Home ESL Teacher Good Your American Accent! 14 Tricks to Sound Like a Native Speaker

Good Your American Accent! 14 Tricks to Sound Like a Native Speaker

Good Your American Accent! 14 Tricks to Sound Like a Native Speaker


You don’t want a coach to be taught the American accent.

What you want is information of the completely different American sounds, an understanding of how one can make them and assets that can assist you apply.

So, if you wish to speak like an American, we’ll present you fourteen efficient methods to be taught the American English accent and sound like a local speaker.


1. Study the Distinctive Options of American English

The principle characteristic that separates the American accent from a number of different accents in English is rhotic speech. Which means that most People pronounce the r in phrases comparable to “laborious (har-d).

Non-rhotic audio system don’t pronounce the r, and would pronounce the phrase “laborious” like hah-d: laborious

There are some exceptions, after all. Some People within the New England space of the US use non-rhotic speech.

Different options (properties) of the American accent embody:

What’s fascinating about American English is the connection between spelling and pronunciation isn’t all the time direct.

The identical letter can have completely different pronunciations primarily based on the place it’s in a phrase, and phrases can typically have very surprising pronunciations. Listed here are some examples of phrases with stunning pronunciation in American English: 

2. Study to Pronounce the Letter R

As we noticed earlier than, the Normal American accent is rhotic, which means the letter r is all the time pronounced.

To grasp the American R, attempt listening to those phrases: 






The r sound in American English doesn’t use a “trill” like another languages comparable to Spanish. Right here’s an instance:

rural (Spanish) / rural (US)

If that appears tough to pronounce, don’t fear! All you need to do is be taught the place to place your tongue.

When making the American English r sound, open your lips barely and place your tongue proper in the midst of your mouth, with the perimeters of your tongue touching your again tooth. Then, curl the tip of your tongue up towards the highest of your mouth.

The trick is to verify the tip of your tongue doesn’t contact something, particularly not the again of your tooth!

To apply this, attempt saying the phrase “ear.” Begin with the e sound, then curl up the tip of your tongue. The sound ought to change from an e to an r like magic!

3. Study to Pronounce Your Ts and Ds Proper

The Letter T

The letter is one other instance of a letter that’ll let you know if an individual is from the States immediately.

The very first thing you need to bear in mind in regards to the letter is that, within the American accent, it appears like one thing between a d and an r when it’s between vowel sounds. Or, between a vowel and the letter l. (That is known as t-flapping, and the IPA image is [ɾ]).

That is what occurs within the following phrases:




reduce it out

Within the final instance, discover how this nonetheless occurs between phrases if the is between vowel sounds!

One other rule you must bear in mind in regards to the American is that if the is the final letter of a phrase and it’s not adopted by a vowel as we simply noticed, then the sound will get “reduce” or “stopped.” 

In different phrases, you get able to pronounce it however cease the sound. Take heed to some examples:

sizzling canine 



Lastly, while you get a sound earlier than an n sound, you cease or reduce the sound as earlier than and alter it into a tough n:

soda fountain 



This rule will be tougher to see as a result of and gained’t usually be collectively (for instance, within the phrase fountain, you may have ai between them). If you wish to know extra about this, take heed to this podcast episode from the Seattle Studying Academy (the lesson begins at 1:30).

I counsel training with the phrases above till you sound precisely just like the particular person within the audio. Then, you possibly can seek for extra phrases with the letter t and apply these, too. 

The Letter D

The letter will also be flapped, like t. The foundations are the identical, however we name this d-flapping as an alternative.

Though d-flapping is much less widespread than t-flapping, we are able to nonetheless discover a number of examples of this taking place in American English:


ladder (pronounced like letter)

pudding (pronounced like placing)

marriage ceremony (pronounced like wetting)

4. Don’t Overlook the Schwa Sound /ə/

If I needed to pinpoint one sound that can massively aid you develop an American accent, it must be the schwa sound. It’s present in practically each phrase!

Once you take heed to superior learners who communicate American English fluently however who don’t precisely sound like native audio system, it’s normally as a result of they’re not announcing the schwa typically.

The schwa sound is named a lazy sound since you pronounce it in a extremely relaxed manner: attempt saying “uh” whereas simply preserving your mouth open just a little. The entire vowels in English will be learn as a schwa as an alternative of their regular sound, normally in the event that they’re in a syllable that’s not burdened or emphasised.

Let’s take a typical phrase: “drawback.” Simply by studying it, you’d count on the pronunciation to be “pro-blem” as a result of that’s the way you pronounce e, proper? In actuality, the pronunciation is definitely “pro-bluhm.” The e turns into a schwa sound!

Listed here are another English phrases with the schwa sound:

away (pronounced like uh-way)

enemy (pronounced like e-nuh-my)

animal (pronounced like a-nuh-muhl) 

physician (pronounced like doc-tuhr)

lemon (pronounced like le-muhn) 

Even in “America ,” you may have two schwa sounds: Uh-mer-i-kuh.

Because it’s tough to guess when to make use of the schwa simply by an English phrase, you possibly can verify the pronunciation information in dictionaries and look out for /ə/.

5. Be Cautious of the Sound /j/

The sound /j/ may also provide you with details about an individual’s accent. That is the j, ge or dge sound which you can hear in American English phrases like “leap ,” “light ” and “choose .” (You’ll be able to hear it twice in “choose”!)

Many American audio system don’t pronounce this sound after the letters d, n and t.

That is formally known as yod-dropping, and it might probably simply be seen in on a regular basis phrases comparable to:




You’ll be able to watch the next quick video to be taught in regards to the pronunciation of the phrase “new:”

6. Apply Linked Speech

With the American accent, native audio system don’t pause between each phrase a lot as a result of they use a number of related speech.  

These are the 2 commonest methods it might probably occur:


When a phrase ends in a consonant and the subsequent phrase begins with a vowel, they’re pronounced and not using a hole between them.

To listen to this in motion, take heed to the sentences beneath and deal with the bolded phrases. You’ll discover that they circulate collectively, nearly as in the event that they’re one phrase.

I normally rise up at 6 AM. (pronounced like getup

She’s consuming an egg. (pronounced like anegg

Don’t take it personally. (pronounced like takeit)


When a phrase ends in a vowel and the subsequent one begins with one other vowel, there’s normally a “bridging” sound between them so the transition doesn’t sound too abrupt.

I’m prepared if you might be (pronounced like youware

I’m driving a automobile (pronounced like Iyam)

Are you able to release a while for me? (pronounced like freeyup)

If you happen to haven’t been training related speech but, attempt it out now with one of many sentences and examine how they sound while you apply related speech and while you don’t. Linked speech won’t be talked about as a lot in classes, nevertheless it’s a significant a part of the American accent!

7. Study Which Phrases to Use to Sound Pure

When talking English (or another language), you need to use the appropriate phrases to not be misunderstood or to say something impolite or embarrassing.

Regardless that we’re not speaking about pronunciation right here, utilizing the mistaken phrase while you’re talking could make you sound much less “American.” On high of this, some phrases are additionally normally mentioned with a selected intonation or physique language.  

One of the simplest ways to select this up could be to look at American English audio system carefully. For instance, there’s so much which you can be taught from how Will Smith (a preferred American actor) talks: 

If you wish to sound pure while you communicate American English, figuring out the appropriate phrases to make use of is simply as necessary as saying them accurately.

Beneath are some extra particular examples of which phrases to make use of should you’re attempting to talk American English.

American Slang

Numerous English learners have an issue understanding very casual conversations amongst younger individuals as a result of they’re stuffed with slang phrases and expressions.

We are able to’t embody all of the slang phrases that exist within the US, however you can begin your personal record with these phrases:

to bail/to ditch — to cancel plans with somebody

to slay — to do very effectively

tea — gossip

wack — boring

juiced — very excited (to do one thing)

swag — coolness

zonked — very drained

hyped — very excited

hit somebody up — contact somebody

vanilla — strange/boring

“Have” and “Get”

American audio system usually use “have” once they’re speaking about possessions. Right here’s the way it works with damaging sentences and questions:

I don’t have a automobile. 

Do you may have a automobile? 

As well as, the previous participle (third type of the verb, utilized in excellent tenses) of the verb “get” is “gotten” in American English. Listed here are a number of examples:

He’s gotten himself a brand new automobile. 

He’s gotten taller. 

American English additionally makes use of “have gotten” for emphasis:

You’ve obtained to see this!

You’ve simply obtained to learn this e book, it’s so good. 

American Casual Contractions

These casual contractions have grow to be extremely popular these days because of music, films and TV packages.

There are a number of academics who will let you know to not use some of these phrases throughout class or while you’re writing on the whole. However you’d use them while you’re talking to mates, texting, writing on social media or in different casual interactions.

Listed here are some widespread examples:

gonna — going to

I’m gonna go now. — I’m going to go now.

wanna — need to

We don’t wanna go. — We don’t need to go.

gotta — obtained to/should

I gotta go. — I’ve to go.

kinda — form of

That’s kinda humorous. — That’s form of (just a little) humorous.

sorta — kind of

I sorta prefer it right here. — I kind of prefer it right here. (I prefer it right here however not an excessive amount of)

8. Use American Accent Coaching Movies

American accent coaching is accessible from many alternative sources on the web that can assist you be taught the American English accent.

Beneath, I’ve listed some sources the place you can begin.

Talking Your Greatest, Inc.

Beneficial for: Bettering your American English accent primarily based in your native language  

Talking Your Greatest is a free on-line course run by a licensed speech pathologist.

There are particular accent guides for native audio system of various languages, together with French, Spanish, Chinese language, Indian, Japanese and Russian.

You’ll be taught common recommendation, like why it’s necessary for American English learners to talk slowly, in addition to how one can say very particular appears like an American.

Study English with Let’s Discuss

Beneficial for: Every day movies about talking English to maintain you on observe 

This YouTube channel uploads new movies each different day.

They deal with serving to English learners communicate with a impartial accent. Their movies embody useful ideas and enjoyable info to make accent mastery (management of a ability) enjoyable.

Together with accent assist, you’ll additionally get vocabulary and grammar English ideas.

Amy Walker’s “How you can Do an American Accent” Collection

Beneficial for: Enjoyable pronunciation and talking classes which might be primarily based on appearing 

Whereas Amy Walker isn’t an English language trainer, her collection is enjoyable and helpful for English learners.

Amy Walker is an actress, so the strategies she teaches are the identical that actors use to create the convincing (simple to consider) accents you see on TV and in films.

9. Watch American TV Reveals

You’ll be able to hear completely different American accents in American reveals, although you’ll usually hear one thing near the Midwestern or Normal American accent.

The recommendations listed beneath are helpful for English learners as a result of they’re common and use on a regular basis language. You will discover these reveals on DVD or on-line. It’s possible you’ll even be capable to entry some episodes on YouTube.

You’ll be able to discover much more recommendations right here.


Abstract: A basic present from the ’90s, “Associates” options the humorous, on a regular basis lives of six shut mates.

The place to look at: Amazon Prime | HBO Max 

“Associates” was (and nonetheless is) one of the vital common sitcoms (situational comedies) within the US. It takes place in New York Metropolis, and most of the themes in this system are relatable, from looking for a job to going via all the levels of a relationship and beginning a household. 

As a result of there’s a number of slang and quick speech, there could be occasions while you don’t perceive a scene fully, otherwise you’re pausing so much to search for phrases. FluentU’s English studying program fixes this by including interactive subtitles to clips of “Associates” and different English TV reveals: 

FluentU Friends Clip

The subtitles break down every line for English learners, full with phrase definitions and video examples at a faucet. New phrases will also be added to flashcards and practiced via customized quizzes, which embody talking workouts. 

FluentU is accessible on each net and cellular (Android and iOS). 

“Full Home”

Abstract: A widowed dad will get his comic greatest pal and rock musician brother-in-law to assist him maintain his three daughters. 

The place to look at: Amazon Prime | Apple TV

“Full Home” is one other sitcom that’s seen all around the world.

The characters vary from youngsters to adults, so most of the tales are fascinating to your entire household. “Full Home” is so common that some have realized English by watching it!

Sitcoms like “Associates” and “Full Home” are good for English learners as a result of they’re quick and incorporate on a regular basis issues into storylines. In addition they use a number of bodily humor that’ll aid you perceive what’s happening even should you can’t observe the dialogue at first.

“The Simpsons”

Abstract: “The Simpsons” portrays typical American life from a humorous perspective, via a household with all types of misadventures. 

The place to look at: Amazon Prime | Disney Plus

Episodes are proven all around the world and the characters are so common that they’ve launched new expressions into American tradition.

Any American you meet will probably be acquainted with “The Simpsons.” Some English studying packages even incorporate “The Simpsons” into their classes.

Notice that “The Simpsons” usually makes use of a number of topical (associated to present occasions) and cultural references, so it could be higher for superior learners.

10. Watch American Information Applications

Information packages from the US are an ideal supply of American accent audio. For the very best expertise, attempt nationwide information packages comparable to those listed beneath. Nationwide information anchors (presenters, reporters) are likely to have the Normal American accent.

If you already know you’ll be touring to a area with a robust native accent, such because the South or West, search for movies from native information stations in these areas. It’s possible you’ll hear some localized accents.

11. Get Assist from an Accent Tutor

Tutors are all the time the very best useful resource as a result of they will help you with your personal particular pronunciation wants. The next tutors or language providers focus on serving to individuals be taught the American English accent.

American Accent Course


Beneficial for: Structured studying 

This American accent audio course is a web based program which you can entry each time it’s greatest for you.

You’ll obtain listening workouts and classes in rhythm and pronunciation. You’ll additionally get quizzes in your progress. Reside tutors are additionally there that can assist you with difficulties and to supply extra assist.


Beneficial for: Suggestions from tutors  


Cambly is a course you should use on-line or in your cellular system. It presents a free trial choice to see if it’s the appropriate course for you.

Cambly means that you can apply English dialog with a tutor so you will get rapid suggestions in your accent.

Rachel’s English

Beneficial for: Detailed video classes 

Rachel is an English trainer who makes a speciality of serving to learners enhance their American accent. Whereas she gives a number of paid materials, her web site additionally options over 400 free movies to get you began.

12. Be Conscious of Variations Between American and British English

With British and American English, the variations between accents will be seen in particular letters being pronounced in a different way, like sh turning into sk or a change within the syllable that will get burdened. However there are additionally phrases which might be simply pronounced in a different way.

Of all of the phrases which might be pronounced in a different way in British and American English, the next 10 are particularly fascinating:

schedule (UK) / schedule (US)

both (UK) / both (US)

leisure (UK) / leisure (US)

missile (UK) / missile (US)

privateness (UK) / privateness (US)

storage (UK) / storage (US)

cellular (UK) / cellular (US)

nutritional vitamins (UK) / nutritional vitamins (US)

clerk (UK) / clerk ( US)

tomato (UK) / tomato (US)

British and American English may also typically use completely different phrases to speak about the identical factor. It’d be unimaginable to incorporate a whole record of Britishisms and Americanisms on this submit, however the next phrases are an ideal instance of how completely different they are often:

queue (UK) / line (US)

carry (UK) / elevator (US)

chips (UK) / French fries (US)

crisps (UK) / potato chips (US)

trousers (UK) / pants (US)

pants (UK) / underwear (US)

trainers (UK) / sneakers (US)

match (UK) / engaging (US)

bobby ( UK) / policeman (US)

bathroom (UK) / lavatory (US)

underground (UK) / subway (US)

There are a number of fascinating variations between British and American English, so if you’d like a extra detailed record, you possibly can try this information

13. Perceive the Historical past of the American Accent

Let’s speak a bit in regards to the historical past of the American Accent.

Whereas round 1.5 billion individuals communicate English, most English audio system aren’t native audio system. The American accent is what English learners (non-native) generally need to be taught

The American accent is definitely older than the UK accent. The American accent as we all know it at present was the accent spoken by the settlers (colonists, immigrants) who first landed in what’s now the US. 

However across the nineteenth century within the UK, the higher courses wished a option to distinguish themselves (be completely different) from the poor. With time, the accent they developed unfold all around the area. The result’s the UK accent, which is completely different from the American accent, as a consequence of its distinctive sounds.

14. Be Conscious of Regional Variations in Accents Throughout America

American English sounds completely different in several areas of the nation. If you happen to go to Southern US, New York Metropolis or California, they’ll all be talking American English, however they’ll all sound fairly completely different!

That’s as a result of completely different areas of America have their very own accents—there isn’t only one easy accent that everybody throughout America shares.

Beneath are some options of regional variations you could find there.

The Southern Accent

Also called a “Southern drawl” or “nation accent,” the Southern American English accent is normally slower, with elongated phrases and vowels.

Southern pronunciations of phrases embody git (get) and lemme (let me).

For a great instance of American accent variations, think about this:

Some college youngsters hear a rhyme from their academics once they don’t get what they need.

Within the Northern a part of the US, academics may say, “You get what you get and also you don’t be upset.” Within the South, youngsters might hear “You get what you get and also you don’t throw a match.” (“Match” being one other phrase for tantrum or anger). Each rhyme!

You’ve most likely heard the Southern accent in films and reveals the place a personality is supposed to obviously be from the South. Simply know that there are variations even within the Southern accent! Southern American individuals will sound completely different relying on what a part of the South they’re from.

The place to listen to a Southern accent:

  • TV reveals set within the south like “True Blood”
  • American country-western music artists comparable to Carrie Underwood, LeAnn Rimes and Tim McGraw

The Midwestern Accent

The Midwestern accent, typically often known as the impartial, or Normal American accent, is the accent usually heard in American leisure. It’s spoken throughout most of the central states of the nation.

The Midwestern accent makes use of the rhotic speech I discussed earlier. It additionally makes use of one thing known as the caught-cot merger, which is only a fancy manner of claiming that phrases comparable to caught, with the au sound, and cot, with the quick o sound, are pronounced the identical.

If you happen to’re attempting to be taught an American accent, that is most likely the most suitable choice. You’ll hear it in lots of reveals and flicks (so it’s simple to search out content material to review with) and also you’ll be understood in every single place within the US.

The place to listen to a Midwestern or Normal American accent:

  • For an exaggerated, sturdy model of the accent, watch the film “Fargo”
  • For a extra impartial model, watch nationwide information packages comparable to CNN

The New England Accent

The New England accent is also called the “Boston accent.”

This regional accent makes use of non-rhotic pronunciations (the r isn’t pronounced after vowels). A well-known phrase that demonstrates this accent is Pahk yuh cah in hah-vud yahd (Park your automobile in Harvard Yard).

The place to listen to the New England Accent:

The New York Metropolis Accent

The stereotypical “New York” accent could also be disappearing, however you possibly can nonetheless hear some natives use it on occasion.

The New York accent additionally has non-rhotic parts. They could additionally use spherical, quick vowels like a. For example, “father” turns into faw-thuh and “canine” turns into daw-ug.

The place to listen to the New York Metropolis accent:


And that’s all the pieces for at present, my mates!

Converse together with your American mates, tutors or academics, and use the American accent coaching assets and ideas above. You’ll be speaking such as you’re from the States very quickly.

Keep curious and completely happy American accent studying!