I see her. I see hair.
Yet again, similar words that look the same but don’t sound the same.
The secret is in the vowel.
Check out this week’s video: Her vs. Hair
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 ‘her hair’; or more specifically, the word ‘her’ and the word ‘hair’. If they sound the same when you say them, this video is for you.
Let’s begin with a word ‘her’, ‘her’. So, we begin with an H sound. So, release air, it’s like you’re whispering. And then you shift directly to the R – h’r, h’r. To make the R, bring the tongue up, round your lips. The sides of the tongue should be touching the upper teeth – h’r. So, although there is an ‘e’ there, you don’t hear an [ɛ] vowel sound. It’s not ‘hair’, this is hair. h’r. It’s like when you say the word ‘hurt’, ‘hurt’ without the T – ‘hur’. “Tell her”. “Tell ‘er”.
The word ‘hair’ does have an [ɛ] sound there, and you gotta hear it. So we begin with an H, release the air. And then open it to an [ɛ] sound – ‘he-‘. Here, you want to wait with the R, you don’t want to pronounce the R before you hear the pure vowel, the [ɛ] vowel, ‘he-‘. Only then you bring the tongue up for the R: ‘he-r’. And round your lips just a bit, ‘he-r’.
‘Her’ – here your lips are round right from the beginning, because you go to the R directly, ‘Her’. And ‘Hair’. “Look at her hair”. “I love her accessories”. “I love hair accessories”. Do you hear the difference? Her – Hair.
All right, that’s it. Thank you for watching. Go practice to make your pronunciation perfect. And don’t forget to subscribe, if you haven’t yet. I will see you next week in the next video. Bye.
Thank you for watching!
Let me know in the comments below if you ever said one thing, but it sounded like something totally different! 🙂