Play Video

How to say corporate vs. cooperate

There was a time when I used to get self conscious whenever I said one of the two words: ‘corporate’ or ‘cooperate’.
I’d say one of them, and then the other word would turn up in my head, making me doubt what I had just said. Then a voice would appear: “Oh.. Did I pronounce it right or did I mix them up? How do I sound to them right now?”… That annoying voice that makes you less present and more self conscience when speaking.

Now don’t get me wrong, sometimes it’s good to be able to hear yourself from the outside. That’s how you change things you’re not happy with. But when it inhibits and prevents you from feeling free and confident, you need to get rid of it.

So what can you do about it? You can begin by giving yourself the tools to avoid confusing situations. Learn pronunciation of basic stuff like the Schwa, the difference between bed-bad and sheep-ship, or work on difficult TH transitions. Practice words you’re not sure on how to say and that use on a regular basis.
Repeat and practice those elements. It’s priceless. Teach your tongue and not just your head. That’s when you’ll start feeling and hearing the difference.

Today I can help you to distinguish between CORPORATE and COOPERATE.


Hi, guys, it’s Hadar. And this is The Accent’s Way, your way to finding clarity, confidence, and freedom in English. Today I want to talk about the two words: ‘corporate’ and ‘cooperate’. Corporate – cooperate.

The first word has two syllables. The first one is ‘core’, ‘core’. Just like the word ‘core’ or ‘four’. ‘core’. The second syllable is pr’, pr’. So basically it’s a P sound, and then an R and T at the end. pr’t, pr’t. Since it’s a stop T, or a held T, you barely hear the T sound. It’s just an abrupt stop of the R sound. Listen: pr’t, pr’t. And that’s enough. ‘core-pr’t’. Corporate.

The second word – ‘cooperate’ has four syllables: co-o-pe-rate. Alright? And basically it’s two words that come together: ‘co’ and ‘operate’. ‘co’ – a K sound, then ‘o’ as in ‘go’ – ‘co’. Then you open it to the ‘a’ as in ‘father’ sound – ‘co-a’. Now since you connect both vowels together, it feels like there is an intrusive ‘w’ sound as a W sound right in the middle. Listen. ‘co-wa’. ‘co-wa’.

Then you have p’ – a P sound and a schwa – co-wa-p’. And the ending is ‘reit’. Just like the word ‘rate’ – co-wa-p’-reit. Alright? So at the end of the word ‘corporate’ there is a schwa sound there – ‘core-pr’t’. And here it ends with ‘reit’, there is the ‘ei’ vowel – ‘reit’. And the T again is a held T, so you barely hear it. You don’t hear ‘reiT’. co-wa-p’-reit. Corporate – cooperate.

Same goes for ‘corporation’ and ‘cooperation’. The ending is the same here: core-p’-[schwa]-REI-[primary stress]-sh’n, a schwa again. core-p’-rei-sh’n. And co-wa-p’ – and the end again is the same – rei-sh’n. Corporation – cooperation. Simple and quick.

Alright, that’s it. Thank you for watching. Please, share this video with your friends if you liked it. And come over to my website to check it out and get more great content every single week.

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

The InFluency Podcast
The InFluency Podcast
250. How to pronounce Corporate vs. Cooperate

Remember, if it’s feels artificial at first – don’t stop! You’re on the right track.
When you change your pronunciation it should feel strange at first, but the more you do it you get used to it and make it your own.

Be well and see you next week,


Liked this video?

Get a weekly bite size pronunciation lesson straight to your inbox
Don’t like it? No problem. You can unsubscribe in one click.

2 Responses

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.