Embarrassing English Errors Ep03 – Arse & Us

In this episode of Embarrassing English Errors Ep03 I teach you the subtle difference in pronunciation of the words arse & us.

Download the full PDF transcript here.

Embarrassing English Errors Ep03 – Arse & Us

Hey guys, and welcome to this episode of Embarrassing English Errors. Today’s episode is going to include the words “arse” and “us”. “Arse” and “us”.

So, “us”, to define “us” it’s used by someone who’s referring to himself or herself and one or more other people. So, “to know us”, “to give to us”, “to be with us”. That’s what “us” means.

The word “arse”. This is a term used in English English and Australian English to refer to a person’s buttocks, behind, bum, butt. You sit on it. That’s your bum [arse]. Um… in American English they use the word “ass” instead of “arse”, and so, I’ll probably do an episode on “ass” in the future, but it’s less common in Australian English, particularly when you’re talking about your bottom. You wouldn’t say “ass” you would say “arse”.

Obviously these words sound very similar and I think the difference is mainly that “arse” is a prolonged vowel [sound]. So, you say “aaaaarse”. Whereas “us” is a lot quicker. It’s just an “uh” sound. “Us”, “us”. It’s not “uuuuuuuhs” it’s just “us” and “arse”. They’re the different ways of pronouncing those two words. So, I think it’s pretty much exactly the same vowel sound, except that “arse” is prolonged and “us” is incredibly short. “Us”, “uh”, “uh”, “uh” and “aaaah”, “aaaah”, “aaarse”.

So, what are some other words in English that have the vowel sound similar to that, or the same as that, from the word “arse”?

Arc

Art

Artist

Start

Blast

Mask

Fast

Arm

Harm

Farm

Calm

And what are some other words in English that have the same vowel sound as “us”?

A

Butt

Cut

Up

Bus

Puss

Truss

Plus

Cuss

Fuss

Thus

Nuts

Guts

So, you’ll probably notice when you listen to this again that when I say the words sounding like “arse” all of them have a longer vowel, “arc”, “art”, “artist”, “start”, but when I say any of the words that sound like “us” they all sound very short “a”, “but”, “cut”, “up”, “bus”, “puss”. They’re all very very short vowel sounds. So, that’s the main difference between these two.

So, let’s practice the pronunciation of the two different vowel sounds on their own, and I’ll run through this five times.

Ah – Uh x 5

So, let’s do some made up and real words now just to practice the sounds after consonants.

Parse – Pus

Blarse – Blus

Farse – Fus

Crarse – Crus

Strarse – Strus

Blarse – Blus

Narse – Nus

Thrarse – Thrus

Darse – Dus

Zarse – Zus

Karse – Kus

Marse – Mus

And to finish we’ll just go through the actual words “arse” and “us” ten times.

Arse – Us x 10

So I hoped you like this episode guys. I hope it’s helping with learning the difference in these sort of minor pronunciation of words that can lead to relatively embarrassing errors in English. And, it’s not really that big of a deal but it’s always nice to have confidence when you’re speaking and that’s why I think it’s important to practice these kinds of things because you’re never going to be worried about accidentally using the wrong word in certain situations if you practice these things, you know? So, you won’t avoid certain words, certain contexts or certain points of discussion out of um… embarrassment in the future. So, keep practicing, keep nailing it, and if you have any other questions or any other sounds that you’d like to work on send me a message or comment on something on Facebook and I’ll try and do an episode as soon as possible.

All the best guys!