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How to pronounce Martyr vs. Murder

When I was asked to make this video I thought that this was not a typical mispronunciation video. After all, the spelling is quite different and therefore people don’t tend to confuse these two words.

But, if you listen closely to how these words are pronounced, you’ll see that they’re actually a lot more similar than you may think…

How to pronounce Martyr vs. Murder:


Hey, 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 compare the two words – ‘murder’ and ‘martyr’. murder – martyr.
Now I know both words are spelled totally different, but they are pretty similar. The beginning is different, but the ending is exactly the same. Alright?
So we shouldn’t think of the word as it’s spelled, but as it sounds – ‘murder’, ‘martyr’.

Let’s begin with the word ‘murder’. The first syllable is M’R. So you close the lips for the M, and then you pull the tongue in for the R – M’R. There is no vowel in the middle, it’s the UR as in ‘stir’, as in ‘first’ – M’R. Then you bring the tongue up for the D sound, and then you pull it in for the R: d’r. So basically it sounds like it’s the same vowel – M’R-d’r.

The primary stress falls on the first syllable, that’s why it’s a little higher in pitch. M’R-d’r. The [d] is very light. Murder. Murderer. murder – murderer. You’re adding another [r’r] at the end
when you’re talking about a ‘murderer’. Murder.

The word ‘martyr’ begins with an M sound, but then you have the AR as in ‘car’. So you drop your jaw for the ‘ah’ sound – MA. And only then you bring the tongue up for the R – MAR. The ending is the same. Again – d’r. MAR-d’r. So, it’s M’R versus MAR. No vowel in the middle – M’R. Open ‘ah’ sound in the middle – MAR.

murder – martyr. ‘The martyr was murdered’. ‘The martyr was murdered by the murderer’. martyr – murder.

All right, that’s it. Very positive and optimistic video today. But I hope it was helpful. And please share this video with your friends if you liked it. And come in over to my website to check it out and get more great content every single week.

Have a wonderful week. And I will see you next week in the next video. Bye.

Have a happy week,
and a happy thanksgiving for all you US folks!


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