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Practical English Usage, Michael Swan, 2005

Practical English Usage, Michael Swan, 2005

Practical English Usage, Michael Swan, 2005.

  I am grateful to all the people who have helped me with the preparation of this third edition. A large number of teachers in different countries were kind enough to respond to an enquiry asking how they felt Practical English Usage could be improved: their feedback was extremely helpful, and I am very much in their debt. I am also greatly indebted to David Baker, whose comments and suggestions have added very significantly to the accuracy and clarity of the book, and to Hideo Hibino and Kenji Kashino, who have contributed valuable advice on specific problems. Many other teachers and students - too many to name -have taken the trouble to suggest ways in which particular entries could be improved; their input has benefited the book considerably.

Pronunciation.
There are, of course, many different regional accents in both Britain and America. The most important general differences between American and British speech are as follows:
a Certain vowels are nasal (pronounced through the nose and mouth at the same time) in some varieties of American English, but not in most British accents.

b British English has one more vowel than American English. This is the rounded short о (/о/) used in words like cot, clog, got, gone, off, stop, lost. In American English these words are pronounced either with /a:/, like the first vowel in father, or with /э:/, like the vowel in caught. (This vowel is also pronounced rather differently in British and American English.)

c Some words written with a + consonant (e.g. fast, after) have different pronunciations: with /a:/ in standard southern British English, and with /ае/ in American and some other varieties of English.

d The vowel in home, go, open is pronounced /эо/ in standard southern British English, and /00/ in American English. The two vowels sound very different.

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