Non-native speakers mispronounce by the dozen every day. Even fluent speakers. Even those working in high-paying white-collar jobs.

Why can’t they correct these pronunciation mistakes? Why have they been repeating these mistakes for years, even decades.

The answer is this question: will they take corrective steps when they don’t even know they’re mispronouncing?

In this post, I’ll list correct pronunciation of more than 250 commonly-mispronounced words in English. And places. And brands.

In some of the pronunciations below, you’ll be off by just tiny bit (and that’s enough of a mistake), and therefore you’ll have to look at the pronunciations carefully to spot the mistake you’ve been making. To give an example, the correct pronunciation of the word ‘refrigerator’ is ‘ri-frij-uh-rey-ter’. However, almost everyone calls it ‘re-frij-uh-rey-ter’. Did you catch ‘ri’ vs. ‘re’?

For few pronunciations, I’ve highlighted the common mistake in red. You’ll realize that in most cases you mispronounce because you speak the word the way it is written.

Before we jump into the list, here is a brief 101 lesson on how to speak out pronunciations mentioned in the tables below. (The pronunciations in this post are in non-phonetic form, which is more intuitive than phonetic form.)

  • Each group of letters separated by the hyphen is called a syllable. For example, the pronunciation ‘re-frij-uh-rey-ter’ has five syllables. Syllables are the building blocks of pronunciation and are spoken as a unit sequentially.
  • The syllables in bold need to be stressed (means they need to be said louder and longer than other syllables). For example, the syllable ‘frij’ is stressed more than other syllables while pronouncing ‘refrigerator’.
  • ‘uh’ appears in almost every second pronunciation. It sounds what it looks like. I would suggest you to listen the pronunciation of few words such as ‘address’, ‘balloon’, and ‘cadet’ at dictionary.com to get a hang of ‘uh’ sound.
  • When in doubt on any of the pronunciations in the tables below, type in the word in dictionary.com and listen.

Words whose different forms are pronounced differently

Word Pronunciation (verb) Pronunciation (noun)
Contest kuh n-test kon-test
Convict kuh n-vikt kon-vikt
Object uh b-jekt ob-jekt
Proceed pruhseed proh-seed
Progress pruhgres prog-res
Project pruhjekt proj-ekt
Record ri-kawrd rek-erd

A

Word Pronunciation
Acoustic uhkoo-stik
Adjective aj-ik-tiv
Adjust uhjuhst
Adolescent ad-l-esuhnt
Alcohol alkuh-hol
Almond amuhnd
Alzheimer’s ahlts-hahy-merz
Ambitious am-bishuh s
April ey-pruhl
Arithmetic uhrith-muh-tik
Asthma az-muh
Attorney uhtur-nee
Automobile aw-tuh-muhbeel

B

Word Pronunciation
Balcony bal-kuh-nee
Ballet ba-ley
Balloon buhloon
Banana buhnanuh
Barley bahrlee
Barometer buhrom-i-ter
Bear bair
Biology bahy-oluh-jee
Bomb bom
Bouquet boo-key
Breakfast brekfuhst
Buffet buhfey
Bury ber-ee

C

Word Pronunciation
Cache kash
Cadet kuhdet
Canal kuhnal
Capacity kuhpas-i-tee
Career kuhreer
Carnivorous kahr-niv-er-uh s
Celebrity suhleb-ri-tee
Chaos key-os
Civil sivuh l
Cleanser klen-zer
Collaboration kuh-lab-uhrey-shuhn
Colonialism kuhloh-nee-uh-liz-uh m
Comb kohm
Comedian kuhmee-dee-uhn
Commodity kuhmod-i-tee
Competitor kuhm-pet-i-ter
Complacency kuh m-pley-suh n-see
Complicit kuh m-plis-it
Congratulation kuh n-grach-uhley-shuh n
Creature kree-cher
Crocodile krokuh-dahyl
Cucumber kyoo-kuhm-ber

D

Word Pronunciation
Debris deybree
Decent dee-suh nt
Decimal desuh-muh l
Decipher dih-sahy-fer
Democracy dihmok-ruh-see
Democratic dem-uhkrat-ik
Demography dihmogruh-fee
Dengue deng-gey, -gee
Deodorant dee-oh-der-uhnt
Depot deepoh, dep-oh
Descent dih-sent
Dessert dihzurt
Detonate det-n-eyt
Developer dih-veluh-per
Devotee dev-uhtee
Diaspora dahy-as-per-uh
Diplomacy dih-ploh-muh-see
Diplomatic dip-luhmat-ik
Disposition dis-puhzishuh n
Divisive dih-vahy-siv
Domestic duhmes-tik
Dominion duhmin-yuh n
Draught draft
Drought drout

E

Word Pronunciation
Eccentric ek-sen-trik
Echelon eshuh-lon
Electoral ih-lek-ter-uh l
Electrician ih-lek-trishuhn
Eloquent eluh-kwuhnt
Emergency ih-mur-juh n-see
Encompass en-kuhm-puh s
Endeavor en-dev-er
Engine en-juhn
Engineer en-juhneer
Envelope en-vuh-lohp
Epitome ih-pituh-mee
Extravaganza ik-strav-uhgan-zuh

F-G

Word Pronunciation
Facilitate fuhsil-i-teyt
Faux Pas foh pah
February feb-roo-er-ee
Forensic fuhren-sik
Forget ferget
Frivolous frivuh-luhs
Generic juhner-ik
Glove gluhv
Grenade gri-neyd
Guerrilla guhriluh
Gullible guhluh-buh l

H

Word Pronunciation
Handkerchief hang-ker-chif, -cheef
Handsome han-suh m
Hazard haz-erd
Hereditary huhred-i-ter-ee
Hippopotamus hip-uhpotuh-muhs
Horizon huhrahy-zuhn
Hotel hoh-tel
Hypnotize hipnuh-tahyz
Hypocrisy hipok-ruh-see

I

Word Pronunciation
Ignorance ig-ner-uhns
Impropriety im-pruhprahy-i-tee
Indict in-dahyt
Infamous infuh-muhs
Infinite in-fuh-nit
Information in-fermey-shuhn
Ingredient in-gree-dee-uhnt
Innovation in-uhvey-shuhn
Introduction in-truhduhk-shuhn
Introvert in-truh-vurt

J-L

Word Pronunciation
Jeopardy jep-er-dee
Jewellery joouhl-ree
Kerosene keruh-seen
Legacy leguh-see
Legitimate li-jituh-meyt
Leprosy lepruh-see
Lettuce let-is
Liaison lee-ey-zuhn/ lee-ey-zawn
Lieutenant loo-tenuhnt

M

Word Pronunciation
Magician muhjishuh n
Majestic muhjes-tik
Materialize muhteer-ee-uh-lahyz
Maternal muhtur-nl
Matrix mey-triks
Medieval mee-dee-ee-vuhl
Melodious muhloh-dee-uh s
Melody meluh-dee
Memory memuh-ree
Metabolism muhtabuh-liz-uhm
Metallic muhtal-ik
Midas mahy-duh s
Miracle miruh-kuhl
Mischievous mis-chuh-vuhs
Monk muhngk
Monopoly muhnopuh-lee
Monotony muhnot-n-ee
Mosquito muhskee-toh
Moustache muhs-tash

N-O

Word Pronunciation
Nazi naht-see
Neglect ni-glekt
Negotiate ni-goh-shee-eyt
Nominal nomuh-nl
Nominee nom-uhnee
November noh-vem-ber
Numb nuhm
Objective uhb-jek-tiv
Offend uhfend
Official uhfishuhl
Onion uhn-yuh n
Oven uhvuhn

P

Word Pronunciation
Parameter puhram-i-ter
Parole puhrohl
Pathetic puhthet-ik
Pathology puhtholuh-jee
Patrol puhtrohl
Peasant pezuh nt
Penalty pen-l-tee
Periphery puhrifuh-ree
Petition puhtishuh n
Petrol petruh l
Pharmacy fahr-muh-see
Phonetics fuhnet-iks
Pizza peet-suh
Police puhlees
Political puhlit-i-kuhl
Politician pol-i-tishuh n
Position puhzishuh n
Potato puhtey-toh
Preface pref-is
Prejudice prejuh-dis
Preparation prep-uhrey-shuhn
Preposition prep-uhzishuh n
Procedure pruhseeje
Proceeding pruhsee-ding
Prodigious pruhdijuh s
Product produh kt
Production pruhduhk-shuh n
Professor pruhfes-er
Profound pruhfound
Promising promuh-sing
Pronunciation pruh-nuhn-see-ey-shuhn
Propel pruhpel
Prophetic pruhfet-ik
Provocative pruhvokuh-tiv
Pyramid piruh-mid

R

Word Pronunciation
Radar rey-dahr
Rapport ra-pohr
Realization ree-uh-luhzey-shuhn
Realm relm
Receipt ri-seet
Recipe resuh-pee
Reciprocate risipruh-keyt
Refrigerator rifrijuh-rey-ter
Regimen rejuh-muhn
Renaissance ren-uhsahns
Repeal ri-peel
Repetition rep-i-tishuh n
Repetitive ripet-i-tiv
Respect ri-spekt
Responsive ri-spon-siv
Restriction ri-strik-shuh n
Rhetoric reter-ik
Robotics roh-bot-iks

S

Word Pronunciation
Sachet sa-shey
Saliva suhlahy-vuh
Salon suhlon
Schizophrenia skit-suhfree-nee-uh
Sedentary sed-n-ter-ee
Seismic sahyz-mik
Semester simes-ter
Simplify sim-pluh-fahy
Social soh-shuhl
Sophisticated suhfis-ti-key-tid
Sponge/ Spongy spuhnj
Sporadic spuhrad-ik
Squirrel skwuruh l
Statistics stuhtis-tiks
Strategic struhtee-jik
Succumb suhkuhm
Suffocate suhfuh-keyt
Suspicious suhspishuh s
Syllable siluh-buhl
Symbol sim-buh l
Symmetry sim-i-tree
Synonym sinuh-nim
Synonymous si-nonuh-muh s

T

Word Pronunciation
Tear tair
Technology tek-noluh-jee
Terrific tuhrif-ik
Theory theeuh-ree
Thorough thur-oh
Tobacco tuhbak-oh
Tomato tuhmey-toh
Tomb toom
Tortoise tawr-tuh s
Trigonometry trig-uhnom-i-tree
Tyranny tiruh-nee

V-W

Word Pronunciation
Vegetable vej-tuh-buhl, vej-i-tuh
Veterinarian vet-er-uhnair-ee-uh n
Vigilant vijuh-luhnt
Vitamin vahy-tuh-min, vit-uh-min
Voluminous vuhloo-muh-nuh s
Wednesday wenz-dey
Wizard wiz-erd
Woman woomuhn
Women wimin
Worm wurm

Places

Place Pronunciation
Asia eyzhuh
Bahamas buhhah-muhz
Bolivia buhliv-ee-uh
Britain brit-n
Cairo kahy-roh
Cannes kan
Chile chilee
Columbia kuhluhm-bee-uh
Ecuador ek-wuh-dawr
Israel izreyuhl
Japanese jap-uhneez
Melbourne mel-bern
Morocco muhrok-oh
Namibia nuhmib-ee-uh
Netherlands neth-er-luh ndz
Peru puhroo
Portugal pawrchuh-guhl
Seoul sohl
Singapore sing-guh-pawr
Toronto tuhron-toh
Texas tek-suh s

University Pronunciation
UC Berkley burk-lee
Oxford oksferd
Stanford stan-ferd

Brand Pronunciation
Calvin Klein  kal-vin kline
Chevrolet  shehv-ruh-lay
Christian Dior kris-tee-ahn dee-or
Gucci goo-chee
Lacoste luhkost
Levi’s lee-vahyz
Mont Blanc mawn blahn
Peugeot p ew sz oh
Porsche por-sha
Renault reh-no
Tag Heuer tag-hoy-yur
Tissot tih-soh
Versace vur-sah-chee

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