Decoding exercises: "ng"

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Revision as of 21:43, 28 October 2013 by Ghoti (talk | contribs) (As /ŋg/)


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 improve their pronunciation of 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.

Don't forget that intonation, linking and stress, both for individual words and for sentence stress, are also, of course, of vital importance in speaking better English.

In Received Pronunciation, "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. Another pronunciation is simply combining /n/ with /ŋ/

As /ŋ/


  • with /æ/: bang - gang - hang - hanger - hanging - rang - sang - slang;



  • with /i/: bring - ring - sing - singer - sting - string - swing - thing - wing - wring;


  • with /ɒ/: belong - long - song - strong - wrong;


As /ŋg/

  • /æŋg/: anger - angle - angry - language - languid - tangle;
  • /ɪŋg/: finger - linger - single;
  • /ʌŋg/: fungus - hunger - hungry;
  • Comparatives: longer - stronger - younger

As /n/ + /dʒ/

  • mid-position pronunciation of /n/ + /dʒ/: angel - bungee - danger;
  • final pronunciation of /n/ + /dʒ/: arrange - binge - fringe - hinge - lounge - singe - orange - revenge - sponge - whinge;


See main article Homophone.

  • ring/wring


  • fungi can be pronounced /ˈfʌŋɡaɪ/; "ˈfʌndʒaɪ/ or /ˈfʌndʒɪ/[1]

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.

See also


External links