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What’s an Allophone?

A phoneme is a distinct unit of sound. There are about 40 unique phonemes in American English, 24 consonant sounds and 16 vowel sounds. But of course, this division of sounds is not absolute....

context

Context Is King

One of the problems with learning English in the classroom is that there is seldom any context to what is taught. You are taught bits and pieces of information. You learn a lot about...

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Regrets in English

Shoulda, coulda, woulda! These are the sounds of regret. “I shoulda known he’d leave me.” “I coulda been a better father, but I always put my job first.” “I woulda done better on the...

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The Shades of Vowels

Look at these glasses of wine from a French winery. Obviously they are all reds. Now let me ask you: Which one is really red? There are lots of shades of red, as you...

ed Past Tense

ED Is Dead

I’m dying! I’m dying! I’m dead! DyING is a process. The -ing ending indicates something continuous or progressive, that is, something that is in the process of happening (ex. I’m playing, jumping, laughing). So...

Language Gene Foxp2

Is There a Language Gene

Genes are responsible for pretty much every aspect of who we are as humans, from the color of our hair and the diseases to which we are susceptible to how well we sleep and...

ST means stop

ST Means Stop

Joseph Aronesty was waking with his college friend Phil Cantessa through their college campus on a sunny day in 1969 when Phil offhandedly said, “All English words that start with ST have something stopping...