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How to Speak English with a British Accent

Posted by Native English Skype Teacher on June 26, 2018 at 12:45 AM Comments comments (0)

There is a distinct difference between British English pronunciation when compared to American pronunciation. British English has a sophisticated sound, an educated tone, and it seems that I'm not the only one who appreciates this elegant lingo. British English is revered around the world as the original English, and for this reason, many ESL students desire to speak the Queen's English. Here are a few pointers to help out anyone who prefers fish and chips to burger and fries...

British English Pronunciation of the letter 'R'.

The most obvious difference British English pronunciation and American pronunciation is the use of the letter 'R'. When utilising this consonant at the beginning of a word, the mouth shape is the same in both accents:

1) the lips should form a small circle.

2) the tongue is rounded, pointing up towards the top of the mouth

3) the top teeth come forward

4) the throat will constrict a little

Say it with me; rabbit, rain, read, roll, repeat. Nice!

Things start to sound very different when the 'R' is at the end of a word. Where the American mouth shape remains the same as above, the British mouth shape opens up, and the sound becomes 'ah', as in amount, or appreciate. Say it with me:

So to sound less Lady Gaga and more Lady Diana; open up your 'Rs' into 'ahs'.

British English Pronunciation of the vowel 'U'.

A simple change of the mouth when pronouncing the letter 'U' in some words, really sounds natural and Britishy. American pronunciation of these words tends to be more 'oo', whereas the British pronunciation is more 'yoo'. Here are the main words that students mispronounce, say them out loud!

British Pronunciation of the letter 'T'

Similarly as discussed above regarding the 'R' sound, if the 'T' sound is spoken at the beginning of a word, then it's a strong 'T' sound, in both British and American accents.

1) the teeth touch
2) the tongue sits directly behind the teeth
3) force air through the teeth
4) lips slightly apart

Say it with me: train, teeth, teacher, tango. Excellent!! 

When the 'T' sound is in the middle of the word, American English turns this into a soft 'D' sound, whereas the British pronounce it as in the above explanation, a strong 'T'.

So How Can you Improve your British Accent?

Surround yourself with British voices, that means radio, TV shows, the news, films. Swamp yourself in a 'marathon run' of Bridget Jones' Diary, followed by Notting Hill, followed by Love Actually. If 'rom-coms' aren't your thing, the BBC is always a great point of reference for excellent British English pronunciation; podcast, news, sport, dramas, comedies...it has everything.

The other action needed to absolutely guarantee clearly-spoken-British English, is to speak with a native speaker regularly. Your British teacher should be focusing particularly on your pronunciation, as well as adding phrases, idioms and common British phrasal verbs to your language skills. Online classes are extremely convenient, as all you need is your phone and an internet connection. Here at www.NativeEnglishSkypeTeacher.com we pride ourselves on providing the best teachers on the planet, hand picked for their teaching experience...and their pretty smiles. 

If you are ready to take the next step with your language level, we are here to help. Good luck on your British-speaking journey dear students! See you for a pint soon!

Prepositions of Place

Posted by Native English Skype Teacher on December 6, 2014 at 4:00 AM Comments comments (1)

Prepositions of Place

The most common prepositions of place are; at, on and in.


We use ‘at’ when talking about a specific place. Here are a few examples:

- At the door.

- At the end of the street.

- At reception.

- At the bakery.


We use ‘on’ when talking about any kind of surface. Here are some examples:

- On the floor.

- On the page.

- On the wall.

- On the table.


We use ‘in’ when talking about place that is enclosed. Here are a few examples:

- In Tokyo.

- In the hospital.

- In my purse.

- In the car.


Example Sentences:

- I will meet you at the Bus Station tomorrow.

- I was on the toilet when you called.

- My brother is in London for Christmas.


Some very common phrases are listed below using the above prepositions:

- At home

- At reception

- At work

- At the top

- On a bus

- On a train

- On a plane

- On the radio

- On the internet

- On the TV

- In a taxi

- In a car

- In the paper

- In an elevator