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How to make the /ng/ consonant sound

I don’t know what they’ve told you in school,
But there’s one thing they usually forget to mention:
When you see N and G together (like in ‘sing’ ‘writing’ and ‘bang’)
There is actually NO true G! (Well… almost always)


Hey guys, it’s Hadar, and this is the Accent’s Way. And today we’re gonna talk about the N-G consonant sound.

Ng, what was that? Let’s try it again, ng. Yes, it’s a sound that is usually represented with the consonant letters N and G. So a word like sing is not singu.

There is no N, and then a gu sound. Singu, no. It is one consonant that is produced in the back of the mouth, sing, sing. Long, playing, okay? So how do you make this sound?

Basically, the N-G is a combination of the N sound, so it has that nasal quality because the air is coming out through the nose, but it has the placement of a G sound because the back of the tongue goes up and blocks the air in the back while touching the soft pallet. Gu, ng. So to make this sound, the tongue goes up in the back, blocks the air, then you release the air through the nasal passages and the air comes out through the nose. Ng.

So when you open your mouth, you can see that the tongue is totally down. Another way to think about it is try to make an N while keeping the tip of the tongue down. What you’re gonna do

is probably compensate for the fact that you can bring the tip of the tongue up, so you’re gonna bring the back of the tongue up. Ng. Sing, wrong.

Now again, because of the representation of the G in the spelling, a lot of people pop the gu sound at the end of the word. Longingu, singingu.

When in fact these are all N-G consonants. Singing, longing, and ping. Now, what’s the best way to practice it? First of all, practice making the sound. Ng, ng, all right?

So great, you got the sound right. Then practice it in typical positions where you’re more likely to produce it with a gu sound. Singu, ah-ah. Sing. Writingu, not right.

Writing, so you want to stretch and hold out the N-G sound and then fade it out nicely until you don’t hear any more sounds. Don’t pop a G at the end. Writing. And long.

And step number three is to use it in minimal pairs. So compare words that end with an N to words that end with an N-G. Sin versus sing. Ran versus rang. Lawn versus long.

All right, good job. Okay, so that’s it, thank you for watching. Please share it with your friends if you liked it and don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel, it’s right here or here, or somewhere around.

Have a great week and I’ll see you next week in the next video. Bye.

The InFluency Podcast
The InFluency Podcast
215. No G in NG

Here’s a list of minimal pairs for you to practice:


Also, it’s important that you know that not every time you see the letter combination n+g you should drop the g.
Sometimes the g after the ŋ consonant is released. For example:

1.The comparative/superlative degree is added to adjectives such as long, strong and young: long+er > lɔŋgər
2. Certain suffixes added to a root word ending in ‘ng’: prolong-> proʊlɔŋ prolongate->proʊlɔŋgeɪt
3. When ‘ng’ appears in the middle of the word, in the root part of the word: England->ɪŋglənd English->ɪŋglɪnʃ single-> sɪŋgl
4. Sometimes the ‘ng’ represent the /dʒ/ consonant as in ‘range’

I know it’s difficult to remember the rules, this is why your safest bet is to mostly focus on making the ŋ in ‘-ing’ endings (there’s never g after ŋ at the end of the word) and that’s also the most common appearance of the sound (and I find it most noticeable).

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One Response

  1. You should order a bit your videos to find it easily….for example a list where you talk about vowels…other about dipthong..other about consonants and so on…i love your videos but I find it difficult to watch a video relating a topic i am searching….hope you can understand my feelings….thanks in advanced

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