Apostrophe Rules

Apostrophes (’) helps us to make our sentences short but putting them in the wrong place is one of the most common mistakes in the English grammar. It is normally used for two reasons: to show possession or to indicate ownership and to show that certain letters in a contraction are missing. The rules for apostrophes vary with the type of word. A lot of people are confused about when they can use an apostrophe and when they don’t. Here are a few apostrophe rules which will help you:
  • Apostrophes are used to indicate possession. It means that an apostrophe with an "s" after a proper noun indicates that the person, place or thing owns the particular thing. For Example: Mohan’s house or Ram’s car. Remember: a possessive noun needs an apostrophe + “s” (’s) at the end. If there is already an “s”, you have to just add the apostrophe. If there is no “s,” you have to add both - first the apostrophe, and then the “s”.
  • To indicate something belonging to one person, the apostrophe put the apostrophe before the ‘s’. For Example: the player’s kit.
  • To indicate something belonging to more than one person, put the apostrophe after the ‘s’. For Example: the players’ kit.
  • If two people possess the same item, put the apostrophe + s after the second name only. For example: His and Mohan’s house.
  • Apostrophes are never used in making plural.
  • Apostrophes are also used to indicate a contracted word. For example, “it’s” uses an apostrophe to indicate that the word is missing the “i” from “it is”. Similarly don’t, doesn't, it's, can't, you'd, should've, etc are also used.
  • Note: Never use an apostrophe after a possessive pronoun such as my, mine, his, hers, our, ours, its, theirs etc. 
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Phonic Rules

10 Rules for better English Pronunciation

Phonics refers to associating letters or group of letters along with the sounds they represent. In simple words we can say that Phonics is one method of teaching how to read and pronounce. It is an important tool for reading, writing and pronouncing words. The goal of phonics is to enable learners to decode new written words by pronouncing them in phonics terms. Phonics is normally a part of primary education and if not mastered properly it can lead us towards the incorrect pronunciation of words. Before starting rules for pronunciation lets see the meaning of vowels and consonants which is important part of this topic.

Vowels: There are 26 alphabet letters in English language. Out of these A, E, I, O, and U are vowels. These are the speech sounds made with your mouth open and your tongue in the middle of your mouth not touching your teeth and lips. Vowels can be "Long" or "Short". Sometimes "y" & "w" are also used as vowels. This also includes the diphthongs "ai, au, aw, ew, ei, oi, oo, ou, ow, oy" etc.

Consonants: Consonants are all the other letters which stop or limit the flow of air from the throat in speech. They are: "b,c,d,f,g,h,j,k,l,m,n,p,q,r,s,t,v,w,x,y,z,ch,ph,sh,th,wh, gh, and ng".

Rules for Pronunciation: 

  1. Every syllable in every word must contain a vowel.
  2. When a syllable ends in a vowel and if it is the only vowel, that vowel is usually long. Examples: be/come, cra/ker, go/ing, fu/ture, my/self, pa/per, ba/ker.
  3. When a syllable ends in a consonant and has only one vowel, that vowel is short. Examples: cap, sad, clock, mug.
  4. When a syllable ends in a silent "e," the vowel that comes before the silent "e" is long. Examples: make, take, cale, bite, kite, rope, hope, use, fuse.
  5. When a syllable has two vowels together, the first vowel is usually long and the second vowel is silent. Example: pain, stain, crow, grow, coat. Diphthongs don't follow this rule; In diphthongs, the vowels blend together to create a single sound.
  6. When a vowel is followed by "r" in the same syllable, it is neither long nor short. Examples: for, charm, sir, shirt, corn, surf, fir.
  7. When 2 consonants are joined together and form new sound, they are known as consonant digraph. Here are some consonant digraphs you should know: gh (laugh), kn (known), wh (why), sh (shout), wr (write)th (that), ch (child), ph (graph), tch (catch), ng (ring).
  8. When letter "C" is followed by "e, i, or y," it usually has the soft sound of "S" Example: cigar, city, cease, celebrate, cycle etc.
  9. When letter "G" is followed by "e, i, or y," it usually has the soft sound of "J." Example: gem, germinate, ginger, gymnastic etc.
  10. In a one syllable word "Y" is pronounced as (ai) for example: cry, try, fry, by etc and in a two syllable word "Y" is pronounced as (e) for example: tiny, party, candy, city, kitty etc.
Sometimes the rules don't work. Because of the vastness of the language at some places some rules don't work. However these rules work in the majority of the words.
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    Mispronounced Words

    List of wrongly pronounced words in India - Part I

    Pronunciation is the way or the manner of speaking a word. A word can be pronounced in different ways by various persons depending on many factors such as: their location, education, social class, childhood, voice disorders and many more. It is an undeniable fact that in India people have acquired a not-so-bad command of English language but still the mispronunciation of certain words is very common among a good majority of English speakers in India. Below is the list of some commonly used mispronounced words.
    • Science: It is pronounced as saayans not as signs.
    • Receipt: It is pronounced as ri-seet not as ricept.
    • Almond: It is pronounced as Ah-mund, (L is silent) not as Aal-mund.
    • Bury: It is pronounced as Be-ri and not as Burr-ri.
    • Dengue: It is pronounced as Den-gee not as Den-goo.
    • Pizza: It is pronounced as peet-zuh not as Pi-za.
    • Genre: It is pronounced as Zhon-ruh not as Jen-ner.
    • Quote: It is pronounced as kwo-te not as coat.
    • Sour: It is pronounced as sower (as in power) not as saar.
    • Police: It is pronounced as Puh-leece not as Poo-leece.
    • Coupon: It is pronounced as Koo-pawn not as koo-pun.
    • Gauge: It is pronounced as gayj not as gauj.
    • Raspberry: It is pronounced as Raz-ber-ee (P is silent) not as rasp-berry
    • Cocoa: It should be pronounced as koh-koh and not as koh-koh-wa.
    • Dessert: It is pronounced as dizz-urt not as des-ert.
    • Bowl: It is pronounced as bo-hl (pronunciation of O) not as baa-ool.
    • Euler: It is pronounced as Oiler not as Yular.
    • Truth: It is pronounced as troo-th not as tru-th.
    • Capris: The correct pronunciation is Kuh-preez and not as cape-reese.
    • Plumber: It is pronounced as plumer with b silent.
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