How to pronounce the /v/ sound in English? Pronunciation tips


"When I try to pronounce [v] in English, it sounds like other sound"... "

"Even if you can pronounce a word, it becomes [b] when it comes to a sentence ..."

I think many people are struggling to pronounce [v] in English. Many people can't pronounce it well because it's a sound that other languages do not have, even if they know how to pronounce it.
Therefore, in this article, I will explain the tips for pronunciation of [v] in English and recommended practice methods that can be expected to be highly effective in correcting the pronunciation of [v].

Why is it difficult to pronounce [v]?

Why does the English [v] sound feel so difficult in the first place? The simple answer to this question is, "Because the sound of [v] is a sound that is easily confused with b." So when some peaople pronounce [v] in English, they replace it with the sound of different line.

Some people have a head-to-head understanding of how to pronounce [v]. However, when it comes to pronouncing the sound of [v] at the conversation level (the case where [v] is in the sentence instead of the word), the movement of the mouth cannot be expected and the pronunciation cannot be done well. There are quite a lot of people who say that.

How to pronounce [v] and 3 points

Words that contain [v] include

・V ictory / ˈvɪktəri /
・v egetable / ˈvɛʤtəbəl /
・ e v eryone / ˈevriˌwʌn /
・ fa v orite / ˈfeɪvrət /
・ lo ve / ˈlʌv /
・ arri ve / əˈraɪ

And so on. Basically, [v] is also expressed as "v" in the spelling of a word, and the spelling and pronunciation match. When the ending spelling such as love is "ve", the last "e" is not pronounced. Also, the "f" of of is pronounced as [v], which is an exception.

First, let's explain how to pronounce the sound of [v].

How to pronounce [v]

① Gently stick out the lower lip and lightly press the upper front teeth against the inside of the lower lip.
② Vibrate the inside of the upper front teeth and lower lip and pronounce "Vu".
③ For words ending in [v], flip the lower lip with "Vu".

Reference video: [Lesson 25] How to pronounce [f] and [v] by touching the upper front teeth to the inside of the lower lip << English Pronunciation Correction Discovering Sounds >>

Note: Some [v] do not vibrate

The sound of [v] in English is basically a vibrating sound, but if [v] appears in the middle of a conversation, the vibrating sound may disappear, so be careful. Mainly when a consonant follows [v], it does not vibrate. Simply taking the [v] position and connecting to the next note without playing "v" will make it smoother.

[v] of one o f the best
→ of does not make a vibrating sound and does not play the lower lip.

You 've done a good job!
→ The abbreviation [v] for have does not make a vibrating sound, nor does it play the lower lip.

Three points when pronouncing English [v]

Point 1. Create a powerful vibration sound with the image of a vibe sound from a smartphone, etc.

Point 2. Do not entangle the upper and lower lips inside

Point 3. Do not bite your lower lip strongly

If the vibration sound is weak, it will be close to "U". Also, many people unnecessarily entangle their lips or bite their lower lip more than necessary, but even if the words are good, the faster the sentences, the more difficult it is to speak. Be sure to pick up the sound inside your lower lip.

[v] Effective exercise for pronunciation correction

Next, we would like to introduce our native muscle exercise, "Lower Lip Lifting Exercise", which is effective for correcting the pronunciation of [v] in English.

It is effective to start with muscle training around the mouth. "Lower lip lifting exercises" is an exercise to train the "mentalis muscle" necessary for pronunciation of [v]. If you do this exercise and only the lower lip can be lifted straight up, you will be able to pronounce [v] smoothly.

Supplement: What is mentalis muscle?

"Mentalis" is a term that refers to the lower jaw, and the mentalis muscle is the facial muscle in the central part of the lower jaw. The mentalis muscle is a muscle that lifts the lower jaw when the mouth is closed, and it is the function of the mentalis muscle that wrinkles like dried plums when the force is applied to the lower jaw.

How to do "lower lip lifting exercises"

① Lightly stick out the lower lip
② Touch the upper front tooth to the inside of
the lower lip ③ Lower the lifted lower lip until you can see the lower gum
④ Repeat the movements 1 to 3

If you imagine it, it's like the movement of the mouth of a ventriloquist doll. Practice moving only your lower lip up and down without moving your chin a millimeter.


How to pronounce [v] in English and exercises to help correct pronunciation

This time, I explained the pronunciation correction of [v] in English. Because it is a sound that does not exist in many languages it is difficult to learn the sound of [v] with a little practice.

To pronounce [v] in English like a native speaker, first make sure that the mentalis muscles move smoothly when pronouncing [v]. For that purpose, the "lower lip lifting exercise" introduced this time is effective. If you try it, your mouth will become dull and you will feel tired. However, as you continue, you will gradually get used to the movements and train your mentalis muscles. Please continue patiently!

Discovering Sounds offers a number of native muscle exercises you need to improve your English pronunciation. If you find it difficult to study by yourself and want to improve while taking lessons, please take a trial lesson of Discovering Sounds!