dark L. Kale. Kale. This is a bunch of kale, not a head like we have with lettuce or cabbage. All of the leaves were already cut off and not attached to a main stem. So it’s a bunch, kale. Say that with me. Kale. Kale.
Kale is a really thick, hearty leaf. Lettuce a two-syllable word with first-syllable stress. What do you notice about the double T? Lettuce. It’s a flap T. A single sound. The second syllable is said very quickly. Lettuce. Us, us, us. Lettuce. Say that with me. Lettuce.
This is a bunch of scallions. Also known as green onions. Scallions or green onions. Green onion or scallion. You already know onion. Green can be a little tricky because of the GR consonant cluster. With clusters with R, I always recommend holding out the R as you practice to give you some time to focus in on the right sound and position. Grrrr-een green, green, green onion. Say that with me. Green onion. Green onions.
Scallion another word for the exact same thing. A dark L, scal– scal– scallion, scallion. Say that with me. Scallion.
Scallions. Corn. This is an ‘ear of corn’ and when you take off the outer leaves to reveal the kernels of the corn, this act, this verb, which is harder than it looks, it’s called shucking. I’m shucking the corn. Corn. Corn on the cob. Corn. This word has the AW as in law vowel but when it’s followed by R, just like it is here, it changes. Now, the lips around more and the tongue pulls back more. So it’s not aw, law but it’s uhl, co– corn. Corn. Corn. Corn. Say that with me. Corn. Corn.
Shucking corn is a lot of work, isn’t it? I called the green things that I was pulling down leaves but really that’s the husk. And inside the husk, those strands that look like hair, that’s called corn silk. You’ll see some more corn silk coming up in a minute.
This is an ear of corn, and when you take off the outer leaves to reveal the kernels of the corn, this act, this verb, which is harder than it looks, it’s called shucking. I’m shucking the corn.
I didn’t get video of celery, cucumber, or radishes, three other common vegetables. Celery is another word that can be three syllables. Cel–err–ee. Celery. But I recommend pronouncing it with two: cel-ree. Celery. Celery. Say that with me. Celery.
Cucumber. Three-syllable word, stress on the first syllable, which has the JU diphthong. Cu– cu– cucumber. Say that with me. Cucumber. Radish or radishes. The plural here, ES adds an extra syllable because the last sound of the noun was an SH. Radishes. Radishes. It’s like the word ‘is’ said very quickly as a third syllable. Radish. Radishes. Say those with me. Radish. Radishes.
I hope this vegetable vocab video has helped you. What other vocab videos would you like to see? Put it in the comments below. That’s it and thanks so much for using Rachel’s English. That’s it for the vegetable vocabs. Here’s some corn silk. Woo! Celebrate!