Pronouncing the English F Sound

Posted by on March 29, 2015


Pronounce English F

Do you struggle pronouncing a nice clean 'F' sound when you speak English? You're not alone, this consonant sound has been known to cause lots of problems for non-native speakers and even some native speakers as well.

In this tutorial we'll take a look at proper mouth formation using video and pictures and then provide some great resources that you can download and practice on your own.

Mouth Position

F– To properly make the 'F' sound in English you should begin by slightly opening your mouth (make sure your lips are not touching) then gently pull your lower lip back and raise it so that your lip lightly touches the bottom of your top teeth. Then gently force air out of your mouth so that the stream of air squeezes around and under your teeth making a slight 'rushing of air' sound. Remember, the English 'F' is a non-voiced sound so there should be no sound coming from your vocal chords.



 

Practice by holding your hand in front of your mouth and simply blow air out while holding the 'F' position. You should feel a light stream of air against your hand. You should also be able to sustain this blowing of air until you run out of breath (Remember, you shouldn't be making any noise yet). Practice doing this before moving on to the next step.

 

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After you feel comfortable with the mouth position and releasing air from between your teeth and your lower lip you will be ready to start pronouncing words that use the 'F' sound. 

Below is an audio file that corresponds to the pronunciation sheet also below. You can listen online or download the file so you can practice whenever you want. Start with the first 10 words in the "Listening Exercise" by listening to how they are pronounced and then attempting to pronounce them yourself. This tutorial has lots of words (45+) as well as practice sentences and paragraphs all focusing on the F sound.

Enjoy and tell your friends.





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