The English language is one of the most difficult languages to learn. There are many words in the English language that are spelt one way but sound a completely different way. There are often pronunciation keys available beside words in the dictionary but these keys are often hard to understand and to use. It can be very embarrassing to pronounce words incorrectly in conversation because of their tricky spelling and pronunciation. Below I have included 10 common words, their common mispronunciation and their correct pronunciation and definition.
1. Awry is an adverb that means wrong or off center. It looks as if it is pronounced as (aw-ree) but it is actually pronounced as (ah-rye.)
2. Prerequisite is can be used as an adjective or noun in a sentence and as an adjective means something required beforehand. It is often used in college when discussing the proper class requirements a student needs to complete before being allowed to take a class. This word looks as though it is pronounced as (pree-ree-quis-it) but it is actually pronounced as (pree-req-uisite.)
3. Facade is a noun and it can mean a deceptive appearance or the face of a building. The word looks as though it is pronounced as fac-ade but it is actually pronounced as (fa-sawd.)
4. Esoteric is an adjective and it means intended for or only understood by few. The word looks as though it is pronounced as eso-ter-ic but it is actually pronounced as es-uh-tearic.)
5. Bass can be used as a noun or an adjective and it has three meanings; a low pitch tone, a musical instrument with four strings, and any of the several freshwater and marine game food fish. Now, if you are using the word bass to describe a fish then you would pronounce it just as it looks. If you are using the word bass to describe a low pitch tone or the instrument you would pronounce it as (base) using the long a and not as (bass) with the short a.
6. Flaky is an adjective in slang that is used to describe someone that is an eccentric, strange or weird. It is generally used to describe someone who is up and down in emotions. The word appears to be pronounced as (flack-ee) but is actually pronounced as (flay-key.)
7. Reputable is an adjective and it means to have a good reputation. This world is a mouthful. It looks as if it is pronounced as (re-poo-ta-ble) but it is actually pronounced as (rep-yah-tah,buhl)
8. Monotonous is an adjective and means something that is repetitive and boring it can also be used to describe someone speaking in a dull, flat, and even tone. The word seems as though it is pronounced as (mono-toe-nus) but it is actually pronounced as (muh-nawt-n-nus.)
9. Segue can be used as a verb or a noun and it means to move from one situation to another in a smooth manner. The word appears to sound like see-goo but it is actually pronounced as (seg-way.)
10. Esplanade is a noun and is a flat open stretch of pavement or grass used as a promenade. The word appears to sound like (es-pluh-nade) with a long a, but it is actually pronounced as (es-pla-nawd.)
11. Accumulate is a verb and it means to acquire, to build up and collect over time. This word looks as though it is pronounced as (ah-cum-uh-late) but it is actually pronounced as (ah-que-mue-late.)
12. Inquiry is a noun and it means to inquire or seek information through interrogation. This word seems as though it is pronounced as (in-quare-ree) but it is pronounced as (in-quie-uh-ree.)