How to pronounce “OF” like a native English speaker

How to pronounce "OF" like a native English speaker

Stop talking like a robot! Some words don’t always sound the same, and this is especially true when native English speakers speak quickly. In this short and simple video, I will teach you about the different ways we pronounce the preposition “of”. For example, did you know we pronounce “a lot of” like “alotta” in conversations? Understanding the pronunciation of words can also help you develop better listening skills.

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Hello. My name is Emma, and in today’s video I am going to help you with your pronunciation. Today I am going to teach you how to pronounce one of the most common words in English. That word is the word “of”. Okay? So, when we say “of” just on its own as a single word, we usually pronounce it like this: “ov”, which has kind of like a “v” sound at the end, “of”. Now, that’s kind of hard to pronounce. There’s an easier way that we pronounce this word when we use it in a sentence or an expression, and that’s what we’re going to learn today. So let’s get started.

Okay, so I have here some English expressions. I have: “A lot of”, “Slice of pie”, “Piece of cake”. Now, when I actually say this, I don’t say: “ov”. I want you to listen very carefully to what I’m actually saying and how I pronounce the word “of” in these expressions. Okay? “A lot a”. I’ll say that one more time: “A lot a”. “Slice a pie”, “Slice a pie”, “Piece a cake”, “Piece a cake”. Okay? Now, I’ve said it a little louder than I usually would, but you’ll notice I didn’t say: “Slice ov pie”, I said: “A slice a pie”. So my point here is that native speakers of English, especially North American English, usually do not pronounce “of” like this; we actually pronounce it more like “a”. Okay? So, what we can do is we can actually add an “a” here. So I want you to repeat after me: “A lot a”, “A lot a”, “I have a lot a friends.” Okay? “A lot a”. And we also say “a” a little bit quieter because it’s not a stressed syllable. So we like to say it quieter than the rest of the expression. “Slice a pie”. So I can remove this and add an “a”. So let’s say that together: “Slice a pie”. All right, now let’s try this expression: “A piece a cake”. So this means it’s something that’s easy, so: “piece a cake”. Okay?

So let’s do some practice together. And you will see “of” a lot in English, so this is a really good word to practice and to get used to pronouncing in a native speaker way, because: A) it will be easier to understand you, and B) “a” is a lot easier to say than “ov”. Okay? So let’s practice these sentences together. So, I’ve put the word “of” with a red underline, and anytime you see “of”, I want you to change it to “a”, okay? So, let’s say this together: “It is made of brick. It is made of brick.”, “He has lots of money. He has lots of money.” Okay. “Game of Thrones.” If you like that TV show, that’s a really important thing to be able to pronounce. “Game of Thrones.”, “I thought of something.” So, again, let’s turn this to “a”: “I thought of something.”, “It’s a piece of cake.” And that means it’s something very easy. “It’s a piece of cake.” Okay? This is actually one of my favourite idioms: “It’s a piece of cake.” All right? So now let’s do some more practice on the word “of” and its pronunciation.

So one thing you can do if you’re having trouble with the pronunciation of “of” in sentences, or expressions, or phrases is you can actually just put the “a” underneath “of” to help remind you. Okay? So this is one thing you can do when you’re practicing the pronunciation of this. So let’s practice some more sentences. “That’s a nice piece of furniture.” Okay? So now I want you to try: “That’s a nice piece of furniture.” And, again, when we say this part, we’re not saying it loud, we’re not saying: “Piece a furniture”, we say it kind of quietly: “Piece of furniture”. Okay? Let’s try the next one: “The cost of living is high. The cost of living is high.” Okay. You can do it one more time. “The cost…” Sorry. “The cost of living is high.” All right. Let’s do this next sentence. And, by the way, at the time of filming, Justin Trudeau is the Prime Minister, just in case, you know, it changes, I want this to make some sense. “The Prime Minister of Canada is handsome.” Okay? He’s a handsome man. “The Prime Minister of Canada is handsome.” Okay? So now you can try to say that. Okay. Now let’s try another sentence: “Many of the shows are comedies. Many of the shows are comedies.” Okay? And when we say this part, we also kind of say it quicker, too. “Many of the shows are comedies”, versus if I said: “Many of the shows are comedies.” You can say that, but again, most native speakers say it very quick and more like a “a” sound. “Many of the shows are comedies.” All right, and let’s try one more: “Ottawa is…” So first I’ll say it slow. “Ottawa is north of Toronto. Ottawa is north of Toronto.” So now you try to say it. […]