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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      

00:00 / 00:18

Words that sound like KIT will instead target towards a FLEECE vowel.

PRACTICE WORDS: kit, trip, city, middle, click, limit, different

Words like DRESS         

00:00 / 00:22

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

00:00 / 00:27

The target for this sound is an open front vowel.

PRACTICE WORDS: bath, trap, travel, class, master, laugh

Words like THOUGHT           

00:00 / 00:22

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          

00:00 / 00:24

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          

00:00 / 00:20

This sound targets towards a GOOSE vowel. 

PRACTICE WORDS: foot, book, would, could, butcher, good

Words like FACE        

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Words that sound like FACE will target to a single vowel. 

PRACTICE WORDS: face, train, cake, safe, vague, station

Words like GOAT        

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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.

00:00 / 00:16

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. 

00:00 / 00:20

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: 

00:00 / 00:18


some_, have_, got_, school_, stop_; 

don’t_look, eat_some, take_me home, mid_night, Sep_tember 

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