Pronunciation – 13 or 30? Sound like a Native (Video)

English Pronunciation Practice
13 or 30?

This post will help with your English pronunciation of numbers like 13 and 30. There is a video at the end to help your listening and check your own pronunciation so you sound just like a native speaker.

Learn an easy way to pronounce numbers that sound similar to non-native English speakers. 

I was helping a student in Tokyo with their English pronunciation a few days ago, they were having trouble pronouncing the numbers 13 and 30.
We practiced numbers, not just 13 and 30, but 14 and 40, 15 and 50 etc.

black and white french bulldog

Can you hear the difference?

I was thinking about a clear way to write the words out, to help my students read the numbers the same way we pronounce them. A new student recently asked my age. (At the time I was 45) If I wrote this number out by the sounds I would write FOUR-DEE-FIVE. I’m 45.

[This is the correct spelling – FORTY FIVE – but it doesn’t show language students the natural DEE pronunciation sound that native speakers use.]

I realized that native speakers pronounce numbers like 30, 40 and 50 with a D sound rather than a T sound.

30 = THIR – DEE
40 = FOUR – DEE
50 = FIF – DEE

13, 14 15 on the other hand have a much stronger T sound in their pronunciation. They also have a slightly longer E sound with subtle ‘N’ sound at the end.  

13 = THIR – TEE-N
14 = FOUR – TEE-N
15 = FIF – TEE-N

That’s a big difference! It’s also a simple way to teach how to pronounce these numbers.

English Pronunciation Practice - 13 or 30?

Quickly Improve English Pronunciation – To BE Contractions (+ Video)

It’s good to read and understand how to make these sounds, but it’s better to listen! Watch the video below for more help with your English pronunciation. This will also improve your English listening skills.

As a language student myself (Japanese) I always find extra listening practice to be very helpful.

You can listen to the pronunciation in British and North American English at these links:
13 – Thirteen
30 – Thirty *Note – in The U.K. they pronounce thirty with a stronger T sound than in North America.*

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