Ever wanted to sound like an American? Here are three rules that will help you to improve your American accent and impress your friends. Read through the rules and practice saying the words with these rules. But most importantly, keep your ears open and try to tell if someone that you meet comes from the UK or the US. Hearing the difference will help you to create that difference for yourself (whichever accent you choose to follow).
1) Hold the T and drop the vowel.
Words that have a T and an N, such as cotton, smitten and rotten are pronounced with a “ton”, “tin” or a “ten” sound in British English where the “tt” is clearly pronounced as a “T” sound. Pronounced with a general American accent, this “T” is held and the vowel sound is dropped so it is pronounced more like “cot-n”.
When we pronounce a “T” sound, with British accent, you would touch the roof of your mouth with your tongue. You would release your tongue and then touch again for the “N” sound. With an American accent, you would hold your tongue there for the “T” and “N” sounds.
Try saying words like cotton, smitten, rotten, button, mutton and mitten.
2) Always pronounce the R
In British English, the tendency is to drop the “R” sound at the end and in the middle of words. In American English, these words are rounded off with the “R” sound.
Try saying the words car, far, fourth, carton and start.
3) Vowels + L make two syllables
Words like feel and real are often pronounced by foreigners with just one sound which makes them sound more like “fill”. To pronounce these naturally, try making two sounds.
• Feel sounds more like “fee-ill”
• Real sounds like “Re-ill”
Try saying words like feel, real, meal school, fool, and tool.
Take a little time to practice these and you will be well on your way to improving your American accent.