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TOP 10 Most Mispronounced American English Words (with fun illustrations!)

With so many accents and dialects, English pronunciation can get a bit tricky. Don’t worry if you’ve been pronouncing these words differently! Today we’re gonna look at 10 tricky words in American English. However, unlike many other lessons, this one will be different – it’s hilarious, comedic and definitely more entertaining!

  1. Espresso
  2. Nature
  3. Gala
  4. Niche
  5. Psychology
  6. Kilometer
  7. Queue
  8. Salmon
  9. Height
  10. Cocoa

1. Espresso

  • COMMON MISTAKE: eks-pres-oh
  • CORRECT: e-spres-oh

Unlike your ex, a cup of espresso will make your mornings brighter! That’s why you shouldn’t pronounce it with an ex at the beginning; instead, pronounce it with an es.


2. Nature

  • COMMON MISTAKE: nat-yure
  • CORRECT: ney-cher

Have you ever seen wild horses? I’m sure that for many they’re inseparable from the nature. In fact, you can even hear a neigh sound (neigh is a sound made by horses) is a part for the word nature.


3. Gala

  • COMMON MISTAKE: gel-ei
  • CORRECT: gey-luh

Have you ever seen a LGBTQ+ parade? They’re often very festive, filled with entertainment and amazing performances – just like a gala! That’s why we can hear ‘gay’ at the beginning of the word.


4. Niche

  • COMMON MISTAKE: niet-che
  • CORRECT:  nitch

Have you ever heard of this German philosopher called Friedrich Nietzsche? Even if you didn’t, there’s a big chance you’ve been pronouncing word niche wrongly! A lot of learners pronounce niche just like Nietzsche. However, these two words aren’t pronounced the same at all!


5. Psychology

  • COMMON MISTAKE: psai-kol-uh-jee
  • CORRECT: sahy-koluh-jee

Letter P has been in therapy for over 10 years now. He realized he’s had enough, and left the room; Maybe for this reason we don’t hear P in the word psychology. Same goes to other similar words like, psychologist, psychological, etc.


6. Kilometer

  • COMMON MISTAKE: ki-lom-i-ter
  • CORRECT: ki-lom-i-ter

At the first glance kilometer and meter look similar, right? That’s completely not true! Kilometer is much bigger! That’s why in American English kiLOMeter likes to stand out and be different from a meter.


7. Queue

  • COMMON MISTAKE: kjoo-jee
  • CORRECT: kyoo (just like the spelling of letter Q)

Queue is hands down one of the funniest words in English language. Why? Despite its weird spelling, we can only hear letter Q!. Just imagine a long queue of letters u, e, u and e waiting to see the star of the show, letter Q!


8. Salmon

  • COMMON MISTAKE: salm-uhn
  • CORRECT: samuhn

When it comes to fish, salmon must be one of the most mispronounced creatures ever. It’s spelled with an L, but pronounced without it! Maybe that L is just a hook that tries to catch our fish?


9. Height

  • COMMON MISTAKE: heighit
  • CORRECT: hahyt 

Are you scared of heights? I’m pretty sure the word itself (or just a part of it) is not terrified at all! Hei is standing at the top of the mountain, screaming his lungs out: “hi, T”! And it’s true, height kind of sounds like “hi t”!


10. Cocoa

  • COMMON MISTAKE: koh-koa
  • CORRECT: koh-koh 

Do you drink cocoa or coco? Wait, this got a bit confusing… both cocoa (the drink) and Coco (character from animated series Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends) are pronounced the same!

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