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How to Have a British Accent

Want to sound like you speak the Queen's English? Just learn these pronunciation rules and perfect a British accent, even if you've never set foot in the country.

Instructions

  • TIP: Pronounce "schedule," "shed-yool; "fillet, "fill-it," and "herb" with the "h."
  • Step 1: Know when to stress the first syllable instead of the second: GA-rahj rather than garage; BAL-aye instead of ballet, and BAT-on instead of baton. Congratulations! You've learned how to have a British accent.
  • FACT: The British accent that Americans think of as the "posh" one is called Received Pronunciation, or RP for short.
  • Step 2: Enunciate the letter "t" crisply. Many Americans pronounce t's like d's, saying "sevendy" instead of "seventy," for example.
  • Step 3: Know how to pronounce the letter "r": It's usually silent, as in "Scotland Yahd," unless it's followed by a vowel, like in the word "red."
  • Step 4: Round your lips and keep your tongue in the back of your mouth to pronounce the vowel "o," so a word like "hot" sounds like "hawt" not "haht."
  • Step 5: Pronounce the letter "u" like "you," as in "Announcing the Dyouk of Wales."
  • TIP: Use these word substitutions with a British accent: "whilst" instead of "while," "flat" instead of "apartment," and "mobile" instead of "cellphone."
  • Step 6: Pronounce most short A sounds like "ahhhhh," as in "I cahnt make it."

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