Accent's Way Magazine

#48

The H (and comparing HOME and WHOM)

I was asked to compare between the words ‘whom’ and ‘home’,
so I decided to make it interesting and talk about the important /H/ sound first.
If you find yourself eliminating the H (or adding it when it isn’t necessary) this one is definitely for you.

The H (and comparing home vs. whom):

TRANSCRIPT

Hey, guys, it’s Hadar, and this is The Accent’s Way.

Your way to finding clarity, confidence and freedom in English.

Saeed asked me to explain how to pronounce the difference between the two words: ‘home’ and ‘whom’.

So, to explain that, I first want to discuss the ‘h’ sound – hhh – as in ‘Hi’.

A lot of people drop the ‘h’ sound at the beginning of words

and then the word ‘high’ sounds like ‘I’, or ‘hate’ sounds like ‘eight’.

Alright, so, to make the ‘h’ sound you want to think of it as if you are whispering: hhh.

So, let’s whisper together the word ‘hi’.

Hhhi.

Come on, do it. Hhi. No one can hear you anyway. You’re whispering.

Hhhi.

Now, when you actually say the word, you start as if you’re whispering, just like you did now

hhh

and then you use your voice.

hhhi

hhhate

hhello

Alright?

You can also think of it as if you’re warming up your hands on a cold winter day.

h-h

You know, when you do this – hh – that’s the H sound

hhh

hhhi

Alright? Good.

So, now, that you know how to pronounce the ‘h’ sound,

let’s move to the two words: ‘home’ and ‘whom’.

So, they both begin with an ‘h’ sound and both end with an ‘m’ sound,

where you close your lips and release sound through your nose

mmm

The difference is in the middle vowel.

In the word ‘home’ you have the ‘o’ as in ‘go’.

This vowel sound is a diphthong, so it starts with an open ‘o’ sound and then it closes to an ‘u’.

So there is change, and you want to hear it, see it and feel it: h-o-w-m

You see how I closed my mouth slowly as I pronounce the vowel: h-o-w-m.

It’s not ‘h-o-o-m’.

h-o-w-m

You want to visualize it as if there is a little ‘w’ right before the ‘m’ sound

h-o-w-m.

The word ‘whom’ is the ‘u’ sound, ‘u’ as in ‘food’, right?

So, you start with your jaw closed: hhuu. hhuu.

You still want to visualize it like there is a little ‘w’ before the ‘m’,

because of the ‘u’ sound, but it doesn’t begin with an open ‘o’, it starts with an ‘u’.

hhuu, hhuwm

Home. I want to go home.

And whom. As in ‘whom should I vote for?’

home

whom

Alright, I hope this answers your question, Saeed.

And I hope it helps you, guys.

And if it does, please share it with your friends and don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube Channel.

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.

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