- 1. PRONUNCIATION
- 1 /br/ brat, brain, bread, brief, brick, bright, broth, broken, brook, brush, brute, brow, brought, brewer
- 2 /fr/ fracture, afraid, friend, freak, friction, fright, from, fruit, Freud, fraught
- 3 /gr/ grapple, grape, Greg, green, greed, gritty, gripe, grock, grow, grew, groin, growl
- 4 /tr/ trackies, tradie, trendy, treat, trip, try, troll, trophy, true, Troy, trout
- 5 /pr/ practice, pray, pretzel, pre, pretty, prior, pro, prude, prowess, prayer, prawn,
- 6 /θr/ thrash, threat, three, thrifty, thrive, throttle, throat, through
- 7 /sr/ + /ʃr/ shrapnel, shred, shriek, shrimp, shrine, shrug.
- 8 /dr/ Dracula, drag, dreadful, dream, drift, dry, drop, drove, drug, drew, drought, draw, dreary
- 9 /kr/ crab, crazy, credit, creep, critical, crime, crow, crew, crowd.
- 2. GRAMMAR
- 3. VOCABULARY
Hey there, this is Jay from E2, thanks for tuning in for the first-ever E2 English podcast!
We’re really excited to be able to give you quality English language training each week through your ears! Remember to share this podcast with your friends if you find it helpful, which I’m sure you will.
Hi there, Jay here. Welcome to the E2 English podcast. In each episode, we teach you grammar, vocabulary or pronunciation.
In this episode, we are going to focus on a tricky but important part of English pronunciation.
Remember to check out E2 English for AI-backed English pronunciation online courses – you can do this by going to www.e2school.com
I love teaching pronunciation. It’s so interesting because it’s NOT something you learn with your mind, it’s something you practise with your mouth! It’s a skill like learning to ride a bike or learning how to dance, except we do it with our mouth – our lips, our tongue, our teeth and our throat!
I’ve tried to learn a few different languages and there’s nothing more fun than trying to get the sounds just right. Some sounds you’ll find easy, because you’ll have them in your first language, but some sounds you will find very challenging!
At first the challenging sound will feel strange – completely unnatural to you, but to the listener, to me, the native speaker, it’ll sound perfect, so you have to drop your insecurities and start making strange sounds. Be brave!
Now, English pronunciation is quite complex. But I’m going to make it easy for you. Put simply, in English there are 44 individual sounds, like p for pink or b for blue or r for red or y for yellow. Let’s call these ‘single sounds’, and we’ll eventually go through all 44 of them.
But today, we’re going to start on something a little more challenging. I hope you’re ready to join me and practise saying:
So what’s a combined sound? Well, I told you that there are 44 single or individual sounds in English like p, b, r and y, but we can also combine these sounds like: B and R as in brown. Or P and R as in pretty.
In this episode we’re going to focus on combined sounds that have a R sound in them, we’re gonna look at 9 of them and they include:
BR, FR, GR, TR, PR, THR, SHR, DR and KR.
I want you to practise saying these sounds and these words with me. Try your very best to mimic the way that I say them. Keep in mind that my accent is Australian but it’s very neutral. Sometimes people can’t guess were I’m from, and that’s probably a good thing for pronunciation practise.
Here we go… let’s start with number 1: B and R as in BROWN. Here you put your top and bottom lips together and then push the air out. BR BR BR.
You may know the word or you may not, it doesn’t matter – I just want you to listen and repeat after me as best you can.
Cool! How did you go with those sounds? Maybe you have the BR combination in your first language so it was pretty easy for you, or maybe you do not, in which case, it may have felt unnatural. Stick with me. Soon, all of these sounds will feel natural to you.
Let’s move onto number 2 now, the F & R sounds. To make the FR sound you have to put your top teeth on your bottom lip and then push air through your top teeth. FRRRR.
2 /fr/ fracture, afraid, friend, freak, friction, fright, from, fruit, Freud, fraught
Easy peasy! I hope that you are saying these sounds out loud. Remember that pronunciation is NOT a mental exercise, it is a physical exercise. What we’re doing is taking our mouth to the gym to learn new sounds. Trust me, after a while, it’ll get strong and sound great!
Let’s do number 3. This time we’re doing G and R as in GREAT. Ready?
3 /gr/ grapple, grape, Greg, green, greed, gritty, gripe, grock, grow, grew, groin, growl
Sweet! Nice work.
Let’s now do number 4: This time it’s T & R as in TRAGEDY. With this sound you want to push the air right to the front of your teeth. It’s almost like a CH sound like Chicken, except there’s a sneaky little R sound in there as well.
Ready? Let’s practice.
4 /tr/ trackies, tradie, trendy, treat, trip, try, troll, trophy, true, Troy, trout
Now, I’m just going to stop here and tell you about a pronunciation course that we have on E2 English that actually takes you through ALL of the 144 combined sounds in English, and what’s really cool is that it has AI built into it so you can get immediate feedback. It’s worth checking out if you really want to sound clearer in English. Just click the link in the description.
Okay, let’s now look at a problematic sound for a lot of English learners. It’s the P & R sound. As in PRactice. This sound is VERY similar to the BR sound we heard before as in the colour brown except with PR we push the air out of our mouth. So we put our bottom and top lip together and we push the air our: PR PR PR.
5 /pr/ practice, pray, pretzel, pre, pretty, prior, pro, prude, prowess, prayer, prawn,
Now, what you may or may not have noticed is that we are actually practising two things at once here. Yes, we’re practising the PR sound, which is great, but we’re also practising the vowel sounds as well.
The vowel sounds in English are:
a, A, e, E, i,I, o, O, ol, u, oo, oi, ow, air, ar, ir, aw, ear and ure. So there are 20 in total.
So for each combined sound like BR or FR or PR we’re actually also going through the vowels in order as well.
You might be interested to know that a vowel sound DOES NOT use any part of our mouth. To make the a, e or i sounds, for example, notice that we do not use our lips, tongue or teeth. The air just comes out straight from our belly.
Okay, the next one is going to be hard, and if you speak Italian you need to listen carefully. We’re going to make the THR sound, as in THRASH or THROUGH. This is a difficult sound for a lot of people. To make this sound put your top teeth on your tongue and then poke your tongue out a little THRR THRR it’s NOT a FR. You need to poke out your tongue.
6 /θr/ thrash, threat, three, thrifty, thrive, throttle, throat, through
Yikes! That’s a weird sound. But if you want to sound natural then you might need to feel a bit weird. It’s just the way it is. I learned a little bit of Farsi recently, which is the language of Iran, and they have this GH sound that we don’t have in English. For example to say how are you in Farsi you say: khubi? And to say I’m good you say “khubam”. Now that sound felt weird for me, I didn’t want to say it but to the person listening to me it sounded perfectly normal! So, the weirder you feel the better.
Okay, we’re nearly done with today’s lesson. We have three more sounds (THRee). The next sound is SHR. Here you need to make your mouth look like Donald Trump. Haha. Actually, it’s true. You need to make your lips a little rounded and put your top teeth on your bottom teeth and then push the air out: SHRRR.
7 /sr/ + /ʃr/ shrapnel, shred, shriek, shrimp, shrine, shrug.
There aren’t many vowels that match with that SHR sound… interesting. I think perhaps a lot of those words are loaned from other languages. That’s kind of what makes English a bit crazy. We have lots of distant relatives from other countries.
Okay, this time we’ll practise the DR sound as in DRIVE. This time we clench our teeth together and only push a little bit of air through our mouths.
8 /dr/ Dracula, drag, dreadful, dream, drift, dry, drop, drove, drug, drew, drought, draw, dreary
Cool, now some of these vowels are easier than others. Some vowel sounds are short like a or e or i, some are long like A, or E or I. And some are combined vowels like EA-R or OI. Can you hear the two little sounds together? Again, some of these sounds will be easy for you or some will be hard. It depends on whether you have these sounds in your first language or not.
Okay, lucky last! We’re focusing on the KR sound as in CRAZY! OMG, I’m not sure how to make this sound. It doesn’t seem to have any mouth involved at all. You have to sound like a frog!
9 /kr/ crab, crazy, credit, creep, critical, crime, crow, crew, crowd.
And that’s it! You’ve done it. You’ve worked your way through 9 different combined sounds in English with lots of examples. You’ve also practised saying the 20 different vowel sounds as well.
I hope that was helpful. Remember that if you liked this episode and you want to become fluent in English then make sure to subscribe and share this with your friends!
Also, if you want to practise with AI feedback then you can check out our pronunciation course on E2 English.
My name is Jay and I’ll see you soon.
Hey there, I’m Mark and welcome to the second episode of the E2 English podcast.
Today we’re going to practise grammar. I’m going to explain all you need to know about a particular verb tense called the
Have you been to China? Have you seen the latest Star Wars movie? Have you ever gone rock-climbing? have you, have you, have you?
This is the present perfect. We use it to talk about recent events and experiences.
The present perfect is the third most common verb tense in English. We use it a lot! It’s super important to be able to understand and to use when speaking. And, like all the other verbs, it has quite a few different meanings and quite a few different ways that it can change. Because that’s what English verbs do. They change a lot.
In this podcast, I’m going to talk to you about four different ways we can use the present perfect – or four different meanings.
Let’s start by asking Jay a few questions about EXPERIENCE.
M: Hi Jay.
J: Hi Mark.
M: Jay, have you ever seen a Leonardo DaVinci painting?
J: No. I’ve never seen one of his paintings. Why? Have you?
M: I have. Jay, have you ever been in love?
J: Been in love? I have.
M: You have?
J: I have. I’ve been in love many times!
So here I asked Jay a number of questions using the present perfect to find out about his experiences: Have you? Have you ever? And Jay responded to my questions using: Yes, I have or No, I haven’t, or I’ve never. Did you hear that? This was all about experience.
Let’s now ask Jay some questions using the present perfect to find out about change over time. Ready?
M: Hi Jay.
J: Hi Mark.
M: Jay, have you grown since the last time I saw you?
J: Have I? I don’t think so. I’m still the same height.
M: Have you gotten a little fatter?
J: I probably have. I’ve been eating quite a bit of chocolate.
M: Are you still studying French?
J: I am.
M: How’s that. Has your French improved since we last spoke?
J: It has improved. I’ve improved quite a bit.
Here, I was asking Jay questions using the present perfect verb tense to find out about something that has changed over time. I asked him about his height – Have you become taller? I asked him about his weight. Have you gotten fatter? And I asked him about his French skills. Have you improved? Could you hear how my questions and Jay’s answers referred to change happening over time?
Let’s now look at the third way of using the present perfect: accomplishments or achievements.
M: Hi Jay.
J: Hey Mark.
M: Hey, Jay, have you finished reading Sapiens yet?
J: I have! I finished it last night.
M Great! Well done. Can I ask you another question about accomplishments?
M: Have you done your taxes?
J: Um… I haven’t.
Here, I asked Jay questions about things he has achieved – or not – using the present perfect. So I can ask: Have you? To find out about achievements or accomplishments, about whether something is completed or not.
Okay, let’s listen to the final use. This time I’m going to ask Jay some common questions to find out about HOW LONG he has been doing something. This is a really common question when talking about work or study or living somewhere.
M: Hey Jay, how long have you lived in Melbourne?
J: I’ve lived in Melbourne for about 10 years.
M: How long have you worked at E2?
J: I’ve worked here since 2012.
Did you notice that Jay answered with two important key words: FOR and SINCE.
He said: I’ve lived in Melbourne FOR about 10 years.
And then he said: I’ve worked here SINCE 2012.
So we use FOR to show a length of time and we use since to show a particular year.
Okay, great! So we learned today that we can use the present perfect to talk about:
Experiences – have you ever been to China?
Achievements or accomplishments – have you graduated from college?
Change over time – have you put on weight?
And how long – how long have you lived or worked here?
I hope that was helpful. Remember to subscribe to this podcast and if you need any help with your English grammar remember to check out E2 English by going to www.e2school.com
My name’s Mark and I’ll see you soon.
make – collocations
Make the bed
(Make ends meet)
Make off with (another woman)
Make a fool of…
Make a face
Make up your mind