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The Angry, the Hungry and the Hangry

When I lived in NY I had a French roommate with a beautiful accent.
One day he came up to me and said, Hadar I’m really angry!
After providing a few lame excuses of why the dishes are still in the sink, he’d laugh and say – no, not ANGRY, HUNGRY! Let’s get something to eat. Of course, it still sounded the same to me.

Why do the words ‘angry’ and hungry’ sound similar sometimes?
And did you know that there’s a new word in English – ‘Hangry’?
Care to know what it means?

Watch today’s video: The Angry, the Hungry and the Hangry


Hi, it’s Hadar and this is the Accent’s Way, your way to finding clarity, confidence, and freedom in English. Let’s talk about the two words: angry and hungry. Angry and hungry. I often hear my students confuse these two words. So let’s break down the differences between those two.

Let’s begin, actually, with the end- ‘gry’. We start with a G sound and then we move to an R. Lift the tongue up, round your lips: ‘gr’, ‘gry’. And then open it to an ‘ee’ as in “see” – ‘gry’. The beginning is different. In the word ‘angry’ as “I’m angry at you”, the vowel at the beginning is basically an A as in cat sound – A.

And then we move to an NG sound: ‘an’. But in American English, when the A as in cat appears before an NG sound, it reduces to an ‘ei’ sound: ‘ein(g)-gry’, ‘ein(g)-gry’. All right? So again, long ‘a’, getting to an NG sound: the tongue goes up in the back, and the air is coming out through the nose. ‘ein(g)-gry’, and then a ‘gry’ sound – ‘ein(g)-gry’.

The word ‘hungry’ is a different. Here we begin with an H sound, all right, it’s like I’m whispering. And then it’s a reduced ‘uh’ sound – huh, huh. It’s like a schwa – huh – ‘huhn(g)-gry’,  ‘huhn(g)-gry’. You hear the difference? angry – hungry. If I reduce the ‘h’ in the word hungry, it’s going to sound like this, listen: ‘ein(g)-gry’ – ‘uhn(g)-gry’. Pretty similar, right?

So we want to distinguish the two, therefore the H sound is pretty important. So again, just release air before the word “hungry”. It’s like the H in the word “Hi”, right? You don’t say “‘ai’, how are you?”, you say “‘hai’, how are you?” So you say ‘huhngry’ and ‘eingry”. “I’m pretty hungry right now”. “I’m angry at you”. Good.

Now, did you know that there was a new word in American English, and it is “hangry”? Hangry. It’s actually a combination of the two words: angry and hungry. And do you know what it means? I bet you do, because it’s a very valid feeling that you feel when you’re angry because you’re hungry. And that’s what I feel right now. So, I’m going to go and eat something, and you are going to subscribe to my YouTube channel in the meantime. And that’s it.

Thank you for watching. I will see you next week in the next video. Bye.

Thank you for watching. If you think any of your friends is going to benefit from this, please share it with them!

Before you go I have a couple of questions for you:

What’s your biggest frustration with your accent and/or with English?
What’s the one thing about Accent training you haven’t been able to find
information about?

I’d love to hear from you! Please let me know by email, or as a comment below the video.

Next week we’re going to talk about the word…’mirror’!
And I have to tell you, it’s much easier than you think.

See you next week,


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13 Responses

  1. Thanks tescher I’m really greatful that I found you . You are the greatest coach ever . I really love American accent and I think I’m goog at it , I spend a lot of time working on my accent and there are some words I can’t say it right such as party and pretty and immediately . I know the word party and pretty is flaped t and I don’t have problem with flap t in those words as water and little but I feel the word party it is different . Pls help me . Thank you very much

    1. Ok, great. The flapped T is like the Arabic /r/ (ra) that is produced as the tip of the tongue lightly touches the upper palate. (Not Ghayn, which is produced in the throat). So ‘get it’ should sound like geRit with the arabic R:)

  2. Hi Majda!
    Let’s begin with the Schwa – I know it’s complicated. When you try to detect the Schwa here’s something that might help. It may appear in words that have at least two or more syllables (that’s because a word with one syllable has only one stress – primary). There are no exact rules, at least not simple or consistent ones. I suggest first to find the primary stress (the most dominant syllable in the word that can never be reduced), then check if the remaining syllables are essential, or can be reduced. If you reduce them and it sounds funny, it probably needs to be a secondary stress – a pure vowel that is not stressed. If you reduce it and it sounds ok, or even better, than it’s probably a Schwa.
    As for the flapped T – What’s difficult about it? Pronunciation or knowing when to use it?

  3. Tgank you so much for your tops but i still have problems with shwa sound how to use it when to use it .also the flap t still chalenges to much

  4. Could you please let me know how to pronounce “authorization” and “authority”?

    Wonderful website

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