Listen to a story about how I was denied a credit card by my bank!
You’ll also learn how to pronounce words that end in the syllable -AR, like “dollar” and “regular.”
Welcome to the English Teacher Melanie Podcast, a podcast for intermediate to advanced English learners who want to improve their English listening and speaking skills!
Each episode includes a story and a pronunciation tip. In the story, I use core vocabulary, the most common words in English, to tell a real world story. The pronunciation tip will help you understand natural spoken English.
You’ll hear the story twice. The first time, the story is a little slower than normal. It sounds funny because I used editing software to change the speed of the story and make it slower. After the pronunciation tip, you’ll hear the story again, but at a regular speed.
I applied for a US-dollar credit card at my bank last year because the expenses for my website are all in US dollars. The Canadian dollar was weakening against the US dollar and it was becoming more expensive to pay my bills with Canadian dollars. I thought it was going to be a simple process to get the card, but the bank denied my application without any explanation! Denied! I needed this card, so I had to figure out what went wrong.
Listen: My First Job | Episode 31
I called the bank right away. The customer service agent said it was an automated process and he couldn’t give me a definite answer. He said my credit score probably wasn’t high enough, and he told me to request my free credit report. The report contained my credit history from the last 7 years. There were no problems in my report. I didn’t miss any payments and I paid my bills on time. I still had no idea why my credit score may have been low or why my application was denied.
I called the company that prepared my credit report to ask if they had any insight. I had a department store credit card that I hadn’t used in 4 years. I thought that was a good thing. It showed that I could be trusted not to rack up debt. It turned out that this unused card was negatively affecting my credit score because it looked like I was wasting credit. I also had a regular Canadian-dollar credit card. This card had a balance greater than 50% of my credit limit, and that wasn’t good either.
To improve my credit score, I had to do two things. I had to cancel my department store credit card, and I had to pay down part of my regular credit card balance so that it was less than 50% of my limit. I waited a few months, then applied for the credit card again. This time, the bank approved my application and I got my US-dollar credit card.
Listen: I Forgot my Wallet! | Episode 14
HOW TO PRONOUNCE WORDS THAT END IN THE SYLLABLE -AR, LIKE “DOLLAR” AND “REGULAR”
This transcript uses IPA symbols to represent sounds and teach pronunciation. Learn more about the IPA here.
One of the biggest mistakes that English learners make with English pronunciation is that they try to pronounce the word the way it is written.
You can’t do that in English.
There are some pronunciation guidelines that you can follow that will help you figure out how to say a word, but the best thing to do is to hear the word first, and then imitate the sounds that you hear.
Did you notice my pronunciation of the word dollar d-o-l-l-a-r? I often hear English learners say /’doʊlɑr/ which is wrong.
In this word, the letter O is not pronounced O, it’s pronounced /ɑ/, so the first syallable is pronounced /dɑl/, like the word doll.
The letter A is not pronounced /ɑ/. The -AR at the end of the word is a separate syllable and it’s pronounced ER /ɚ/: /’dɑlɚ/
Here are some words that rhyme with dollar:
taller, caller/collar, smaller, holler, scholar
It’s important to get the pronunciation right the first time you try to say a new word. If you keep pronouncing the word incorrectly over and over, it becomes a habit and it becomes harder to change & improve your pronunciation.
In the story, I also used the word regular. It ends with the -AR syllable, so
remember to pronounce the last syllable -ER /ɚ/. This is also true for the word grammar.
- Do you have a credit card? How many credit cards do you have? Do you have any store credit cards?
- Have you ever been denied a credit card? If so, what did you do?
Leave me a comment below!