With Christmas just around the corner*, maybe you are buying boxes of chocolates. I know I love to go to the stores and see all the new boxes available and try not to buy them all!!
But how do you pronounce ‘chocolate’? Surprisingly, many ESL speakers are adding a syllable that’s not necessary. The second syllable in ‘chocolate’ isn’t usually said.
Choc’ o lat becomes choc’ lit. The middle ‘o’ is not heard.
More Disappearing Syllable Words
This happens with a group of other English words as well. The middle syllable disappears altogether.
Here’s a few more:
Dif’ fer ent becomes dif’ rent
Fav o rite becomes fav’ rit
In’ ter est ing becomes in’ trest ing
People will not look at you strangely if you DO pronounce the second syllable. However, most people in Canada DON’T. So to sound like a native speaker, try to make the second syllable disappear.
Words that MUST Lose the Second Syllable
There are a few words in which you SHOULD drop the second syllable, though. These words sound strange if you don’t.
They are business, evening, vegetable, and Wednesday.
Business should be pronounced biz’ness.
Evening should be pronounced eve’ning.
Vegetable should be pronounced vej’table.
Wednesday drops the ‘d’, as well as the second syllable and is pronounced Wens’day.
Unfortunately . . .
There is no way to tell if a word will drop the second syllable or not. Just be sure you drop it in the four words above. And when you go out to buy chocolate for Christmas this year – remember – it’s CHOC’ LIT!
*definition of ‘just around the corner’ – very soon
If you’d like more help with English pronunciation, contact me for private English lessons. I also am available for Skype lessons.