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Lesson 9 - Nasal sounds

R

There are a few things to know about the R sound in British English:

  • there is more than one way to make the sound (I’ll explain both in video 1)
  • most British English accents do not pronounce it after a vowel sound (unlike American English)
  • the only time we ever roll the sound is very occasionally after TH

R at the start of words:

rat, rant, ramp, rabbit, wrap, racket
rent, ready, rescue, retire, wreck
rain, race, radio, rainy, raisin,
roar, Roake, roared,
run, running, rub, rustle, rumble
write, rice, ride, rhyme,
wrong, Robert, rock, Ron, robber
robot, rolling, Rover, roam, robe
river, rip, wrinkle, riddle, ripple

  1. Robert’s robot was rusty and and could no longer race.
  2. The gap by the river revealed a view of the rolling hills.
  3. I was wrong about my run and needed to be rescued.
  4. I wrote a letter to the radio presenter about wrinkles on my face.
  5. Rabbits don’t roar but they do sometimes rip things with their teeth.
  6. I enjoy curry with raisins and rice.

R as the second letter in a word or syllable:

bring broom braid, brick, brush, brown, bread
crowd, crock, crown, crew, crash, crab, crush
drink, drop, drawer, drill
from, fry, fruit, frog, free
grapes, grow, green, grin, graduate
pray, prize, prince, princess, prick, proud, price
train, try, trick, trace, tree

  1. The flies drank from the fruit thirstily.
  2. Grapes grow on vines not trees.
  3. The crowd grinned at the graduates.
  4. The frog was wearing a crown so the princess kissed him.
  5. The train crew waited eagerly for the prize to be drawn.

R in mixed sentences:

  1. The rapper ran away from the bride, the groom and their ungrateful friends.
  2. The grass is not always greener on the other side.
  3. The current price of bread is higher than in previous years.
  4. I can’t give free carrots or oranges I’m afraid.
  5. My favourite drink is red wine.
  6. Her brother was really very rude.
  7. I ran through the rain to get home.
  8. The programme starts at three.
  9. Let’s rest and read a story.
  10. I’m sorry about Robert and Harry – it’s a real shock.