10 words you’re probably mispronouncing 179



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We all have those words we get stuck on from time to time, but what about those words that we have always said a certain way, until someone out of the blue corrects us? It can be a bit embarrassing to be caught out mispronouncing a word, but it’s always good to know if you’ve been wondering!

Here’s 10 of the most common:



How you may be pronouncing it: mis-CHEE-vee-ous.

How it’s actually pronounced: MIS-chə-vous.

“Mischievous” is three syllables, not four.



How you may be pronouncing it: OF-ten.

How it’s actually pronounced: OFF-en.

Yep, it’s pronounced without the ‘t’, just like the way we pronounce “soften”.



How you may be pronouncing it: ver-teh-BRAY

How it’s actually pronounced: ver-teh-BREE

And all this time….



How you may be pronouncing it: EX-presso

How it’s actually pronounced: ES-presso

There’s no ‘x’ in espresso.



How you may be pronouncing it: PUR-rog-uh-tiv.

How it’s actually pronounced: PRE-rog-uh-tiv.

Nope, the first ‘r’ is not silent.



How you may be pronouncing it: Broo-SHETT-a.

How it’s actually pronounced: Broo-SKETT-a.

In Italian, that’s a hard “CH”.



How you may be pronouncing it: ur-AYNUS

How it’s actually pronounced: ur-UHN-us

We’ve been saying this wrong for years!



How you may be pronouncing it: con-ess-YUR

How it’s actually pronounced: con-ess-ER

Tricky French words always seem to get us.


How you may be pronouncing it: nook-yu-lur

How it’s actually pronounced: noo-CLEE-ah



How you may be pronouncing it: PUR-scription

How it’s actually pronounced: PRUH-scription

Again, the ‘r’ is not silent.


We got a few of these wrong, did you? Will you change your pronunciation? 

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  1. These are all fairly common, although a couple of points ought to be made. Vertebrae: Oxford offers -BRAY as the primary but says either pronunciation is acceptable. I realise the U sound is being taken from our language on place of OO but how about NEW-clee-ah…?

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  2. What about ceremoaney instead of ceremony. And preshoom instead of presume. And conshoom Instead Of consume.

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