It’s a new year and time to review the four everyday English words that are most often mispronounced. In 15 years of teaching, no matter where a student is from or what level they are, these words are always the ones most mispronounced.


The past tense of “ask” is “asked,” which is pronounced “ast.”

Infinitive and present tense: “I’m going to ASK her a question” OR “I always ask a question.” When “ask” is used as an infinitive or in the present tense, the “k” sound is necessary.

Past tense: “Yesterday, I ASKED her a question.” Here, the “k” sound is NOT necessary so drop it; skip it; do not say it, or simply forget the “k” is there! (Do not say “ASK-ud” or cheat and just say “AS.” They are both wrong.)

In the past tense, the “t” sound made by the “ed” ending is the important sound. You can simply say, “AST”: “Yesterday, I “ast” her a question. (Note: The spelling remains “asked”.)

By saying “ast,” not only will you sound natural and fluent, you will also sound correct.


This is pronounced “wimmin”

It is the plural form of WOMAN.

One woman (“WUH-mun”); two or more WOMEN (WIMmin).

Don’t be tricked by “women” because it looks so similar to the singular “woman.”

The “o” in “women” is pronounced like the “i” in “sit” or “in.”

“Women”rhymes with swimmin’, like: “Let’s go swimmin’ with the other women.”


This is pronounced “munts.”

It is the plural form of MONTH.

One month (munth). Two months (munts).

Saying “MON-thez” is not correct.

The word “months” can crop up in questions like this:

  1. How long have you been in Boston? OR …  How old is your baby?
  2. About two months.

To review:

For 1 MONTH – Pronounce the TH at the end of the word because it is the final sound.

It’s a voiceless th, the same one in “thank you.”

For 2 or more MONTHS – The “s” is the final sound, the one that needs to be pronounced.

The “th” is no longer important, so just say “munts.”

That’s right: munts.  Very easy!


This is pronounced “cloze” or like when you say, “Close the door.”

“Clothes” is the plural of “cloth.”

Cloth (“kloth”) is the fabric, or material, that clothes are made from.

Saying “CLO-thez” is not correct.

English makes it easy: Say “cloze” – it rhymes with “nose.”