Did you know, every 27th word you say in English is the word the? That means that if you have an accent error on this word, it affects 4% of your speech! In our new book, we teach you how to correct the error patterns you have on the word the, and how you can correct a lot more than just this one word by correcting those patterns.
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In American English, we use a different "L" sound at the beginning of words vs. the end of words.
The L at the beginning is sometimes called "light L," and the L and the end is called "dark L." Use the videos below to hear the difference and practice words with American L.
For L at the start of words, make sure your tongue is lifted and touching behind your teeth. Don’t seal off the air, it needs to flow and escape over the sides of the tongue.
like, lead, list
When L comes at the end of the word, you still need to lift the front of your tongue behind your teeth, but the back of your tongue stays down. Use a schwa sound before the L to get this dark L sound.
call, feel, little
Be careful not to use the light L from the start of words when the L is at the end.
Use the video to listen to these words: little, seattle, people, example, beautiful, special, possible
In words like these, the letter L is a syllabic L. A syllable is usually made up of a vowel sound with or without a consonant sound before or after or both. For syllabic L, the consonant is the whole syllable.
it sounds like "uh-L". If you think of it as starting on vowel schwa, uh, and moving quickly to the final L sound, you’ll get it. uh-L, L Sometimes this is called a dark L.
Be careful to make this L different from the L at the start of words. You can learn more about initial and Final L in the first video in this post.
Syllabic /ḷ/ is usually an unstressed syllable after a consonant sound at the end of the word. Let’s try saying a few.
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