Commonly mispronounced English words

English is a funny language. As a speaker from a country where it is the second most popular language I have embarrassed myself often because of incorrect pronunciations. More often than not these have been some basic words.

When it comes to pronouncing words which may not be so commonly used (or maybe) we often follow the rules of phonetics. As taught to young toddlers, beginning to explore the world of English spelling formation, words like car, can, cake begin with a ‘ka’ sound and therefore the closest way of spelling these words should be with c or sometimes k. The problem however arises when a word like check is pronounced with due consideration to ch as [] as in chalk, cheese, chair and much and not “keck”.

‘Image taken from cartoonsock

Let us look at some of the conventional words that we use in our daily English but with not so correct pronunciation:

I have sourced my research from the Merriam Webster dictionary.

1. Comment

How it is mistakenly pronounced: ka-ment

How it is actually pronounced: kau-ment

 A judgment expressed indirectly.

Related words are remark or note.

2.  Coupon

How it is mistakenly pronounced: koo-pan

How it is actually pronounced: koo-pawn

A small piece of paper that allows one to get service or the product

3. Climb

How it is mistakenly pronounced: kli-mb

 How it is actually pronounced: klim

 To go upwards or reach higher gradually

Image taken from

4. Epitome

How it is mistakenly pronounced: ae-pi-tome

How it is actually pronounced: ih-PIT-uh-mee

The typical or highest example of a stated quality, as shown by a particular person or thing.

5. Etc

How it is mistakenly pronounced: ex cet-er-a

How it is actually pronounced: et cet-er-a

It is often a phrase which is used to signal a haste to add or explain variety .Abbreviated as etc.

6.  Genre

How it is mistakenly pronounced:  jen-re

How it is actually pronounced: zhahn-ruh

It is the category of music or art. It is also used to denote a kind or sort of something.

7. Hierarchy

How it is mistakenly pronounced: hahy-archy

How it is actually pronounced: hahy-uh-rahr-kee

This word means a classification based on social, economic or genetics

8. Interesting

How it is mistakenly pronounced: in-ti-rest-ing

How it is actually pronounced: ɪn.trə.stɪŋ

Anything that holds attention.

9. Itinerary

How it is mistakenly pronounced:  ahy-tin-ary

How it is actually pronounced: ahy-tin-uh-rer-ee

 A route of a journey or travel. A travel guide.

Image taken from owlcation

10. Jewelry

How it is mistakenly pronounced: jwel-ree

How it is actually pronounced: jool-ree

Ornaments or piece of gem or gold or silver worn for adornment.

11. Lingerie

How it is mistakenly pronounced: Lin-guh-ree

How it is actually pronounced: Lawn-zhuh-ray

A women’s intimate apparel.

12. Niche

How it is mistakenly pronounced: Neech

How it is actually pronounced: Neesh

A place, employment, status, or activity for which a person or thing is best fitted.

Also a recess in a building or statue.

13. Often

How it is mistakenly pronounced: off-ten

How it is actually pronounced: aw-fuh n

 Many times, frequently

14. Pizza

How it is mistakenly pronounced: pee-za

How it is actually pronounced: peet-zuh

A dish made typically of flattened bread dough spread with a savory mixture usually including tomatoes and cheese and often other toppings and baked.

15. Probably

How it is mistakenly pronounced: pro-blee

How it is actually pronounced: pro-buh-blee

Something that seems reasonably true, factual, or to be expected, without much doubt

16. Pronunciation

How it is mistakenly pronounced: pruh-noun-see-ey-shuh n

How it is actually pronounced:  pruh-nuhn-see-ey-shuh n

The method of saying a word or speaking it.

17. Receipt

How it is mistakenly pronounced: re-cept

How it is actually pronounced: re-ceet

A writing acknowledging the receiving of goods or money

Image taken from

18. Sour

How it is mistakenly pronounced: saa-r

How it is actually pronounced: souuh-r

A sharp taste mostly like that of lemon.

19. Says

How it is mistakenly pronounced: sez

How it is actually pronounced: sei

To talk or speak

20. Subtle

How it is mistakenly pronounced: subt-l

How it is actually pronounced:  suht-l

That which is not so obvious.

21 Suite

How it is mistakenly pronounced: soot

How it is actually pronounced: sweet

a set of rooms designated for one person’s or family’s use or for a particular purpose.

22. Turquoise

How it is mistakenly pronounced:  tur-quiz

 How it is actually pronounced: tur-kwoiz

Image taken from

a greenish-blue color.

23. Women

How it is mistakenly pronounced: woo-men

How it is actually pronounced: wih-men

More than one female

24. Tomb

How it is mistakenly pronounced: tau-mb

How it is actually pronounced: toom

A large vault, typically an underground one, for burying the dead.

25. Vehicle

How it is mistakenly pronounced: Vee-Hikl

 How it is actually pronounced: Vee-ikl

A thing used for transporting people or goods, especially on land, such as a car, lorry, or cart.

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