Pronunciation exercises

Sound, stress, intonation

I take it you already know
Of tough and bough and cough and dough?
Others may stumble but not you
Or hiccough, thorough laugh and through?
Well done: And now you wish perhaps
To learn of these familiar traps:

Beware of heard a dreadful word
That looks like beard and sounds like bird.
And dead: It’s said like bed, not bead,
For goodness’ sake, don’t call it deed!
Watch out for meat and great and threat,
They rhyme with suite and straight and debt.
A moth is not a moth in mother
Nor both in bother, broth in brother.
And here is not a match for there
Nor dear and fear for bear and pear
And then there’s does and rose and lose,
Just look them up; and goose and choose.

And cork and work and hard and ward
And font and front and word and sword.
And do and go and thwart and part –
Come, come, I’ve hardly made a start!
A dreadful language?
Man alive, I’d mastered it when I was five!