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!