For each sound, I’ve included audio examples and practice phrases. Unless otherwise indicated, practice phrases are excerpted from Lexical Sets for Actors by Eric Armstrong under a creative commons license.
Words like KIT
Words that sound like KIT will instead target towards a FLEECE vowel.
PRACTICE WORDS: kit, trip, city, middle, click, limit, different
Words like DRESS
The target for this vowel can sometimes be more of an open, unrounded vowel. Sometimes speakers will target towards a vowel closer to our So-Called General American DRESS.
PRACTICE WORDS: dress, kept, step, head, stretch, friend
Words like BATH/TRAP
The target for this sound is an open front vowel.
PRACTICE WORDS: bath, trap, travel, class, master, laugh
Words like THOUGHT
The target for this set is a vowel placed at the back of the vocal tract. It will help you to slightly round your lips as you target this sound.
PRACTICE WORDS: thought, all, Paul, call, bought, author
Words like STRUT
The target for this sound is an open front vowel with no lip rounding.
PRACTICE WORDS: strut, love, young, mother, tough, come
Words like FOOT
This sound targets towards a GOOSE vowel.
PRACTICE WORDS: foot, book, would, could, butcher, good
Words like FACE
Words that sound like FACE will target to a single vowel.
PRACTICE WORDS: face, train, cake, safe, vague, station
Words like GOAT
The target for this sound is a single vowel, placed in the back of the vocal tract, with lips rounded.
PRACTICE WORDS: boat, home, grow, though, own, tote
Voiced TH sounds
Voiced /th/ sounds become like a /d/, articulated by the tip or blade of the tongue making contact behind front teeth.
PRACTICE WORDS: these, those, that, there, them, brother, mother, father, together
H at the beginning of a word or syllable
Sometimes the /H/ sound at the beginning of a word or syllable is dropped.
PRACTICE WORDS: happy, home, history, huge, help, I hope
The Intrusive Schwa
After a consonant sound, there may be an intrusive schwa inserted, which is the vowel sound at the end of the word commA. This can happen at the end of a thought or in a pause in speech, or it can happen between two consonants:
some_, have_, got_, school_, stop_;
don’t_look, eat_some, take_me home, mid_night, Sep_tember