Diction Avenue

Sounds of Letter A

By Chris Nkwocha and Yinka Fapetu When we speak, read or spell, some of the letters of the English alphabet could be just tricky.  The sound they make keep changing as they appear in different words. This change is more performed by vowels though sometimes a few consonants join in. This explains why common letters are not reliable and must not be trusted as they cannot guide what we say… Read More »Sounds of Letter A

Faint words are spoken differently


By Chris Nkwocha and Abigail Onyemefie Some English words—pronouns, auxiliary verbs, conjunctions, prepositions, and articles known as function or grammatical words have two pronunciations—the loud forms and the faint forms. The loud forms are used mainly when the words are said in isolation, that is, not in company of other words; when they stand alone. For instance, if you asked to list conjunctions, you may list them as follows: and,… Read More »FAINT FORMS OF WORDS

Collocation In English

In English, collocation is two or more words that go together naturally.  Collocation makes your English sound fluent and natural. It is like a firm handshake between two people. How Collocation Works Collocation: Big The word BIG is often used alongside happenings or events. For example: A big decision A big disappointment A big surprise A big failure A big improvement   Collocation: Great The word GREAT is often used… Read More »Collocation In English

Consonants connect words like a chain


By Chris Nkwocha and Esther John Unknown to many, consonants are the real conjunctions. They are the actual connectors of words not ideas in spoken English. The superb rule strongly holds here: When a word ends in a consonant, and the next word begins in a vowel, connect or link them and say them as one word.  This rule applies especially to some words that come in pairs when we… Read More »HOW CONSONANTS CONNECT WORDS

Talking about the English plural morpheme on Diction Avenue


The English plural morpheme or marker is the letter –S. It has three sound variants -/s/,/z/ and /ɪz/.  It’s important to know when the plural marker –S makes this different sounds in words. /s/ is the voiceless sound of the plural marker –S. And so, the plural marker –S is realized as /s/ when its follows voiceless consonants such as /k/, /p/,/t/,/f/,/θ/ etc You pronounce the plural marker –S as… Read More »THE ENGLISH PLURAL MORPHEME