Very Embarrassing English Pronunciation Mistakes

Today’s lesson is one of my favorite subjects: English pronunciation.

Learning good English pronunciation is so fun. I love pronunciation and I think you do too, because in your comments, and on Facebook, you’ve told me so many stories about BIG pronunciation mistakes you’ve made.

So today, I want to help you avoid 4 VERY embarrassing pronunciation mistakes in English.

Some of the examples in this lesson are from my new book “What the Faute”, which helps you correct 32 embarrassing mistakes in English.

As Caroline, a Speak English Ambassador said, “I wish I had this book before I came to the USA! I made 4 of these mistakes my first weeks here!” So I encourage you to go to this page and check out the book.

WTF coke vs cock blog button


Coke, America’s favorite soft drink. Which sometimes you may mispronounce as “cock.” What does this word mean? Well, it can be a bird but that’s not what most people think of.

“Cock” is also slang for…penis. So careful when you say “I’d like a large…coke”

Watch the lesson to see how to position your mouth to make the correct pronunciation of both words.


“Focus” not “f*ck us”.

Can you just imagine? You’re working on a project with your team and you say “OK, we need to f*ck us here!” No, no, no! It’s “We need to focus!”

The difference is in the position of your lips and chin. You’ll see a demonstration in the video lesson.


Confusing “hungry” and “angry” is less embarrassing than the others, but we often just say “I’m hungry” or “I’m angry” so there’s not a lot of context here. It’s all about pronunciation.

To make the aspirated “H”, imagine you’re cold and you warm your hands.. Now, just add the word “huh”, “hungry”.

“Angry”, is more in the nose. It’s a nasal sound. Here. Try just that sound “an”. It’s horrible. It makes me think of Golum in Lord of the Rings “angry”. Try that. “Angry”

Again, watch the video to see a demonstration of the correct English pronunciation of these words.


It’s ceMENT. The first syllable is weak. For a lesson all about weak syllables, watch this lesson, because it’s a really important part of English pronunciation.

So weak syllable first. ceMENT ceMENT. And we don’t really hear the “T” at the end. ceMENT.

If you don’t do that, and you make both syllables strong like CE-MENT, you’re saying “semen” which is the liquid that carries sperm.

Listen to the difference in pronunciation in the video lesson.

Now what about you?

Have you ever made any of these mistakes in English?

Or do you have another embarrassing story to share with us?

Let’s laugh together in the comments below. I love reading all about your stories and how you’re learning English!

Have a great week,


<script async data-uid=”c77c6dbd24″ src=””></script>

More English lessons...

Click the image to see the lesson

improve your intonation in English
American pronunciation lessons


Leave a Reply

Get your free email templates now