Decoding exercises: "ng"
Together with the article on possible pronunciation difficulties, this page sets out some common (or not...) words teachers can use to help their students become more aware of how they can sound out more correctly the different sounds corresponding to words containing "ng".
More often than not, these supposed difficulties depend more on the interference of L1 than on the actual difficulties posed by English, and many, if not most students will greatly improve their pronunciation by simply becoming aware of certain differences - together with a minimum of practice.
In English, both in Received Pronunciation and in General American, "ng" often corresponds to the final consonant sound of IPA phonetic symbol /ŋ/ in words like "sang", "sing", "song" and "sung" and, of course -ing forms. However, not all words with "ng" have that /ŋ/: cf. angle and angel.
- with /æ/: bang - gang - hang - hanger - hanging - rang - sang - slang
- with /ɪ/: bring - during - evening - king - morning - ring - sing - singer - spring - sting - string - swing - thing - wing - wring
- with /ɒ/BrE or /ɔː/AmE: along - belong - long - song - strong - wrong
- with /ʌ/: among - hung - lung - sung - tongue - young
- with /æ/: anger - angle - angry - language - languid - tangle
- with /e/: penguin
- with /ɪ/: bingo - finger - linger - single
- with /ɒ/: mongoose
- with /ʌ/: fungus - hunger - hungry - mongrel
In careful pronunciation it is possible to pronounce [ng]. However often these words are pronounced [ŋg]. See IPA phoneme /n/ § Assimilation.
- congratulate - downgrade - engage - engrave - ingrown - ongoing - ungrateful
- mid-position pronunciation of /n/ + /dʒ/: angel - bungee - danger - engine - engineer - passenger
- final pronunciation of /ndʒ/: arrange - binge - challenge - change - engage - fringe - hinge - lounge - orange - range - revenge - singe - sponge - strange - whingeBrE (complain)
See main article Homophone.
- hangar - hanger; ring - wring
- fungi can be pronounced /ˈfʌŋɡaɪ/; /ˈfʌndʒaɪ/ or /ˈfʌndʒɪ/
- The Vietnamese last name Nguyen is anglicized as /wɪn/
Anticipated pronunciation difficulties depending on L1
Preconceived ideas and other interferences from L1 obviously interfere in many cases with how students perceive - and pronounce - sounds/words in English. The following section aims to point out some of the most typical difficulties teachers and students may encounter regarding pronunciation.
At the back of every native Spanish speaker's mind is that nagging doubt as to whether to pronounce any g they see as /dʒ/, as in age or /g/ as in bag. This means that Spanish speakers habitually pronounce sing as * instead of /sɪŋ/ and doubt if it is /ˈæŋgər/ or *.