Blog-ask

‘I axed him!’ How to pronounce ‘ask’.

What’s the problem?

It is very hard to pronounce all of the sounds in the word quickly, so native speakers often omit the /k/ and the ‘ed’ ending. If you try and pronounce all the sounds it can cause mistakes.

How do I get it right?

‘ask’ is pronounced:

/ɑ:s/ before a consonant (‘ask them’) without a /k/ sound.

Ask them to do it

/ɑ:sk/ before a vowel (‘ask if’) with a /k/ sound.

Ask if they’ll do it

‘asked’ is pronounced:

/ɑ:s/ before a consonant (‘asked them’) without a /k/ or a /t/ sound.

We asked them to do it

/ɑ:st/ before a vowel (‘asked if’) without a /k/ sound.

We asked if they’d do it

So the only time you pronounce the ‘k’ in ask/asked is when ‘ask’ is followed by a vowel.

Also be careful with the vowel sound – it is long, open, relaxed /ɑ:/, but it is reduced due to the following voiceless consonants, so it isn’t as long as ‘card’ for example.

What happens if I get it wrong?

The most common mistake is to say something like /akst/ with the ‘k’ before the /s/. Literally this means ‘axed’, so the sentence ‘I asked him’ would become ‘I axed him’!

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By | 2017-02-20T09:17:58+00:00 August 22nd, 2013|Pronunciation, Words|2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Tahmina moeen March 29, 2016 at 7:26 am - Reply

    Nice and thanx

    • Tariq February 20, 2017 at 5:52 am - Reply

      😀

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