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In this American English pronunciation video, we’re going to go over the difference between
the words ‘man’ and ‘men’.
These two words are similar, but not the same. Thanks to those out there in the Rachel’s
English community who have suggested this comparison.
These words have a different vowel sound. ‘Man’ has the AA, and ‘men’ has the
EH. But it’s actully not quite as simple as just comparing these vowel sounds. When
the AA vowel is followed by a nasal consonant, like N, the sound changes a little bit. We’ll
get to see that when we watch these words up close and in slow motion.
For ‘men’, the lips start closed and we engage the vocal cords for the M. Mmmm. Then
we open into the EH vowel, me-. The jaw drops a good bit for this vowel. The tongue tip
is forward and down, lightly touching the back of the bottom front teeth. The middle/front
part of the tongue lifts towards the roof of the mouth, but it doesn’t get too close.
Make the middle of the tongue wider as it lifts. Eh, men. Then the front of the tongue
simply goes up to the roof of the mouth for the N, men. It stays wide and flat, the back
is relaxed. Men, men.
‘Man’ starts the same way, with the lips closed, mm. Now we have the AA vowel, which
changes into the UH vowel before we get to the N. So for the AA vowel, the jaw drops
and the tongue tip stays forward, lightly touching the back of the bottom front teeth.
The back part of the tongue stretches up, aa, maa-, maa-, maa-. Lift the top of the
lip just a little bit. If we were making this a pure vowel, it would sound like this: AA,
man. But that’s not how we say it. Even though that’s what it says in the dictionary,
Americans relax it before making an N. So it sounds and looks like this: ma-uh-n. Did
you see how every thing relaxed? My lips relaxed, and my tongue relaxed down, ma-uh-n. We do
this with the AA vowel when it’s followed by N. Then, to make the N, the front part
of the tongue simply goes up to the roof of the mouth, ma-uh-n. It stays wide and flat,
the back is relaxed.
So the difference between these two words is: ‘men’ has a pure EH vowel. And ‘man’
has a modified AA vowel, where we start with the AA but relax into the UH sound.
Let’s compare these two words up close and in slow motion.
Here, the tongue position is almost the same. For the AA vowel, the back of the tongue is
a little higher. Now we’re just going to play the EH vowel. Notice how the tongue flips
up to the roof of the mouth for the N. Now we’ll play the ‘man’. See how the tongue
relaxes down in the back before the N.
Now we’ll watch the two together. The word ‘man’ takes a little longer because the
vowel changes.
Here, the tongue position is almost the same. For the AA vowel, the back of the tongue is
a little higher. Now we’re just going to play the EH vowel. Notice how the tongue flips
up to the roof of the mouth for the N. Now we’ll play the ‘man’. See how the tongue
relaxes down in the back before the N.
Now from the front. Again, the tongue position looks almost the same here. But the tongue
does look a little higher in the back for ‘aa’. Now watch how ‘man’ take a little
longer as the tongue relaxes in the back.
Men. Man. [2x]
I hope this video has made the difference in these two words clear. If there’s a word
comparison you’d like to see, put it in the comments below.
Also, I’m very excited to tell you that my book is now on sale. If you liked this
video, there’s a lot more to learn about American English pronunciation, and my book
will help you step by step. You can get it by clicking here, or in the description below.
That’s it, and thanks so much for using Rachel’s English.
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ae發音 (How to Pronounce MAN vs. MEN - American English)

1289 分類 收藏
killtime7878 發佈於 2015 年 12 月 17 日
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