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ESL forum > Ask for help > Pronunciation    

Pronunciation



noura80
Algeria

Pronunciation
 
Hello , colleagues. I just want to share one of my 1st year pupil īs questions.She asked:"Why do we pronounce the verbs goes and does in a different way although we write them the same?  I.E  g+ oes/ d+oes

8 Aug 2017      



cunliffe
United Kingdom

...Also, go and do are pronounced differently... There may be a reason, but I think erm, that īs just the way it is!  Somebody posted a poem on here a while ago, with lots of these spelling/pronunciation anomalies. It might be nice to show your students that. I īll try and find it, unless someone else beats me to it... 

Edit: Hereīs a link to one of these poems; apparently there are a few.

8 Aug 2017     



almaz
United Kingdom

Spelling in English doesnīt always match pronunciation and as you can see with goes and does, there are more vowel sounds in English than available letters in our alphabet to represent them separately.

 

There is actually some method to the apparent madness of English orthography if you care to dig deep enough. Iīd recommend David Crystalīs Spell It Out as a good starting point.

8 Aug 2017     



Antonio Oliver
Spain

If a non-native may dare try to add a simple view...
 
Both verbs are Old English (=more or less Germanic words) and at some point in time they received Latin declensions (desinences, endings).
 
To make matters worse, the primitive (mostly lost) languages of the British isles were forced to adapt the Latin alphabet to their own sounds. Not always a perfect match, as you can guess.
 
It īs better explained by Melvyn Bragg in his book "The adventure of English", highly recomendable!
 
https://books.google.es/books?id=W4w6Y92du6UC&printsec=frontcover&dq=a+book+the+adventure+of+english+melvyn+bragg&hl=es&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwizlvb4mcfVAhVBnBoKHahzDgsQ6AEIJjAA#v=onepage&q=a%20book%20the%20adventure%20of%20english%20melvyn%20bragg&f=false 
 

8 Aug 2017     



cunliffe
United Kingdom

Good points. 

8 Aug 2017     



almaz
United Kingdom

Antonio, declensions are for nouns, pronouns and adjectives – not verbs. In any case, the inflected forms have nothing to do with Latin (although youīre correct about the limitations of the Latin alphabet). Have a look at this screenshot from the relevant entry in the OED (itīs a bit technical, but it will give you some idea of how these forms developed):

8 Aug 2017     



cunliffe
United Kingdom

Here īs another such poem:
 
Picking up on the Germanic theme, I have students asking why some verbs add -ed to form the past and others change the middle bit: swim, swam etc - apparently that is based on German. I study Romance languages, so didn īt really follow this up. Is that true and maybe a bit more info about that would be interesting? 

8 Aug 2017     



Antonio Oliver
Spain

Interesting indeed...
 
Past Simple in today īs German (Präteritum) is usually formed by adding verb endings, the most common being "t" based:
 
Ich brauche = I need
Ich brauchte = I needed
 
However, a vowel change is often performed together with this "t" ending:
 
Ich denke = I think
Ich dachte = I thought 
 
In some cases there is vowel swap but no "t" addition:
Ich komme = I come
Ich kam = I came 
 
The last example is clearly English-looking, but my German is too poor -over to some German- or Dutch-speaking collegue? 

8 Aug 2017     



redcamarocruiser
United States

 
 

As Reg Dwight said in a comment, they have different historical pronunciations:

the "o" in go was originally an /ɑː/, while the "o" in do and to was originally an /oː/. So they were always different to begin with, and even 

the Great Vowel Shift could do nothing about it, because different vowels shifted into different directions.

Go and do happen to be spelled the same because in Middle English, the time period when much of the current English spelling system was formed, 

their vowels were fairly similar (/ɔː/ and /oː/ respectively), and there are not as many vowel letters in the alphabet as there are vowel sounds in 

English. But they have never been pronounced the same."

 

8 Aug 2017     



nassimproff
Algeria

Personally ,I make ppls notice that even one letter can be pronouced in differnt  ways and when some ppls ask such qqs i say "khlikat rabi" and i make ppls laugh .I say that there are qqs which we can īt answer ,it īs just like this (i refer to arabic  i say why is the subject - marffou. and the objet - mansoub ,
 

8 Aug 2017     



noura80
Algeria

Thanks a lot friends.I īll check the given resources for myself.
I wanted to find a simple explanation for the little kid.
I toled her that the vowel o sound gives a different sound with the consonant sound of  g  and

8 Aug 2017     

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