In English, many words are spelled with 3 syllables but pronounced with only 2 syllables.

“Different,” for example, is written with 3 syllables but it is not pronounced “diff-er-ent,” but “DIFF-rent.” The stress falls on the first syllable and the second is reduced.


different (DIFF-rent)

Below are some more examples; to hear them, watch the video below.

Beverage = BEV-ridj (not: bev-a-rij)
Camera = KAM-ra (not: kahm-air-ah)
Chocolate = TCHOK-lit (not: shok-oh-LATE)
Desperate = DES-prit (not: dez-ess-pair-ATE)
Evening = EEV-ning (not: eve-a-ning)
Family = FAM-li (not: fahm-a-LEE)
Favorite = FAVE-rit (not: fahv-oh-RATE)
Interest = IN-trist (not: in-tair-EST)
Preference = PREF-rints (not: pref-air-ENTS)
Several = SEV-rul (not: sev-air-AL)

Practice here:
It is summer in New York and it’s hot. One evening, you are desperate for a cool beverage, but you only see an ice cream store. It’s not your preference, but you go inside.

ice creamThe ice cream store is run by a family and they take an interest in you. The store has several different flavors: “What’s your favorite kind of ice cream?” the mother asks.

“Chocolate,” you answer, smiling. You start talking with them and they give you an extra big cone with colorful sprinkles. The ice cream cone is so beautiful, you take a picture of it with your camera.