07. [n]

/n/ as in N/n/ and RU/rʌn/ 

PRONOUNCING /n

TONGUE: is firmly pressed against gum ridge behind upper front teeth.

AIRSTREAM: is continuous through the nose.

VOCAL CORDS: are vibrating.

The sound /n/ is pronounced the same as the Spanish letter n

SPANISH KEY WORDS WITH /n/ 

Spanish words with this sound are spelled with n

KEY WORDS: nada    uno    mano  

POSSIBLE PRONUNCIATION PROBLEMS FOR THE SPANISH SPEAKER

Because of the similarity of the nasal consonants /m/, /n/, and /ŋ/, Spanish speakers frequently confuse them in English, particularly at the end of words. 

EXAMPLES:

If you say /m/ instead of /n/:

sun /sʌn/ will sound like some /sʌm

If you say /ŋ/ instead of /n/: 

ran /ræn/ will sound like rang /ræŋ

ALWAYS press your tongue tip firmly against the gum ridge behind your upper front teeth, especially at the end of words. Practice this SOUND AGAIN and AGAIN; you'll have a FINE PRONUNCIATION of /n/!

EXERCISE A

The following words should be pronounced with /n/. Pronounce them carefully. Remember, tongue tip up!

/nAt the Beginning    

/nIn the Middle

/nAt the End

no /noʊ/ 

new /nu/   

net /nɛt/    

know /noʊ/     

knee /ni/   

nail /neɪl/  

neck /nɛk/ 

need /nid/      

night /naɪt/     

 

any /ˈɛni/ 

many /ˈmɛni/

money /ˈmʌni/ 

window /ˈwɪndoʊ/

banana /bəˈnænə/

dinner /ˈdɪnɚ/

tennis /ˈtɛnɪs/

runner /ˈrʌnɚ/ 

candle /ˈkændəl/   

in /ɪn/

on /ɑn

can /kæn/

when /wɛn/

then /ðɛn/

fine /faɪn/

begin /bɪˈɡɪn

again /əˈɡɛn/

nineteen 

/ˌnaɪnˈtin/

NOTE ABOUT "SYLLABIC /n": When an unstressed syllable begins with /t/ or /d/ and ends with /n/, the /nis frequently pronounced as "syllabic /n/." It is formed by keeping the tongue tip on the upper gum ridge without moving it from the position of the preceding /t/ or /d/.

EXAMPLES: 

sadden 

/ˈsædn

kitten 

/ˈkɪt̚n

curtain 

/ˈkɚt̚n/  

beaten 

/ˈbit̚n 

rotten 

/ˈrɑt̚n/  

sudden 

/ˈsʌdn

HINTS

1. The letter n is almost always pronounced /n/. (Note the exception described in the following hint.)

2. When n follows m in the same syllable, it is usually NOT pronounced.

EXAMPLES: 

column 

/ˈkɑləm

solemn 

/ˈsɑləm/  

hymn 

/hɪm

autumn 

/ˈɔtəm

EXERCISE B

The boldface words in the following phrases and sentences should be pronounced with /n/. Pronounce them carefully. Remember, tongue tip up, especially when /n/ is the last sound in a Word. 

Answer the phone.

ˈænsɚ  ðə  foʊn.

Come again.

kʌm  əˈɡɛn

rain or shine

reɪn  ɔr  ʃaɪn

I don’t know.

aɪ  doʊnt  n.

Open the window

ˈoʊpən  ðə  ˈwɪndoʊ.

Leave me alone.

liv  mi  əˈloʊn.

Dinner is between seven and nine.

ˈnɚ  ɪz  bɪˈtwin  ˈsɛvən  ænd  nn.

Dan is a fine man.

n  ɪz  ə  faɪn  mæn.

The brown pony is in the barn.

ðə  braʊn  ˈpoʊni  ɪz  ɪn  ðə  bɑrn.

Ben will be on the ten o’clock train.

n  wɪl  bi  ɑn  ðə  n  əˈklɑk  treɪn.

Come down when you can.

kʌm  daʊn  wɛn  yu  n.

Everyone has fun in the sun.

ˈɛvriˌwʌn  hæz  n  ɪn  ðə  n.

I need a dozen lemons.

aɪ  nid  ə  ˈdʌzən  ˈlɛmənz.

Turn on the oven at noon.

n  ɑn  ði  ˈʌvən  æt  nun.

John has a broken bone.

dʒɑn  hæz  ə  ˈbroʊkən  boʊn.

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