Consonant Sound / n / as in “nice”- American English Pronunciation

Consonant Sound / n / as in “nice”- American English Pronunciation

Hello there! This is the “Sounds American” channel. In this video we’re going to talk about the American consonant sound /n/, as in the word “nice”. You can also hear this sound in words like “now,” “open,” “nine” or “sunny.” We’ll be using a special phonetic symbol – /n/ – for this sound. The /n/ sound exists in a majority of the world languages and many non-native English speakers typically don’t have any difficulties with this sound. However, sometimes the /n/ gets distorted or confused with other sounds. Here are a few common problems that people have with the /n/ sound: The /n/ is often confused with the /m/ sound. For example: “then” – “them” Also, the /n/ is confused with the /ŋ/ sound. Compare: “sin” – “sing” Another typical problem is that the /n/ is reduced or even dropped at the end of words: “then” – “the” To make sure you know how to pronounce the /n/ like an American, let’s find out how to make it and then practice it in words. To make the /n/ sound correctly, it’s important to focus on passing the air through your nose. Let’s take a closer look at how to do that: Place the tip of your tongue on the alveolar ridge behind your upper front teeth. Next stop the air in your mouth with the tip of your tongue and direct it into your nose. If you make this sound correctly, you should be able to stretch out this sound, like this: /n-n-n-n-n-n-n/ Now, let’s try saying it: /n/ /n/ /n/ Now, let’s practice the /n/ sound in some words. You’ll see a word on the screen and hear its pronunciation. Like this: You’ll have a few seconds to pronounce the word. Repeat each word after the speaker, this is the most important part of the exercise. Let’s begin. You’re done! Congratulations! Did you know that the /n/ sound is the most frequently used consonant in American English? For instance, in this particular video it’s been used 189 times! Sorry, after that last sentence it’s now actually 192 times. 🙂 As for regular daily conversations, you can hear the /n/ in every 4th word. Now you know how important this sound is for your American accent :). Give us a thumbs up if you liked this video! Don’t forget to subscribe and stay tuned for more videos!


  1. I've watched all of your videos. And I'm always waiting for some other one about the American English sounds. I think that in catching, and trying to reproduce, the sounds you are showing us, resides the secret to take ride of my strong Mexican accent. And to be able to understand better when Americans speak out of classroom enviroments. Thanks a lot. Please continue the excelent work.

  2. I'm waiting for your app announce. I'm learning English (accent American) and using the Phonetic symbol of American Heritage Dictionary. I think it's easy for reading Phonetic. Can you add the Phonetic symbol of American Heritage Dictionary next to IPA. Thanks!

  3. that's really amazing,thanks for this video,but I am so unhappy,coz' I watch your videos everyday with my headphone, but my one earbud is'nt working,and I am crying 😢😢😢😢,but I wanna watch more

  4. Quick question 🙏🏻 l have notices that it could be two types of N. When there is N in the beggining or at the end of the word.
    For ex.: the word “now” and the word “onion”.
    “Now” sounds skinny and slim like /n ɪ aʊ / but it could be fat and thick N like /n aʊ / and “onion” how l have no idea. Is it slim N or tick N sound

  5. Hi,Mr.Sounds American. I've noticed that you pronounced ''lane'' and ''noon'' as '' lana'' and ''noona.'' I also found out that this situation exists in words like ''rain'' (raina) and "gun" (guna), too. It sounds to me that there is a ''ə'' behind those Ns. I am wondering if there is rule why you do pronounce like that ? Thanks in advance.

  6. Hello, Mr.Sounds American. I am not sure how to pronounce ''N'' when ''N'' is in the middle of a word. For example, the word ''dictionary.'' Is the ''N'' pronounced just once like ''dictio / nary'' or twice like ''dictio-n-ary.'' I am quite confused because both of them sound all right to me. Thanks in advance

  7. I understand how to pronounce when 'n' is placed at the beginning of the word, however, how should we pronounce it when its placed in the middle or the end? like Pronounce/end/line? many thanks

  8. Any tips, tricks, or resources for teaching perception and production of the N/L contrast to Mandarin speakers of Szechuanese or other dialects of Southwest China that use N and L interchangeably? (Only happens on syllable-initial /n/ and /l/ though, not final).

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