How to pronounce the V and W (and how NOT to confuse them)

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Today I have a pronunciation lesson for you.

I know that you’ve been paying attention to your speech, and have been trying to apply my tips as you speak English.

But what happens when you’re doing really well while practicing but you are unable to replicate your pronunciation success when speaking??

Today, as I teach you how to pronounce the W and V (and how not to confuse them), I will also talk about how to use what you learn and practice in a conversation, in the most effective way.

So even if the W and V are not challenging for you, you will still find this lesson useful to watch:)

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Hey everyone its Hadar and this is the Accent’s Way.

Today we’re gonna talk about how to pronounce the V as in ‘vet’ versus the ‘W’ as in ‘wet’.

VV and Wha

V versus W

Some speakers tend to confuse those two sounds

and then use it W when they need to use a V and vice-versa

and some people just struggle with pronouncing one of those sounds.

So today we’re gonna learn how to pronounce each of them

and also how not to confuse them

which is sometimes more important

because okay, I know how to pronounce it

but how do I make sure that I don’t mispronounce it when speaking

because in practice, it’s all great.

But then in real speech totally different thing.

So let’s begin with the difference between those two sounds.

Now both sounds are formed with the lips

Okay

the wha is produced as the lips go forward and the tongue pulls back a bit.

Wha pushes down

Wha-wha

and the V sound is created by bringing the bottom lip to touch the top teeth.

You’re releasing air with sound,

so the vocal cords are vibrating and creating this friction sound

which is the V as of the word ‘very’

‘vicious’ and

‘seven’.

Now let’s practice it in words.

The V sound first.

V-V-V

You want to feel vibrations.

Notice that it’s just like the F sound

V-V only that the voice is activated creating this new sound, the V

v-v-v, very

When you pronounce the W sound you want to make sure that

nothing touches the lips. The lips move closer

wha You need to use the muscles here

So if you don’t tend to round your lips a lot in your native tongue,

you definitely want to do some lip push-ups and

You know strengthen the muscles here.

So it’s easier for you to pronounce this sound

wha, wha

The lips don’t touch anything.

wha, why

we and

when

And yes, when you have an H after the W

It is pronounced with a regular W sound.

Some people add this H-sound

This H-sound when pronouncing the W in WH spelling patterns

like ‘wHen’ and ‘wHy’ .

But I highly recommend you to keep it simple

and just pronounce the W sound.

Unless you want to sound really really sophisticated.

Now while this may be a little easier for you

So you know what to do for each word

It gets tricky when it comes to phrases

For example, the phrase ‘very well’.

Try saying it.

‘Very well’.

Probably if you tend to confuse these two sounds

something like ‘Wery vell’ comes out, right?

Right?

Am I right?

‘Very well’ or ‘very vell’.

Maybe two V’s or two W’s

or perhaps you’re just mixing the two things

and saying something like ‘wery well’ instead of ‘very well’.

So, start make sure that for the V and usually when you have a V in the spelling

it means that you do bring the bottom lip to touch the top teeth usually

v-v-v

Very

very

and then for the W make sure nothing touches

very well

So always use words in context

because when you use them separately

it’s all bells and whistles and then

whistles by the way with a W

and then when you need to use it in a sentence you always go back to old habits.

Unless you become hyperaware

Aware with a W

hyper aware of the sound.

Making sure that you don’t mispronounce it.

So again, ‘I’m doing very well. Thank you.’

very well

white windows

Round you lips, nothing touching

vibrations, v-v-v

go slowly here

Yeah, I know. I added a few R’s in there just for fun.

warrior

Viking

warriors

Save v-v-v

the world

Right

We want to make sure that the bottom lip touches the top teeth

and then at TH-sound and then W-sound

okay

So practice it in words

Then practice it in phrases

and then to make sure that you’re actually using it in real speech

when you actually speak

Then either record yourself, okay?

and listen to the recording and only focus on the things that we talked about

the substitution of the W and the V

Or speak to yourself and make a point of using all the words that you practice.

Okay

Notice in particular words that have both W’s and V’s together

and even more specifically

V’s and W is connected like

right

when you need to shift from the V to the W

of which

this is where it blends in

and then you usually drop one sound like

right

and then merging the two sounds.

You have to make this distinction

Now, let’s practice it in minimal pairs.

Words that are almost the same except this one sound

and that one sound changes the meaning

Okay, so go ahead and practice

make a list of words that you use on a regular basis with V’s and W’s

and make sure that you don’t mispronounce them.

it’s all about being focused and knowing what you’re doing

and also about being cool with making mistakes

cuz that’s the only way to learn

you know that,

okay.

That’s it. I hope this was helpful.

Let me know in the comments below.

What is your struggle?

And if you have any other words that you struggle with

or sounds

so I can make videos and help you pronounce them correctly

Thank you so much for watching.

Please share it with your non-natives friends

and come over to my website

Check it out. Fun stuff there.

Take care, and I’ll see you next week in the next video.

Bye.

Show Episode Transcript

10 Comments on “How to pronounce the V and W (and how NOT to confuse them)”

  1. Hi Hadar !
    Thank you for the great video ! It is really of highest quality ! It teaches and delights at the same time. This playful teaching enables an up to date, effective and pleasurable learning.
    I regret that owing to my chronically sick vocal forming system I can’t benefit from it although it is a great pleasure for me to watch your videos. (At present, e.g. due to a relapse of the acute inflammation I should reduce my daily speaking time even using my mother tongue.) Nevertheless, thank you so much for supplying me with your so valuable videos.
    My best wishes,
    Laszlo Latzkovits

  2. Hi Miss Hadar, thanks for the video, i have a problem pronouncing V and F. Instead of Vacuum i pronounce it as favuum.

  3. Hello Hadar,
    I love your videos and your course Accent Makeover. They are helping me out to improve my pronunciation, and I hope to get more fluent in the next few months.
    I have some problems when it comes to the transition before and after “of” with some letters, e.g., “project of the….”. Could you recommend some exercises to flow better in these transitions?
    Thank you so much for all your tips and pieces of advice.
    Warm regards
    Mercedes

  4. Thank you Hadar. You probably have noticed that I don’t use to leave comments. This happens because I don’t have enough free time. So, I rather prefer to practice the lessons than to be sending emails and posting comments. However, I must recognize that every day I am progressing more and more. I was ready to improve my English pronunciation, with your Accent Makeover course. However, I was not prepared for the rest: I am greatly impressed with the avalanche of tips and resources that you are giving to us always. There is no time to get bored, there is no repetition, and you explain everything in such a simple and direct way that it is impossible to forget it. Thank you for all the time and efforts you are dedicating to us.

  5. Hey Hadar.

    Thank you so much for this opportunity,may God bless you… I need to sound more American and improve my English speaking… help me please with R sound and with the pronouncing of “work”…

    Sincerely yours Jeff.

  6. Hi Hadar

    I learnt words how to pronounce but actually while speaking, I have to keep reminding my mind o pronounce like American accent and not the way I used to speak for so many years….

    How can I practice to improve my accent while speaking and moreover it should come out naturally . I really learnt so much watching your videos and really appreciate your videos but still I need someone to improve my accent when I pronounce incorrect.

    Have a great day

    Thanks $ Regards
    Vimmi

  7. Thanks for thé vidéo .I think I just have problems with v and b ,could you also please make a vídeo about j and dj .I cannot really Hear thé différence between thèm.In your makeover accent you mentioned j soins and I have some examples but I dont see examples of dj ,are we gonna see that later ?

  8. Hello Miss Hadar thank you for this video.I’m also having problem pronouncing r and l.When i was young i interchange them when i speak.for example instead of saying ruler i say lurer,or sometimes rurer.kind of funny but even as adult i sometimes mispronuonce some words with r.

  9. Hello Miss Hadar thank you for this video.I’m also having problem pronouncing r and l.When i was young i interchange them when i speak.for example instead of saying ruler i say lurer,or sometimes rurer.kind of funny but even as adult i sometimes mispronuonce some words with r.

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