Sunday, 1 March 2020

PAST OR PRESENT? /s/, /d/ or /t/? RUN BABY RUN

Here's a song, Run Baby Run, by Sheryl Crow to  help you identify present and past verb forms from the pronunciation of final consonants /s/,  /z/,   /d/  or  /t/.  Also to homage a good friend.

Listen to the song and fill in the gaps with the correct verb form, present or  past, according to what you hear. Click first on the clue, the infinitive of the verb written phonetically.

To practice with -ed form of regular past verbs, click here

Sunday, 23 February 2020

Monday, 16 December 2019


This song was written  by Bob Geldof and Midge Ure in reaction to television reports of the 1983–85 famine in Ethiopia. It was first recorded in 1984 by Band Aid , a group of British and Irish  singers who got together to raise money for Ethiopia. Diphthong sounds are exploited this time in this song /aɪ/  /eɪ/  /əʊ/  /ɪə/  /ɒɪ/. 
-  Watch and listen to Do they Know it's Christmas and fill in the         gaps with  the missing words.
-  Can you guess who the singers are?

Saturday, 16 March 2019

VIRTUAL VISIT TO DUBLIN (Easter break from phonetics)

Are you one of those enjoying a bit of peace and quiet at home while others burn kilometres on the road?
Not to worry, imagination can take you further if you start walking over the Ha'penny Bridge in Dublin, in the photo, not a penny spent!.
Here's a TREASURE HUNT activity about Dublin for you. Click here and follow the instructions proposed in the activity. Send your answers to the link 'comments' at the end of this article.
Enjoy your visit and HAPPY ST PATRICK'S DAY!

Friday, 1 March 2019


Norah Jones' swirling singing will, this time, take us into the slippery world of some diphthongs /eɪ/ /aɪ/ /əʊ/ /aʊ/ (phonemically analyzed as a sequence of a semivowel and a monophthong) with her song Chasing pirates.
WARNING: don’t confuse /əʊ/ and /aʊ/ (they are often mixed up!). Click first on the phonetic chart on the right to hear the difference.

I have to admit I chose this song because I like it, nevertheless, it does serve the purpose of showing the difference between these very diphthongs. American English is commonly described as having wide diphthongs, made with less oral tension. This is quite evident in the song where the singer (born in New York) makes little distinction between /əʊ/ /aʊ/, but she does make it.

Native-Burmese speakers find it almost impossible to pronounce diphthongs and triphthongs. The same is true of native-Caribbean speakers.

Listen to the song and fill in the gaps (using ordinary spelling, not phonetics) as you listen to it. 

For further practice with diphthongs, try this game

Friday, 29 July 2016

LAMH, LAMH EILE - A Song in Irish (parts of the body)

From working inside the walls of Trinity College Dublin, some Irish words were heard. 
Would you like to learn a few Gaelic words and how to pronounce them? 
All a challenge!

  • Have a guess on how to pronounce these Irish words, some parts of the body. Choose the right phonetic transcription for every word. 

  • Listen to this song in Irish and touch the parts of the body as they are mentioned.
  • Now listen  and watch this video of a different version of the same song sung by kids, it's on the weird side, but I couldn't find any other version, sorry. 

Now you have a few Irish words on you!!!

(By Hajnalka Szerdi, Dora Gonda, Ewa Kozikowska and Ana López Pozo)