Pronunciation can be a tricky affair sometimes. For instance, ‘com’ can be ‘kəm’ or ‘kɒm’, depending on the form of the word. One example is “compete”. The verb ‘compete’ is pronounced as kəmˈpiːt. The noun form: ‘competition’ is pronounced as kɒmpɪˈtɪʃən.


Another tricky word is ‘sword’. The ‘w’ is silent. It should be pronounced as ‘sɔːd’.


‘Subtle’ is pronounced as ˈsʌtl. The ‘b’ sound is silent.

There are many silent letters in words starting with ‘w’ for instance, ‘wrangle’ and ‘wreck’.

Red is another word that is wrongly pronounced by many non-native speakers as ‘reɪd’. It should be ‘rɛd’.

Here are more examples of ‘con’ and ‘com’. The phonetic transcriptions will tell you if it is ‘kəm’ or ‘kɒm’. 9 out of 10 native speakers can’t pronounce these words accurately. Are you one of them?

WordNounVerbadjective
concertˈkɒnsə(ː)tkənˈsɜːtɪd
I attended a concert.A program of action was concerted during the discussion.
conditionkənˈdɪʃənconditioned: kənˈdɪʃəndconditional: kənˈdɪʃənl
It is in good condition. The dogs have been conditioned to react to subtle signals.Unconditional love
consoleˈkɒnsəʊl
consolation: kɒnsəˈleɪʃən
kənˈsəʊldinconsolable:
ˌɪnkənˈsəʊləbl
TV console/ consolation prize/ I offered a few words of consolation.She consoled her best friend.She was inconsolable.
contestˈkɒntɛst
contestant: kənˈtɛstənt
kənˈtɛstcontestable: kənˈtɛstəbl
The contestant in the singing contestHe wants to contest in the election. He won three of the contestable awards.
confidentconfidence:ˈkɒnfɪdənsconfide: kənˈfaɪdconfident:ˈkɒnfɪdənt
He lacks confidence.I wish to confide in someone. a confident speaker
consistconsistency:
kənˈsɪstənsi
kənˈsɪstconsistent:
kənˈsɪstənt
We expect consistency in food quality.My grocery list consists primarily of essential food.consistent performance
containcontainer: kənˈteɪnəkənˈteɪncontained:
The food containerThe box contains my books.He remained contained when he was handcuffed.
concreteˈkɒnkriːtkənˈkriːtˈkɒnkriːt
conveyorkənˈveɪə
conveyor belt
complaincomplaint: kəmˈpleɪntkəmˈpleɪncomplainable:
kəmˈpleɪnəbl
Received a complaintShe is going to complain to the teacher about the bully in class.complainable decisions
contactˈkɒntæktˈkɒntæktcontactable:ˈkɒntæktəbl
They remain in contact after graduation.Please contact the customer service.stay contactable
contaminatecontamination:
kənˌtæmɪˈneɪʃən
kənˈtæmɪneɪtcontaminated:
kənˈtæmɪneɪtɪd
Raw meat must not be stored together with fruits to avoid cross- contamination. Dirty hands can contaminate food. The contaminated milk has been removed from the shelf.
completecompletion:
kəmˈpliːʃən
kəmˈpliːtkəmˈpliːt
She will receive her diploma upon completion of her studies.Please complete your work.A complete change
conventionkənˈvɛnʃənconvene:
kənˈviːn
conventional:
kənˈvɛnʃənl
Rules and conventions permeate our society.They convened at the function room for a seminar. A handshake is a conventional form of greeting.
conflictˈkɒnflɪktkənˈflɪktkənˈflɪktɪŋ
It is hard to avoid conflicts sometimes.The account of one student conflicted with that of the other.confliciting viewpoints
considerconsideration: kənˌsɪdəˈreɪʃənkənˈsɪdəconsiderate:
kənˈsɪdərɪt
hoping for your kind
consideration
I might consider this option. considerate neighbour