Many English learners claim that listening is their biggest difficulty in English. One of the toughest issues is about some words that are hard to listen to. In this video, Gabby Wallace from Go Natural English shows you 6 regularly confused words in English listening and how to distinguish between them.
There are two ways to distinguish between “can” and can’t”:
The first one is the ending /t̼/ sound. However, this approach is quite difficult because the /t̼/ sound in “can’t” is usually very weak.
Another way is to base on the vowel sound. We have the same letter “A”, but it sounds different in each word. While the “A” in “can” sounds like an /e/, it is more like /ɑ:/ in “can’t”.
Walk and Work
The big difference between “walk” and “work” is the vowel sound. For “walk”, it is the /ɔː/ sound, and for “work”, it is the /ɜːr/ sound.
Thought and Taught
The only difference between “thought” and “taught” is the /θ/ and the /t̼/ sounds. This is the most difficult one for English learners because not many languages have the /θ/ sound, where you have to put your tongue between your teeth. However, if you practice enough, it not only helps you to distinguish between these two words, but it also helps you to improve your pronunciation.
What an interesting and helpful video! If you have any other similar sounds that are difficult for you to distinguish, don’t be shy to share with us. We’d love to help.
Featured image source: gonaturalenglish.com
Video link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=usf-hw-zCDc
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