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Students of English: Do you want FREE help with your pronunciation (and grammar and vocabulary)?

4 years ago

Here's my offer to you: book TWO lessons with me. Your second lesson will be FREE; your first lesson (if you use my FIRSTPRONUNCIATIONFOCUSLESSON coupon for a 99% discount) will cost you $0.55 (5 CNY, 0.48 EUR, 70 JPY, 4.00 BRL, 35 VEF, 18,000 VND, 800 KRW, 6.50 NOK, 5.80 SEK, 0.73 SFR, 0.42 GBP, 290 NGN, 8.63 ZAR; …yes: ZERO POINT 55 DOLLARS; FIFTY-FIVE GODDAM US CENTS).
This offer will expire in 8 days (11pm, GMT on Sunday 13th October).

Take advantage of my offer; or don't if you're "too busy", or don't if you're satisfied with your current teacher. But, either way, go ahead and follow this advice that I'm going to FREEly give you in order to improve your pronunciation.

Do you know what "homographs" are? A homograph is a word which has more than one meaning (yes - the same thing as a homonym/polyseme), but whose two (usually only two) meanings are pronounced differently. Is that confusing? Let me give you a few examples:

minute /'mɪnɪt/ (noun) 60 seconds
minute /maɪn'ju:t/ (adj.) tiny

wind /wɪnd/ (noun) the meteorological phenomenon whereby air moves hither and thither
wind /waɪnd/ (verb) the way that you "charge" your (traditional, non-electronic) wristwatch (you also wind some children's toys; and if you enjoy going to a local river to catch fish with your fishing rod, you wind your fishing line around your reel)

row /rəʊ/ the opposite of "column" - rows are the horizontal lines of data on an Excel spreadsheet; also, when you go to the cinema or theatre (or when you're on a plane), the seats are arranged in rows
row /raʊ/ an angry disagreement whereby the participants are (usually) shouting at and insulting each other - a synonym of "argument" (but NOT in the academic sense of "argument")

desert /'dezərt/ (noun) a waterless, desolate area of land with little or no vegetation, typically one covered with sand (although an obvious anomaly is Antarctica, the world's largest desert (area: 5.4million square miles), which is not covered with sand).
desert /dɪˈzɜ:rt/ (verb) abandon (typical use: when a soldier goes permanently AWOL)

Here are some other homographs (the most common ones, which you really need to know, are marked in bold). Do you know their meanings and pronunciations? Choose a few and comment below on what you understand these words to mean:

axes, bass, bow, close, complex, compound, conduct, conflict, content, contract, coup, desert, does, dove, entrance, incense, intimate, invalid, live, lead, learned, minute, moped, number, object, polish/Polish, present, proceeds, produce, putting, record, recall, refuse, resume, row, sake, separate, sow, tear, wind, wound, use