“Look at those lovely little yellow flowers”


twitter: @eugenio_fouz


These days I am reading and learning a lot of things from a self-study book on phonetics. This book -a handbook, in fact- provides a pack of audios which I listen as I read. The author is Jonathan Marks. There are plenty of examples, exercises and pair words to distinguish specific pronunciation of sounds.

Besides, one enjoys little pieces of poetry, stories or witty examples inside the book. The title of the post has been copied from an exercise in the book. The sentence works out the sound /l/ through the wonderful literary device of alliteration, “look at those lovely little yellow flowers”.

The variety of exercises offer the student of phonetics the chance to listen and mark the odd word out of a series of similar word sounds, phonetic transcriptions, drawings of the mouth, lips, tongue to show how a sound is pronounced, typical spellings where the sound is produced, etcetera.

As I said before, the book has got some stories. I would like to save this one:

Too many twos

Tom and Tim were twins

Tom said to Tim, “Can I talk to you?”

Tim said to Tom, “Shh, wait a minute…

One two is two

Two twos are four

Three twos are six

Four twos are eight

Five twos are ten…”

Tom said to Tim, “And what are two fives?”

Tim said to Tom, “Two fives? Don´t ask me!”


This is the handbook:

Jonathan Marks; English Pronunciation in Use.-Elementary; Cambridge University Press, (Cambridge, 2007)



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