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Serious vs. Series

Are you serious? That’s my favorite series!

Yet another glorious pair that can get us utterly confused.
The key is in pronouncing the right number of syllables.
And the Schwa, of course:)

Take a look at todays video –
serious vs. series


Hey guys, what’s up? It’s Hadar. And this is the Accent’s Way, your way to finding clarity, confidence, and freedom in English. Today I’d like to talk to you about the two words: ‘serious’ as in “I’m being really serious right now”, and ‘series’ as in ‘a television series’. ‘serious’ and ‘series’. And if you stick around, I’ll also add a few words about the use of the word ‘series’ in plural and singular form. So stick around.

So, they both begin the same – ‘siri’. So, it’s an S sound going to a high ‘i’, so pull the lips and push the tongue forward. The body of the tongue almost touches the upper palate. It’s a tight tense sound – ‘si’. Then you round your lips for the R, lift the tongue up, and then you push it again for another high ‘i’ sound: ‘siri’. It’s not ‘seri’, it’s ‘siri’.

Then to pronounce the word ‘serious’, you relax your tongue to a schwa sound – ‘siri-uh’, and then you close it with an S – ‘siri-uhs’. Since there are two vowels, they connect, then you almost hear an intrusive ‘y’ sound in the middle, listen: ‘siri-y’s’. It helps us connect the two sounds. Serious. Serious.

The word ‘series’, on the other hand, ends with the Z sound: ‘siriz’. So you close it with a Z sound, although it’s spelled with an S, okay? ‘siriz’. ‘si-ri-y’s’ – ‘si-riz’. Three syllables – ‘si-ri-y’s’. Two syllables – ‘si-riz’. All right?

Now, let me tell you one thing about the word ‘series’. A lot of people ask me how to use this word in plural form. So here’s the thing, the word ‘series’ is both singular and plural. It all depends on how you use it in context. So for example, I can say, “I think Breaking Bad as an awesome television series.” Okay? Singular. And I can also say, “There are so many television series I’d like to watch, but I just don’t find the time for it.” Okay? Plural form. And the pronunciation is absolutely the same. ‘serious’ and ‘series’.

All right, that’s it. I hope this was helpful. Don’t forget to subscribe if you haven’t yet. And come on over to my website to check it out and get a lot more practices and free content. So, I hope you enjoyed it. Thank you for watching. And I’ll see you next week in the next video. Bye.

The InFluency Podcast
The InFluency Podcast
211. How to pronounce Serious vs. Series

It’s been while since I’ve received new requests –
What do you say?
What other words or sounds are difficult for you to say?

See you next week:)



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5 Responses

  1. another great lesson, could you also do a lesson about word stress? this would help identify those vowels that shift to a schwa sound when not stressed

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