Meet my best buddy, Mr. Mouth.  Creepy? Yes. Useful? Couldn’t possibly live without him. You can probably tell that this mouth is well loved. I didn’t quite realize how ragged he looked until I took a picture of him to send to a friend. What makes...

Ah, the bane of every non-native speaker’s existence!  The dreaded “can” and “can’t.” In American English, you need to use contractions in order to sound natural.  Unless you are trying to emphasize your point (along the lines of “I can NOT believe she just did...

Many of you may be inadvertently leaving out an essential component (or two) in the word “January.”  One thing that’s interesting about this word is that almost every one of my students has difficulty with it, no matter where the student is from. Approximately 99% of...

Have you ever had to repeat yourself when saying “fourteen” or “forty,” “seventeen” or “seventy”? Here are some pointers that may help people understand these numbers more easily when you speak. The differences… Stress (sometimes) When you pronounce the word “forty,” primary stress, or emphasis, is placed...

In your throat, you have a set of vocal folds (or vocal chords).  These folds can either be pulled apart or pushed together when producing speech sounds.  If you pronounce a sound with your vocal folds pulled apart, the sound will be voiceless.  If you...


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