English

Red-Alert: 57 Hard-English-Words You Might Be Saying Wrong!

hard words to pronounce


Do you want to become a savvy-English speaker and wow your listeners?

We all know that English is enriched with numerous words. Most of them are easy to pronounce, but some literally require days of practice to get them right.

Remember, to become a perfect English speaker, you need to learn the right pronunciation of every word. We’ve compiled the list of 50+ hard words to pronounce in the blog, just to help you surprise your listeners with your new-cool accent!


More than 50% of English words have been derived or borrowed from ancient languages, i.e., Greek, Latin, etc. Not all speakers have links with these languages. This is why, speakers find it difficult to pronounce English words, even native ones too.

The list below contains 57 hard-to-pronounce words, along with detailed explanations of each word:


Words Starting With "A-D"


1. Aberrant 

Aberrant

Pro-speakers use “abberant” to impress their listeners with their high-level vocabulary. This word is used to describe a stubborn person. It’s a three-syllable word and its correct pronunciation is “uh·beh·ruhnt”.


2. Accede 

Accede

Just like succeed, this word is also pronounced as “accede” (uhk-seed) but with an “a” instead of “s” at the beginning. This word is a verb and falls under the family tree of the word “accept-accepted-acceptance.” In other words, it’s a synonym of accept/agree.


3. Accessory 

Accessory

How do you say it? “A-say-say-ri” or “Ex-Ari”? If you’re not pronouncing this as “uhk·seh·suh·ree”, then better practice and get it right because all the other pronunciations except this one are wrong. If you closely look into the spellings, you’ll find “access” at the very start. You can break it into two words, “access” and “ory” while practicing.


4. Adamant 

Adamant

No hard and fast rules for this word. Its pronunciation is just like its spelling, that is: “a·duh·muhnt”. Adamant’s meaning is related to aberrant, and it’s an adjective used to describe a person who is not willing to change his decision or idea at any cost.


5. Adumbrate 

Adumbrate

The pronunciation of this word is simple, too, “e-dumb-rayt”. The “e” at the end has nothing to do with the pronunciation, so it should not be pronounced.


6. Anemone 

Anemone

If you’re a Nemo fan, then you’re probably familiar with this word. If not, then let me tell you about it; Nemo is a world-famous animated movie. What’s more surprising is that Nemo (the protagonist) couldn’t even pronounce this word. End of the story and moving on to the point, its correct pronunciation is “uh·neh·muh·nee”, and it’s a plant.


7. Apocryphal 

Apocryphal

If you’re a writer or a book-lover, you’re likely familiar with this word. The precise meaning of this word is “fictitious,” and it is pronounced as “uh·paa·kruh·fl”.


8. Bourbon 

Bourbon

Non-native speakers might pronounce this word as “boo-ar-boon.” However, “buh-A-ban” is its correct pronunciation. It's an American whisky that got its name from the French vocabulary.


9. Brewery 

Brewery

Say it out loud. Are you saying“bree-veery”? Or “brav-ary”? Any of these two pronunciations coming out of your mouth is incorrect! The word brewery is basically a bear house where the bear is officially prepared, and it is pronounced as “broo·uh·ree”. It's a three-syllable word, and its "w" is silent.


10. Broccoli 

Broccoli

Broccoli should be pronounced as “braa·kuh·lee” but not “bro-ko-li.” Double “c” is used to convert the “si” sound into a “k” sound, which is what many speakers aren’t aware of.


11. Caricature 

Caricature

Images that feature the imitation of characters in an exaggerated form to create a comic effect are called caricatures. It’s not a meme, but you can call it a kind of meme. Anyhow, the pronunciation of caricatures is “keh·ruh·kuh·churz”.


12. Cavalry 

Cavalry

This one originated from the Latin word “caballus,” which means horse. Cavalry is a collective noun that refers to the group of soldiers who fought on horses. Now, let's move on to its pronunciation…It’s “ka·vuhl·ree”.


13. Charcuterie 

Charcuterie

It’s simple; you’ve got to say “shaar·koo·tr·ee” instead of “Kar-Koo-tr-ee.” It’s a French word, and most of the time, “ch” in French is pronounced as “sh.”


14. Choir 

Choir

You might have noticed that in the English Language most “ch” sounds are pronounced as “k,” just like in chemistry. The same is the case with this word. Choir, pronounced as “kwai·uh” refers to the group of church singers. Notice that the “r” at the end of the word is silent. And, just to surprise you, “quire” and “choir” are homophones (words having the same sounds but different meanings).


15. Colonel 

Colonel

One day I was conducting an online class with a 5th-grade little boy. He was reading a passage to me and suddenly said, “... Cool-on-al walked in…”. I couldn’t get it at first, but when I looked at the text, I realized it was “kuh·nuhl”. This word “colonel” is also adapted from the Latin language. It refers to the rank of army officers.


16. Connecticut 

Connecticut

You can see the word “connect” in its spelling. But surprisingly, when speaking, “connect” in this case is not pronounced as “Kuh-nek-t” but “Kuh-net,” which is why “Connecticut” is pronounced as “kuh·neh·tuh·kuht”.


17. Coup 

Coup

Speakers often pronounce this word incorrectly. Some utter it as “koop” and some as “Ka-oop.” Both are incorrect pronunciations. The “p” is silent. Hence the word becomes “ko-uh” when pronounced.


18. Defibrillator 

Defibrillator

It’s a scientific word. In the world of medical sciences, a defibrillator is used for applying electric shots to the hearts. People often skip the “r” in the middle of the word and mistakenly pronounce it as “dee-fib-later’ instead of “duh·fi·bruh·lay·tuh”. The “r” at the end should not be pronounced.


Words Starting With "E-H"


19. Epitome