Most common sounds in spoken English.

This article lists all English phonemes in order of frequency. By phonemes is meant all sounds that make up the sound inventory of the English language and that includes both consonant and vowel sounds (as opposed to letters). This classification is based on data compiled using the Carnegie Mellon Pronouncing Dictionary correlated to a frequency list of the British National Corpus, i.e. American pronunciations with British word-usage. Here are the results:

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Here is why ‘p’ is not pronounced in words like ‘psychology’ and ‘pseudo’ in English but pronounced in other languages

When it comes to silent letters, English has many. They are there, standing firm, occupying space and charge you for extra ink but not pronounced at all. Many people hate them for being there and they fuss about why for god’s sake they are not pronounced. Well, there is a reason they are not pronounced and we wrote an article just about that. So let’s find out *rubbing hands together*

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ɪf ju kæn rid ðɪs ˈɑrtəkəl, jʊr ə ˈʤinjəs.

 | əz ju ər ˈriːdɪŋ ðɪs | ju ər parˈtɪsəˌpetɪŋ ɪn wʌn əv ˈneɪtʃərz ˈɡreɪtəst ˈwʌndərz | ˈlæŋɡwɪdʒ | ˈlæŋɡwɪdʒ ɪz ə ˈmɪrəkl̩ |ˈɪt ɪz ˈbaɪ ˈfɑːr ðə moʊst ˈpaʊərfəl ˈtuːl ðæt hjuː ˈmænəti hæz | ˈæftər ɔːl wɒt ˌdɪˈstɪŋɡwɪʃəz əz frəm ˈænəml̩z ɪz ðɪs ˈswi:t ˈlɪtl̩ ˈθɪŋ wi kɔ:l ˈlæŋɡwɪdʒ | ˈbaɪ dʒəst məˈnɪpjəˌletɪŋ ði ˈeər ðæt ˈkʌmz ˈoʊt əv ˈaʊər ˈmaʊðz wi kən ˈstɑːrt ə riˈleɪʃən ˌʃɪp | ə ˈmerɪdʒ | ɔːr ˌi:vn ə ˈwɔːr | ðə ˈθɪŋz wi kən du: wɪθ ˈlæŋɡwɪdʒ ənd ðer̩ ˈɡrævəti ər trəˈmendəs | ðə kəˈmjuːnəkətɪv pəˈtenʃl̩ əv ðə ˈhjuːmən ˈlæŋɡwɪdʒ ɪz ˌoʊpən ˈendɪd ənd ˈbreθ  ˈteɪkɪŋ | wi kən ˈtɔːk əˌbaʊt ˈlɪtərəli ˈeniˌθɪŋ | ˌi:vn əˌbaʊt ˌhaɪpəˈθetəkl̩ ˈθɪŋz ðæt hæv noʊ egˈzɪstəns ˈaʊtˈsaɪd ˈaʊər ˈhedz | laɪk ˈmæθ | fəˈlɑːsəfi | ɔːr ˈjuːnɪkɔːrnz | ˈɪts laɪk wɒt ˈpɪŋkər ˈwɪtɪŋli ˈsed | “ wi kən ˈʃeɪp ɪˈvents ɪn ˈiːtʃ ˈʌðr̩z ˈhedz wɪθ ɪkˈskwɪzɪt priˈsɪʒn̩ ” | 

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Here is why we say Tick Tock, Flip-Flop, and Hip Hop, But not Tock Tick, Flop-Flip, or Hop Hip.

Have you ever wondered why we say tick-tockKing-Kong, and flip-flop? And why do kong-king and tock-tick sound so awkward to our ears? Why is it fiddle-faddle and pitter-patter rather than faddle-fiddle and patter-pitter? Why?…well ’cause! It turns out that this is one of the unwritten rules that English native speakers know, but don’t know they know. I will unravel this amazing rule here for you. Please bear with me.

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Major differences between American and British English.

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Americans and their British neighbors may share a language, but that doesn’t mean they speak exactly the same version of it. There are many unsubtle differences between British and American English that make each one unique, from small spelling changes to entirely different words for common concepts. GrammarCheck ingeniously illustrated these differences in a beautiful infographic that we brought to your fingertips.  Check it out and share with us any other differences you think the infographic left out. Enjoy! 

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50 Awfully Good Oxymorons.

An oxymoron is a figure of speech in which two or more words side by side contradict each other. Their use in speech often leads to humor, irony, and sarcasm.  We’ve asked our followers at The Language Nerds to share their favorite oxymorons and the result has been nothing short of hilarious. We’ve compiled them here for you and added some more and we hope they appeal to you. Have a good read! 

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20 Fascinating Words with no English Equivalent.

No language has all of the words, and English is no exception. While you can express the complex feeling of “insecurity, fear, concern, and envy over relative lack of possessions, status or something of great personal value, particularly in reference to a comparator, a rival, or a competitor.” with one word (i.e. jealousy), some other very simple concepts need to be expressed with more than one word, like the day after tomorrow. With input from our amazing followers at The Language Nerds, we have compiled a list of some of the most interesting words that exist in other languages but have no equivalent in English. You really don’t want to miss any of them. 

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Here is how English survived the​ Norman Conquest?

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War is an annihilator, the winner seeps out everything, including people. But how did English survive the Norman Conquest?  There are actually two very general and hugely complex questions involved here, not one:

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Will Everyone In The World Eventually Speak English?

We can’t predict the future, but we can certainly learn from the past. And the answer to the above question is a resounding NO. Of course, you may have a difference of opinion, but consider the line of reasoning first. While it is true that more than 50% of the 6000-7000 languages in the world are endangered and will be dead in a matter of a century, that still leaves billions of people speaking the rest of the remaining languages, which can be numbered between 600-700. Compared to one, this is a huge number. 

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These Sentences Are Perfectly Grammatical. Learn How They Trick You.

 What if I told you that you have a blueprint for speaking a certain language? When you come across a grammatical sentence that matches our blueprint, you easily process it and accept it as a sentence that belongs to your (native) language. But, when you come across an ungrammatical sentence that doesn’t match the blueprint, you rule it out, as simple as that. However, sometimes some grammatical sentences in disguise mess with the blueprint and they challenge us cognitively. They are perfectly grammatical but generally not acceptable as they initially seem incorrect; they lead us down a garden path. Incidentally, these sentences are called garden-path sentences

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