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500 Common Words: L Sounds

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Read through the information on American English L Sounds. Then test your knowledge: Take our free online test

Introduction to the L Sound: Watch a Video.  

Pronounce an American English L sound by putting your tongue in the "T" position, but press the front of your tongue against the roof of your mouth.  In American English pronunciation, L is a smaller sound when it is the middle or last letter. It can even be pronounced without the tongue. You can tighten the back of your throat and pull your tongue back to create an L sound. See if you are comfortable doing that. If that is too hard, just make the sound smaller.

    


Do you have difficulty hearing the difference between R and L? Take the online listening test.

L: first letter

L: letter combination

L: middle

L: last

L: silent


Video

Video

Video

Video


Lamp

Black

Along

Able

Could

Land

Block

Also

All

Half

Language

Blue

Always

Animal

Should

Large

Class

Build

Call

Talk

Last

Clear

Children

Circle

Walk

Late

Close

Cold

Doll

Would

Laugh

Cloud

Color

Fall

 

Lay

Complete

Develop

Feel

 

Lead

Flame

Early

Fill

 

Learn

Floor

Family

Final

 

Leave

Fly

Field

Full

 

Left

Glad

Follow

Girl

 

Leg

Glass

Gold

Little

 

Less

Glow

Help

Mile

 

Let

Place

Hold

Numeral

 

Letter

Plain

Island

People

 

Life

Plane

Old

Possible

 

Light

Plant

Only

Pull

 

Like

Plate

Self

Real

 

Line

Play

Told

Rule

 

List

Please

World

School

 

Listen

Problem

Yellow

Several

 

Little

Sleep

 

Simple

 

Live

Slid

 

Small

 

Long

Slide

 

Special

 

Look

Slow

 

Spell

 

Lot

Listening Test

 

Still

 

Love

 

 

Table

 

Low

 

 

Tell

 


Listening Test

 

 

Travel

 

 

 

 

Until

 

 

 

 

Usual

 

 

 

 

Vowel

 

 

 

 

Well

 

 

 

 

Wheel

 

 

 

 

While

 

 

 

 

Whole

 

 

 

 

Will

 

 

 

 

Yell

 





Listening Test


Read paragraphs with these words: L Sounds Extra Practice. Practice speaking with R and L speaking questions.

See also English Pronunciation News: Practice R and L Sounds.

More on the L Sound

Be careful with the second column, L: letter combination. Many people who struggle with L sounds will have difficulty when the sound is next to certain consonants--for instance, there might be difficulty next to B, but not next to C. Try to be sure you are pronouncing all combinations in about the same way.

"--le" is an old spelling. It sounds more like "ul." L is considered a semi-vowel to linguists. This means that the L sound can change. For the American L sound, there is always a slight "ul" when it is the last letter. This works even for words like "feel." This word sounds like "fee-ul" or "fee(y)ul." The small Y sound naturally comes between the long E and the short U sound (the sound in "up").      





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