Linked Questions

3 votes
1 answer
69 views

Why are "define" and "definition" pronounced with different vowels? [duplicate]

It just doesn't make sense. "Define" has a long vowel and "definition" has short. Isn't "definition" the noun form of "define"? Shouldn't both have the same ...
user avatar
32 votes
1 answer
7k views

Was "twelve" pronounced as "TPELF"?

I came across this piece of text and I for the life of me can't understand why "twelve" is written tpelf. I have encircled other numbers that are strange. My friend who lives in New York ...
user avatar
35 votes
3 answers
6k views

Why are the pronunciations of 'bicycle' and 'recycle' so different?

It is obvious that both 'recycle' and 'bicycle' have a common element 'cycle'. 'Cycle' on its own is pronounced with a long 'I' sound /aɪ/. 'Cycle' in 'recycle' is pronounced how 'cycle' is normally ...
user avatar
32 votes
1 answer
15k views

Why is the W silent in "sword" but not in "swore"?

The word "sword" is pronounced /sɔːd/ (AmE: /sɔrd/) while "swore" is pronounced /swɔː/ (AmE: /swɔr/). The W in "sword" is silent because of the following round vowel; the ...
user avatar
11 votes
3 answers
5k views

Why is "threepenny" pronounced as THREP.NI?

First of all, "threepenny" is a British word meaning "costing or worth three pence". It's quite an uncommon word. If you haven't heard it before, I'm pretty sure you would ...
user avatar
12 votes
3 answers
4k views

Why are "LOse" and "LOOse" pronounced differently?

I know that both the words are pronounced and used differently. I also found another question on this site: "Use of loose and lose [closed]", but that is about the usage of the word. My ...
user avatar
12 votes
3 answers
3k views

How do I decide if an "i" is pronounced long or short?

I am an English teacher who has never really learned the complex rules of teaching pronunciation. Many learners here in Spain have difficulties deciding whether an "i" in a word is long or ...
Patricia's user avatar
  • 129
8 votes
1 answer
6k views

Why are finite and infinite pronounced differently?

Finite rhymes with 'my time'. Infinite rhymes with 'minute' (as in seconds, minutes, hours and not minute, micro, small). Why are i's in finite and infinite pronounced differently?
aarbee's user avatar
  • 1,292
6 votes
2 answers
307 views

Why don't the vowels in "northern" and "eastern" get short like "southern"?

As you have probably seen the very recent question Why are “south” and “southern” pronounced with different vowels? The only (excellent) answer suggests that it is because of "Trisyllabic Laxing&...
user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
241 views

Pronunciation in British v. American English

Why are words like privacy pronounced like /ˈprɪv.ə.si/ in British and /ˈpraɪ.və.si/ in American English (short vowel in the first case, long in the latter one)? I read that determining whether a ...
Alex S's user avatar
  • 21
2 votes
2 answers
374 views

Why are the vowels in "decisive" and "decision" different?

"Decision" is a very common and I have known it for most of the time in my life. It's pronunciation is /dɪˈsɪʒ.ən/. "Decisive" may be common in English speaking countries but I ...
user avatar
-2 votes
2 answers
196 views

Reason or rule for pronunciations [closed]

I am not a native English speaker and I am learning English. Sometimes I will get baffled by the pronunciations used in English. It is very difficult to pronounce something just by looking at it. ...
Infinity_hunter's user avatar