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  1. Senior Member
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    #1

    How do Americans pronounce "Herb"?

    I've heard the letter "H" is silent in "Herb" when it is pronounced by a US English speaker, Americans pronounce it like "erb", is that correct? But while looking for a pronunciation video on YouTube, I came across a video in which an American speaker is pronouncing "H". The video shows the difference between American and Australian pronunciation of the word "Herb". In Australian version the letter "r" is pretty much silent.

    Here is the link to the video.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wFU91udw6HA

    Should I conclude that because of variety of dialects spoken in the USA, "H" sound is also acceptable in some regions?

    Regards,
    Aamir the Global Citizen.

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    #2

    Re: How do Americans pronounce "Herb"?

    I'm American, and I don't think I've ever heard an American pronounce the "h" in "herb", except when discussing how the word is pronounced elsewhere. Also, the name Herb (short for Herbert) is pronounced with an H sound in the US.
    Last edited by emsr2d2; 16-Sep-2018 at 17:32. Reason: Fixed typo
    NOT A TEACHER. Translator and editor, and I hold a TESOL certificate. Native speaker of American English (West Coast)

  3. Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    #3

    Re: How do Americans pronounce "Herb"?

    As a BrE speaker, it still sounds weird to me without "h".

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    #4

    Re: How do Americans pronounce "Herb"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    As a BrE speaker, it still sounds weird to me without "h".
    Yeah, I know "H" is pronounced in the UK, though, I don't know about Irish people since they have nasal accent and they pronounce some of the words the American way. But I found it interesting when I learned about Americans that they don't pronounce "H" and pronounce it like "erb". Any Irishman can contribute to the thread to let us know about how the Irish people pronounce "herb".

    Secondly, having learned about the American pronunciation, I still found a video with an American native speaker pronouncing "h". So I would like other Americans to let me know if "h" is pronounced in some dialectal versions within the United States.

  5. teechar's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: How do Americans pronounce "Herb"?

    The Irish pronounce the "h" in "herb".

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    #6

    Re: How do Americans pronounce "Herb"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Aamir Tariq View Post
    I don't know about Irish people since they have nasal accent
    What makes you think that?
    Last edited by Piscean; 16-Sep-2018 at 20:24.
    Typoman - writer of rongs

  7. probus's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: How do Americans pronounce "Herb"?

    In my experience Americans almost always say erbs rather than herbs. Personally I always sound the h.

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    #8

    Re: How do Americans pronounce "Herb"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Piscean View Post
    What makes you think that?
    First of all thanks for correcting my misunderstanding. Now let me tell you what made me think about it. I have always thought that BBC's anchorperson and correspondent Lyse Doucet was Irish. And once when we were discussing accents on a different forum I talked about Irish people spoke with nasal accent and somebody who was an Irish American told me, "that's because most of the Americans are of Irish origin."So that is where I built a perception that Irish people had nasal accent. And Lyse Doucet was one of the examples. But today when you asked me this question I had to google Lyse Doucet and I learned that she isn't an Irish but a born Canadian. So thanks a bunch for correcting my wrong perception.

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    #9

    Re: How do Americans pronounce "Herb"?

    Quote Originally Posted by probus View Post
    In my experience Americans almost always say erbs rather than herbs. Personally I always sound the h.
    You mean "erb" isn't North American pronunciation but it is purely used in the US. Whereas people utter the "H" sound in Canada just as you do while pronouncing Herb. Is that correct?

  10. Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    #10

    Re: How do Americans pronounce "Herb"?

    You seem eager to synthesise a general rule from a single point of reference, and to nail it down geographically, while things are often more amorphous and flexible.

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