Single consonant Sounds
August 14, 2019
Hi. Welcome to the English Language Club.
In this video we are going to be looking at the single consonant sounds. The consonants
are the sounds represented by the symbols in Blue on the Phonetic Chart.
In this video we are only going to be looking at the bottom row.
These sounds are referred to as Single Consonants because each one is produced in a unique way. All these sounds are voiced, apart from the
/h/ which is aspirated. Have a look at these links on the left for
more videos about the Phonetic Symbols, phonetics in general and pronunciation.
Lets get started. This is the /m/ sound.
This sound is produced by the vocal chords whilst diverting airflow through the nose
by blocking the mouth with both lips. /m/
Lets look at some examples. make man money month This is the /n/ sound.
Similar to the /m/ in that the sound is produced by the vocal chords whilst diverting
airflow through the nose by blocking the mouth but instead of blocking with the lips it is
blocked by the tongue pressing against the area behind the top teeth.
/n/ as in the words
now need number run This is the /ŋ/ sound. Again this is similar to /m/ and /n/ because
we are diverting airflow through the nose by blocking the mouth but this time with the
back of the tongue at the back of the mouth near the throat.
It is normally spelt n-g and is very common as the gerund form of verbs.
/ŋ/ It can be difficult for some people learning
English because it is not a common sound in some other languages.
Here are some examples: thing young long nothing This is the /h/ sound.
This is an aspirated sound so it is made by pushing air out of the mouth.
The air is not restricted in any way or directed to any part of the mouth to make the sound,
instead the sound is produced by the pressure of the air in the throat and mouth. /h/
The shape of the mouth can vary depending on the following vowel.
It is normally written with the letter h and this is often pronounced much more softly
or almost silently in other languages so it is often a sound that people have problems
with. Here are some examples;
how home health and hold This is the /l/ sound. This sound is produced by the vocal chords
whilst airflow is directed around the sides of the tongue by placing the tip of the tongue
on the top teeth or just behind them. Here are some examples look real life old Then we have the /r/ sound.
This is made by pushing our lips out whilst keeping our tongue back. Our tongue should
not touch any other part of the mouth but the inside of our bottom lip, that is this
bit, should touch or come very close to our top teeth.
Like this. As in the words right run already reach This is the /w/ sound.
To make this sound our lips are rounded like this.
At the same time the back of the tongue moves back while the front points down. As in the words
why one whether and win This is the /j/ sound. To make this sound we need to push our tongue
forward so the tip touches our bottom teeth and the rest curls up behind and touches the
top of the mouth at the sides. /j/ This one is a little confusing because the
phonetic symbol is the letter j but this sound is most commonly spelt with the letter y;
however, it can also be spelt in other ways. Lets look at some examples you year million and continue
So that is all the single consonant sounds. For more information on the other groups of
sounds, Vowels, Diphthongs or Consonant Pairs click on these links on the left of the screen,
or click on any of the symbols for videos on any of the individual sounds with a detailed
pronunciation explanation and more examples. Thanks for watching.
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