the sound "ing"

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NearThere

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Back in school, we were taught that "n" and "g" together create a new sound, a mutant or some sort of the "n". (If you've seen the symbol of the sound, it grows a long leg or tail to "n"). Pronounce it so that you hold the "n" sound in your sinus, and add pressure to it but at the same time make sure you keep it from escaping thru your nose, thus a bonafide nasal "n" in the extreme. Boy, it took practice.

Here I have a friend, anytime a word with "ing" comes at the end of a sentence, or is the emphasis of a sentence, "ing" is pronounced as is, with the "g" clearly heard. And she is a speech therapist. If I pay enough attention, other people do the same thing too.

Were we taught wrong in Taiwan?
 

Uncle M

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Hi there,

In England, the 'ng' sound is generally used at the end of the word, for example 'long'.

But if the word is extended, e.g. 'longer' , the g is pronounced as a hard consonant.

There are exceptions however. The first g in 'bringing' or 'longing' is often not pronounced as a hard g sound. And in some dialects, notably that of the West Midlands area, the hard g is pronounced wherever ng occurs.

English has many dialects and is not a rule-governed language when it comes to spelling and pronunciation. Just try to listen to as many people as possible speaking English.

Dave
 

NearThere

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Thanks Dave, great information.

In general, do you pronounce the "g" sound, let's say in "playing" as you would "log"?
 

BobK

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As Dave says, there are many dialectal variations. The [g] sound at the end of 'sing' and 'long' is a feature of many Northern accents. What you were taught was not wrong, but it's not true of all native pronunciations.

b
 

NearThere

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Thanks Dave again and BobK.:up:
 

BobK

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Last year I produced the attached (incomplete) list, which you may find useful. The first column gives examples of the most common sound "change" (no change) when a syllable is added to a word ending "-ng"; the other columns give exceptions (in which the G hardens - as in "finger" and "longer" (column 2), and words that aren't expanded from a monosyllable (such as "danger") - column 3. Also in column 3 there are some monosyllables that don't change (like "change"!), but the "-ng" is followed by an "e" so although there's no change, the sound is different from the first column.

b
 

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NearThere

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Bob,

You are Da man!

Thanks!
 
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