When my students try to pronounce "would," they say "gwould." We spent almost 10 minutes practicing the "w" sound versus the "g" sound. To get technical, one is a bilabial glide (translation: smooth sound made with your lips--at the front of your mouth). The other is a velar plosive (translation: explosive sound made at the back of your tongue). So we practiced the sounds. Front of the mouth: would. Back in the throat: good. Would. Good. Would. Good. Etc. It took quite a while, but most of them got it.
The best part about it? Almost all of them can say "wood." I think I'll pull my hair out now.
Let's move on to orthography.
While teaching present progressive (I am writing, She is running), one of my students asked why you have to add a "t" when you make "put" into "putting." She was obviously discouraged by the fact that I couldn't give her a good (simple) answer at that moment.
I could, in a matter of words, tell her this tomorrow:
With words that end in consonant-vowel-consonant and whose stress/accent falls on this last syllable, you double the consonant before adding "-ing."
pat -- patting
grin -- grinning
can -- canning
run -- running
begin -- beginning
occur -- occurring
forget -- forgetting
And then she would ask why.
And I would say "Perhaps it's for phonetic reasons, because if you wrote pating, grining, or caning, you'd change the short vowel sounds (ham, bed, lip, rot, gun) to long vowel sounds."
And then she would ask why you can change "have, give, and live" to "having, giving, and living" and still pronounce them with the short vowel sound.
And then I would tell her that English is messed up and change the subject.
3 years ago