Now that spring has sprung, it’s got me thinking about that -ing sound that keeps showing up in conversation and is so important in American English pronunciation. Not only has spring sprung, but you may be asked to sing at a spring fling, or wonder who is going to the prom, or worry about how the students are doing who are taking final exams. June is the most popular month for a wedding, and of course the happy couple will need wedding rings.
So, to keep up with the conversations that are sure to include this sound, you must be sure that you can pronounce the -ing sound properly at the end of words. Some common mispronunciations include- inG, where the hard g is emphasized, -ink, where the ng sound is followed by a k sound, and -een, where the vowel and the consonant are changed. The short I is replaced with a long e sound, and the ng sound is shortened to an n. This is not the sound we are looking for.
We want a short I sound, I, followed by the ng sound. This sound is a blend of the n and g sounds, made by pushing the back of the tongue against the soft palate at the top of the mouth, as if you were going to say g, but instead of saying g, say n. It should sound like -ng.
Listen to the recording below to hear the correct pronunciation.
Here are a few practice sentences for you:
- Will you sing at the spring fling?
- The cat is sitting on a ball of string.
- I put a ding in my car.
- The king wore a large signet ring on his finger.
- Jane had a sling on her arm after she fell.
- You are wearing too much bling for the wedding.
- Do you like to use the search engine Bing?
- The bee will sting you, but not on its wing.
- I like to play ping pong.
- There is one thing I’d like to know.
How did you do?
If you need something to help you remember to practice this new sound, try tying a piece of string around your ring finger. When people start asking why you are wearing such lovely bling, tell them you are trying to fling away the old pronunciation, and sing a new song of correct American English pronunciation.
For more free, easy pronunciation tips, be sure to download my free guide How to Speak English Like an American .
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