Accents American

Day 3/30 American

American accent development

Tongue in the middle

So far, I have paid attention to the three oral postures for developing an American accent. Not to get overwhelmed, I focused on one posture so far: the position of the tongue. It should be relaxed and in the middle of the mouth, behind the lower teeth. I should memorise the said phrase ad nauseum so I can own this accent.


Since I am developing awareness day by day I allow myself to implement another tip: the sigh. Because the default position of American is a relaxed jaw, lip and tongue, the physical act of sighing should help to maintain it. I practised a “duh” and “ə” sighing exercise with my student today, at regular intervals in the lesson.

It’s a fact that penguins can waddle as fast as humans can walk.

Student B

Accents American

How to Do an American Accent

In general American, pay attention to the three oral postures: the lips, the jaw and the tongue. They are all pretty relaxed. The tongue is in the middle of the mouth and dropped down behind the lower teeth.

You can check you are in the correct general American if you relax your lips, jaw, and tongue and sigh “uh”. Then you get the schwa sound, symbolised by ə. ə is in the middle of your mouth as in love, glov e, above.

If you forget the general American posture, do the də (duh) test.

Conjunctions grammar


There are countless types of equity funds because there are many different types of equities.

Here, the conjunction because is used to introduce the reason why there are so many types of equity funds.

Because there are countless types of bonds, there are a whole array of bond funds depending on what they invest in.

Here, the conjunction is mentioned at the start so a comma is need when the independent clause starts. Also, the independent clause after Because answers the question why are there so many bond funds depending on what they invest in?

Conjunctions grammar


A mutual fund is a type of financial instrument consisting of a pool of capital collected from many individual investors to invest in securities like stocks, bonds and other assets.

In the above sentence, the conjunction and joins series of items together. The pool of capital is invested in a series of items: Stocks, bonds and other assets.

Under a policy established by the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, people with mild cases are asked to stay at home..

Here, and joins series of items or series of name of governmental departments.

Conjunctions grammar


And. This word is one of seven coordinating conjunctions which can be memorised using the acronym FANBOYS.

The following sentences show and used as a glue in series of things:

  • Pencils, markers, paper clips and staples.
  • Outstanding shares are those held by all shareholders, institutional investors, and company officers or insiders.

And can be used to connect phrases such as in these sentences:

  • Calling clients, reading email, and attending conferences take up most of my time.

And can be used to join complete sentences:

  • Republicans have the view in Congress that the states should be responsible for themselves, and the states should make rules for social welfare.

Conjunctions grammar



Conjunctions join words, phrases and clauses. Consider them as glue or adhesive that connect parts together. Today, let’s look at coordinating conjunctions.

There are seven coordinating conjunctions that can be memorised with the acronym: FANBOYS.

  • For
  • And
  • Nor
  • Because
  • Or
  • Yet
  • So

For this post, let’s focus on because by reading about mutual funds.

If an investor buys only Netflix stock he stands to lose a great deal of value because all of his dollars are invested in one company.

In the above example, because joins two complete sentences: If an investor buys only Netflix stocks he stands to lose a great deal of value and all of his dollars are invested in one company.

The two clauses of the sentence can be interchanged:

Because all of his dollars are invested in one company, an investor stands to lose a great deal of value if he buys only Netflix stocks.

As a result of interchanging clauses, some minor adjustments have to be made, like adding a comma after the first clause and tweaking the position of the pronoun he.

So, because shows a cause and effect relationship. Specifically, an investor stands to lose a great deal of value if he buys exclusively one type of stock. This is the net effect. What is the cause of risking losing value? If he buys only stocks of just one public company. This is the cause.

Accents British

How to do a RP British accent

Pay attention to the three pillars of oral posture:

  1. Jaw
  2. Lips
  3. Tongue

First of all, let us consider the default anatomical position of the jaw. In RP, the jaw is often raised up and this reflects the poshness and social status of those who practise RP.  So, if possible, try to keep your head up, expose your neck and demonstrate you are scared of absolutely nothing. 

Next, think about the lips. Pay attention to my lips when I say: “Sure”. I will  say it twice. First, with an American accent, the second with a British accent.  Pay attention to my lip corners. Are they stretched apart or do they move forward?  /ʃɔːr/   Clearly, the lip corners stretched back in an American accent.   /ʃʊr/  Here, the lip corners move forward and close together . So, to maintain a RP British accent, be aware of keeping your lips together and not showing so much teeth, as opposed to Americans. 

Lastly, the tongue. Is it in the front or the back of the mouth? Close your eyes  and say Roger lost his dog with an American accent. Now say it with an RP accent.  Do you feel the tongue position changes from the center of the mouth to the front of the mouth?  

Here is another classic example in RP when the tongue is in front of the mouth:   /ʃʊr/  as opposed to   /ʃɔːr/ where the tongue is rolled back in American English.