How to learn to read in English - the rules of pronunciation and tips

English is one of the most common and popular in the world. Before starting the training, it is worth noting that English, unlike German, has “pitfalls” that you can stumble upon while reading texts. There are specific rules in English regarding the reading of certain combinations of letters. They should be remembered, because without the correct pronunciation, even with the knowledge of a large number of words, a person will not be able to communicate with a native speaker.

The most important rules

The most important difference between English and Russian is that their environment influences the reading of a letter (or group of letters). It is important to take this into account before learning the rules of pronunciation.

The basis of correct reading in English is the ability to distinguish 2 types of syllables.

  1. Open - after a consonant there is a vowel (for example: take). In this case, the vowel sound is read as it stands in the alphabet, and the consonant - depending on the environment.
  2. Closed - when there is no sound at all after the vowel or there is another consonant (for example: cut). In this case, the vowel has a different pronunciation, and a consonant also depends on the adjacent letters.

Step-by-step training plan from scratch

Let us consider in more detail all the points of studying the rules of reading consonant and vowels starting from the beginning.

As in Russian, there are vowels and consonants in English. Each letter has a specific pronunciation. It is found in words with open syllables.

LetterPronunciationExample word
A a[Hey]Name - [Name]
B b[b]But - [baht]
C c[to] or [s] (before "e")Cup - [cap] or Ice - [ice], since "c" stands before "e")
D d[d]Dog - [mastiff]
E e[and]Me - [mi]
F f[f]Fox - [Fox]
G g[j]Go - [th]
H h[x] with a breathHot - [hot] (the sound is read as you exhale, not as rude as in Russian)
I i[ah]Like - [like]
J j[j ']Juice - [jyus] (sound is pronounced softly)
K k[to] with a breathKey - [ki] (the sound is pronounced on the exhale, much quieter than in the native language)
L l[l]Like - [like]
M m[m]My - [may]
N n[n]Nest - [nest]
O olong [o]Box - [box] (a long “o” with a lip rounding at the end of the sound, sounds almost like smooth [ou]).
P p[n] with a breathPen - [pen] (consonant as if flies out with a stream of air, is pronounced not as loud as in Russian)
Q q[to']Qwerty - [flies]
R r[p] "American"Rocket - [rocaete]
S s[s] or [s] at the end of a wordSun - [san] Rose - [rose]
T t[t]Tip - [type]
U u['Yu]Tune - [Tune] (before [yu], the additional [y] is usually pronounced, as if there is a separating sign in front of it, resembles the word "blizzard" in pronunciation).
V v[at]Violin - [vaylin]
W w[at]Wolf - [wolf]
X x[cop]Box - [box]
Y y[and]My - [may]
Z z[з]Zebra - [zebra]

But not in every case the reading corresponds to what is presented in this table. We will analyze in more detail.

The consonants in English in most cases are read as in the presented table. There are a number of letters that in a certain position will represent a certain sound.

CombinationHow to pronounceExample of use
age[age] in shock position or [ij] in unstressedHage - [page], Language - [landwage]
au or aw[o] long or [ou]Austria - [Oustrelia],
Law - [lo]
erIn the shock position is pronounced as [ё], in the unstressed position - as [e]Detter - [Bete], Her - [Hyo]
ghGenerally not pronouncedNight - [Find]
Ssion, sion, cial, tion[shl]Special - [special], Mission - [mission], Position - [posishn], Version - [up].

  • in closed syllable - [in]

  • in an open syllable - [wei]
Want - [wont], wake - [wake]
wh[x]Who - [xy]
ck[to]Black [black]
kn[n]Know [know]
sh[w]She [shi]
ch, tch[h]Catch [[cache], Champagne [champion]
thSomething average between [s] and [f]Think [finck] or [sync]
ph[f]Photo [photo]

With vowels harder. For each position and for different environments, there are certain rules for reading vowels. A total of 6 vowels in English. We analyze each.

LetterPronunciation optionsExamples
A[hey] - in an open syllableLake - [Lake]
[e] - in a closed syllable (called a frog, since the mouth opens, as if in a frog)Map - [Map]
[a] short - in a closed syllable that ends in rCar - [ka]
[o] - in combination with "ll" and "u"Tall - [Tol]
O[ou] - in an open syllableHome - [Home]
[o] short - in a closed syllableBoss - [bos]
[o] - in combinations with "r"Horse - [hos]
[y] - in combination "oo"Food - [food]
[ay] - in combination with "w"Now - [nau]
[oops] - in combinations with "y"Boy - [fight]
U[y] - in an open syllableBlue - [Blue]
[ʌ] - in a closed syllableCup - [cap]
[ё] - in combinations with "r"Hurt - [hёt]
E[and] long - in an open syllable, as well as in combinations with "e" and "a"He - [chi], meet - [mit]
[e] - in the closed syllableLeaf - [Leaf]
[ё] - in combinations with "r"Her - [xy]
I[ai] - in an open syllableFine - [fine]
[and] - in a closed syllableBig - [big]
[ё] - in combinations with "r"Girl - [gel]
Y[ah] - at the end of the wordCry - [edge]
[e] - at the beginning of the wordYellow - [cell]

In order not to memorize the pronunciation of each word, you need to learn how the sounds in a certain position are recorded in the transcription. Then, with further study, you can easily look into the dictionary and learn the correct pronunciation.

Video lesson

Which authors use manuals

Ideally, of course, it is better to buy foreign literature from publishers such as Cambridge or Oxford. Russian authors can be used, but with caution. Most often in domestic textbooks a lot of mistakes. Do not use the Soviet manuals, as there is a large number of inaccuracies in pronunciation.

Useful tips

When you learn to pronounce words correctly, do not memorize their translation right away, otherwise the load on the brain will be too large, which will not bring benefit. In the process of learning the language, it is recommended to use various Internet resources to listen to English speaking by ear.

This article presents only the basics, the most basic rules for reading English words. The further result depends on what method the student will apply. On the Internet there are many detailed instructions for pronunciation at home. But do not forget that finding the perfect option will not work. It is better to dwell on one of the popular or proven methods and put all efforts into understanding it. Then the result will not take long.

Watch the video: Spelling & Pronunciation Rules you missed out in school - English pronunciation lesson for beginners (January 2020).

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