The word “live” can be confusing to ESL speakers because the word can potentially be pronounced two different ways and have a multitude of meanings depending on the sentence. As you progress through your English accent training, always be aware of the context in which a difficult word or sound is being presented, as this may impact how you approach pronouncing said word.
For the purposes of this word pairing, the word is pronounced with a short “i”, “live.” As in, “to be alive or choosing to take up residence in a particular country, state, or dwelling. However, when used as an adverb in reference to a TV show or concert, “live” means an event is happening in the present moment and has not been prerecorded.
As with all the word pairings in this series, the key to pronouncing each word correctly lies with the initial vowel sounds: the short “i” in “live” and the long “e” in “leave.” When pronouncing “live”, make sure your lips are relaxed as you connect the l sound-your tongue touching the roof of the mouth- with the short “i”, and emphasizing the “v” in the final syllable. The “e” is silent. Conversely the word “leave” should be pronounced with your lips in a tense position. This will naturally pull your lips back into a smile as you pronounce the long “e”, hence its distinction in the English
language as an open- smile vowel. Repeat the words one after another to get a sense of where your tongue and lips are positioned when each word is pronounced correctly, and combine them into a single sentence, such as in the example below:
Example: Harper’s grandmother had previously said she would live in Dayton her entire life, but after 50 years, she decided to leave and move to Arizona.
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