Podcast intro:

Welcome to the InFluency Podcast. I’m Hadar, and this is episode number 386. Today, I’m going to teach you a trick to know how to pronounce words that end with a suffix -ally, like ‘usually’, ‘casually’ and ‘verbally’.

Hey everyone. Thank you so much for tuning in for another episode of the InFluency Podcast. I love teaching hacks because when it comes to pronunciation versus spelling, it’s really hard to get the rules that will allow you to consistently pronounce something accurately based on the spelling. But sometimes there are tricks and hacks, and this is what I’m going to talk about today.

Today, we’re going to talk about words that when you add the suffix -ally, not only does it change the meaning of the word, it also changes the pronunciation, and specifically, the primary stress of the word. So in this lesson, I’m going to teach you about the stress shift and the pronunciation of these words. And also, we’re going to practice saying some words, which is always good for not only pronunciation, but also for vocabulary work. So I hope you enjoy this episode. Let’s listen.

Video transcript:

Hey everyone, it’s Hadar. Thank you so much for joining me. Today we have a ‘practice pronunciation with me’ video, where I’m going to introduce to you a challenge that my students usually face. We’re going to explain it and practice it together. Okay? And today we are going to talk about the suffix -ally, usually pronounced as /əli/. For some reason, this suffix poses a lot of challenges for my students. So, let’s understand how to pronounce it and how to use it in words.

By the way, if you’re new to my channel and you happen to stumble upon my video, then let me introduce myself. My name is Hadar. I’m a non native speaker of English. And my job in this world is to help you speak English with clarity, confidence, and freedom. You can check out my website at hadarshemesh.com for a ton of free resources so you can practice along and learn from. And you can also come follow me on social media where I share daily content that can help you. All right? Good. So let’s talk about the suffix -ally.

We use this suffix to form an adverb from another word. For example: specific – specifically, accident – accidentally. Now to pronounce the suffix, we pronounce it with a schwa sound that is represented by the ‘a’ – /ə/, an L, and a high /i/- /əli/. Let’s look at a few examples.

Accident. Accidentally. Accidentally. Now when the T appears after an N in unstressed positions, you can often drop it, like in the word ‘internet’ or ‘wanted’. So here as well, some people might say ‘accidenally’ and not ‘accidentally’. You can do both, whatever is easier for you.

Let’s practice a few more words. Culturally. Culturally. Stress is on the first syllable: CULturally. Naturally. Naturally. You can also say ‘nach-ruh-lee’. Now, sometimes when you add the suffix after a certain word, you may not even pronounce the schwa at the beginning, it’s like the A is eliminated. For example, ‘practically’. It ends with a ‘k’ sound and then ‘lee’. ‘PRAK-tik-lee’. Even though you still write the A, but it’s not ‘PRAK-ti-kuh-lee’.

‘puh-LI-dik-lee’, not ‘puh-LI-di-kuh-lee’. It’s probably not a mistake to pronounce the schwa. But usually, people don’t pronounce it, they just connect the K and the L. Politically. Graphically. ‘GRA-fik-lee’. ‘spuh-SI-fik-lee’. Not ‘spuh-SI-fi-kuh-lee’.

So, when you practice words with the -ally suffix, remember that it’s not pronounced as an ‘ah’. Not ‘spuh-SI-fi-kah-lee’ or ‘a-ksuh-DEN-tah-lee’, but it’s reduced to a schwa. And also focus on where the primary stress is, usually it’s at the beginning of the word. So pay attention. The primary stress is always longer, louder, and higher in pitch. And notice that sometimes you would pronounce the schwa like in the word ‘socially’, and sometimes you won’t – ‘PRAK-tik-lee’, okay?

But either way, this is just for you to practice. Say it again and again and again, so you make it a habit. And even if you make a mistake, it’s not a big deal. This video is designed to bring some more clarity, to let go of that fog that you might have when it comes to English pronunciation, and to help you practice consistently so you make it a new habit.

And even if you still make mistakes, it’s not a problem. It’s not about not making mistakes. It’s about building confidence, sounding clear, and communicating your message in a way that helps you say what you want to say and get what you want. All right?

If you enjoy this video, consider subscribing to my channel. You can also follow me on my social media accounts. And share it with other people that you think might enjoy it as well. Have a beautiful, beautiful, beautiful rest of the day. And I will see you next week in the next video. Bye everyone.