3 Words You Need to Know in American English

3 Words You Need to Know in American English

We’ve been getting a lot of questions from everyone about the next 3 words that we’re going to talk about soon! Specifically, we’ve been getting a lot of questions about how they’re pronounced and how they’re used in everyday English conversations.

A common problem for anyone who is learning English is that there is a habit of adding more sounds and syllables to a word than what is necessary, often because students might still be thinking in their native language and thus they try to pronounce this word as if it was in their native language.

So let’s talk about the 3 words you need to know in American English!

Awesome (“AWW-sum”)

How is this word pronounced?

  • First, open your mouth and focus on pronouncing each syllable correctly: AWW-sum (remember to put stress on the first syllable!)

What does this word mean?

  • Awesome – This is a commonly used word that can be used to describe something that is very impressive or amazing. It’s a great word that you can use to express enthusiasm.
    • Ex #1: Go Natural English is awesome! 
    • Ex #2: My girlfriend is awesome

Average (“AV-uh-rij”)

How is this word pronounced?

  • First, focus on pronouncing each of the three syllables correctly: AV-uh-rij (after you practice the pronunciation several times, try to pronounce each syllable quickly).

What does this word mean?

  • Average – This is another commonly used word that is often used to describe something that is boring or not bad. This word has the same meaning as so-so.
    • Ex #1: The movie was average (it wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t great).
    • Ex #2: I visited the new museum. It was average.

Awful (“AW-ful”)

How is this word pronounced?

  • The pronunciation of that first syllable of this word is exactly the same as the first syllable on “awesome.” Be sure that your mouth and jaw are open when you pronounce it.
    • Pro tip: The last letter of this word, “L”, is hard to hear, but saying the entire word is important. A lot of students often don’t pronounce the “L” because it has a very quiet pronunciation.

What does this word mean?

  • AwfulThis a word that has a double meaning! It can mean two different things, depending on how you use this word.
    • Awful is normally a word used to describe something that is really, really bad. 
      • Ex #1: The new television program is awful (it is really bad)!
      • Ex #2: My dog died two days ago. It was an awful day.
    •  *Awful is also used as a quantifier (used to emphasize something).
      • Ex #1: The Go Natural English ebook is awful useful (it is really helpful)
      • Ex #2: The food was awful good (the food was really good). 

*Note: Using “awful” in this context is considered grammatically incorrect, but since native speakers like to use it in this way, it is generally accepted by most of the native English-speaking population.

If you’re wondering how to correctly use “awful” in this context, then you need to use its adverb form (awfully). 

  • Ex #1: The movie was awfully good! (The movie was really good!)

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