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R Boot Camp: Daily Drill to Pronounce the R in English FREELY and EFFORTLESSLY

Download the FREE R practice sheet and audio

How frustrating is it to KNOW how to pronounce the R in English, but when you need to use it…it’s not there for you! (Or it feels like you have mud in your mouth?)

I mean, why is your RRRR not listening to you?!?!

But worry not, because I got you covered.

If you do this R BOOT CAMP every day for 2 weeks, you will see how it is SO MUCH EASIER FOR YOU to use the R freely, and spontaneously when speaking.
It’s all a matter of developing your muscle memory.

You can pair it up with my morning pronunciation practice.

And you’re good to go 😉

In this drill, first we practice the R before different vowels and really get comfortable with those transitions. Then, we’ll work on 2 tricky sounds that sound similar to the R: the L and the W. We’ll also practice the R after different vowels and build your muscle memory. Once you’re done, we’ll move to practice the R sound in different clusters and from there we’ll move to full words and sentences.
And don’t forget, when you’re done, put ‘DONE’ in the comments below!

Also, was there any drill in particular that you feel helped you the most?

TRANSCRIPT

Hey, everyone. Welcome to the R bootcamp.

Welcome to the R bootcamp. This bootcamp is for you if you struggle with pronouncing the R in English and/or you struggle with using it freely when speaking, even though you know how to make it, it’s just not there for you when speaking. If you do this exercise every single day 10 minutes a day, you will see how easier it is for you to start using the R when speaking.

First of all, let’s understand what you need to do to get to the R sound. For the R the tongue pulls back, the sides of the tongue push against the sides of the upper teeth – ‘ur’. The tongue is curved in the middle of the mouth- it’s like just standing there with power, and the tip of the tongue is not touching anything. It can point up, up and back, forward, down – honestly, it doesn’t matter. What matters is that the sides of the tongue push against the sides of the upper teeth and there is tension in the back – ‘ur’.

One more thing is that your lips need to round – ‘ur’. You want to think of it like a growling dog. Or a pirate. Now, it doesn’t matter if the R is at the beginning or at the end, let’s get used to this position. ‘ur’. A lot of times it feels weird and this is why you’re not using it when speaking, so you got to get comfortable with that new position and new sound. Again, ‘ur’, good.

Let’s begin with ‘ruh’. Let’s do a few of those: ‘ruh’. What we’re going to do is we’re going to use the R before and after different vowel sounds to get used to saying and hearing the sound. ‘ruh’.  Now ‘ei’ – ‘rei’. Now ‘ai’ – ‘rai’, round your lips. Now, ‘row’. Good. Now, ‘roi’, like the name, ‘roi’, drop your jaw, ‘roi’. Keep the tongue down after you’re done with the R: ‘roi’. Good. ‘aw’ – ‘raw’.

One more time: ‘ruh ruh rei’, ‘ruh ruh rai’, ‘ruh ruh row’, ‘ruh ruh roi’, ‘ruh ruh raw’.

Now let’s try a few more vowels. ‘ruh ruh reh’, ‘e’ as in “red”. ‘ruh ruh reh’. I’m deliberately not using the R in words just yet. I want you to get comfortable with saying that new sound or weird sound or R sound, whatever you want to call it, before and after different vowel sounds, get comfortable with it.

‘ruh ruh reh’. ‘ee’ – ‘ruh ruh ree’. Round your lips. ‘ruh ruh ra’, ‘a’ as in “cat”, ‘ruh ruh ra’.

‘oo’ – ‘ruh ruh roo’. ‘ah’ – ‘ruh ruh rah’. Very good.

Now, let’s move on to comparing R’s and W’s: R – W. Make sure that they’re different: R, different quality – W; R-W.

Now, let’s compare R’s and L’s. R -L. For the L the tongue touches the upper palate, R – L, for the R it doesn’t. R – L. Again, R – W.

R – L. Very good.

Now, let’s try a few words where the R appears after a vowel. ‘ar’. Keep your jaw open and make sure that the tongue doesn’t go up for the R as you’re pronouncing the vowel at the beginning. ‘ar’.

Now ‘er’, as in “dare”. ‘er’. And again, try to go into words just yet. It’s really important to sit with just R’s and vowels, before and after, get comfortable with the sound. And the drills, that’s what matters, that’s what develops the muscle memory. Okay? That’s how you get comfortable with the sound and start using it spontaneously. Again, ‘er’. Push the lips just a bit at the end – ‘er’.

Now ‘ir’. ‘ir’: only at the end there’s the R. ‘ir’.

‘or’. Not ‘ur’, but ‘or’, as in “four”. ‘or’.

Now let’s practice clusters. Like ‘krrrai’, we’re holding out the R, ‘krrrai’. ‘brrrai’. Don’t try to find meaning in the words, I’m just making sounds. ‘brrrai’.

‘frrrai’.

‘strrrai’.

‘k’ – ‘krrrai’.

‘grrrai’.

‘skrrrai’.

‘sprrrai’.

Good. Ready for some words?

“Red”.

“Rat”.

“Read”.

“Rick”.

“Room”.

“Rook”.

“Rookie”.

“Rob”.

“Raid”.

“Ride”.

“Road”.

“Royce”.

Good. Some words with clusters. “Break bridges”. “Crazy credit”. “Strange street”. “Creepy creatures”. “Free my friends”. “Stripes and streets”. “Trick or treat”.

Let’s try some sentences. “Rice prices are rising and that’s really frustrating. Rice prices are rising and that’s really frustrating”.

“Park the car in the darkest part of the yard. Park the car in the darkest part of the yard. Park the car in the darkest part of the yard”.

“Rita wrote a great letter to her French friend. Rita wrote a great letter to her French friend. Rita wrote a great letter to her French friend. Rita wrote a great letter to her French friend”.

“We need to rest after the long trip. We need to rest after the long trip”. Now let’s prolong the R for each one of them. “We need to rrrest afterrr the long trrrip”. “We need to rest after the long trip”.

“I bought four shorts at the store. I bought four shorts at the store. I bought four shorts at the store”.

“Shirley’s celebrating her birthday. Shirley’s celebrating her birthday. Shirley’s celebrating her birthday. Shirley’s celebrating her birthday”.

“The early bird gets the worm. The early bird gets the worm. The early bird gets the worm”.

“We were working around the world”. ‘w’r’ – W-R – ‘w’r. ‘w’rk’ – W-RK – ‘w’rk’. “Around the world” – W-RLD – dark L – ‘w’rld’. “We were working around the world. We were working around the world. We were working around the world. We were working around the world”.

“Red leather, yellow leather, lavender leather. Red leather, yellow leather, lavender leather. Red leather, yellow leather, lavender leather”.

Okay, that’s it. Do this every day and I guarantee that the R is going to be a lot easier for you to pronounce and also to use spontaneously when speaking.

And if you like this video, you might also like my daily pronunciation morning routine and my vocabulary drills. All the links are in the description or right up here.

Have a beautiful week, and I will see you next week in the next video. Bye.

 

The InFluency Podcast
The InFluency Podcast
54. R Boot Camp: Daily Drill to Pronounce the R in English FREELY and EFFORTLESSLY
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Download the FREE practice R sheet and audio

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One Response

  1. Hi Hadar:

    I am delighted to tell you that I am finally getting to pronounce the R. I have tried several accents changers, but you really hit the home run. You show how to position the tongue pressing it against the side of the upper teeth.

    No one else has used that technique. By the way; I was fortunate to meet you in person in Manhattan some time ago. Be well and be safe.

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